What to Ask Before You Book: A Fast and Awesome Guide to Hiring the Right Speaker

 

If you’re getting ready to start the sometimes daunting process of selecting a speaker for your stage, you're undoubtedly aware of the tidal wave of details that need to be addressed to get the right person for the job. If you don’t have experience in this field, you're more than likely enjoying the thrill of building anxiety as you throw yourself into the selection process. Not to fear, the @revenue team is here.

If you have a cool 50-100k, you can easily fix your eyes on a public figure and google yourself into a hot name for your upcoming event, but more often than not that will buy you a ‘basic’ sports star, reality TV show or celebrity personality. Just don’t call them basic to their face...they hate that. If you don’t have a budget that hits those marks, then you're reading the right blog. We can help you get some vision for what you need beyond the big bucks.

First, you need to understand what the purpose of this speaker is for your event. Is this person setting the emotional setting for your event? Do you want people on their feet? Laughing? Crying? Throwing cash in the air?!? Are you looking for an expert, an entertainer... or both?

Here's a fantastic checklist that will help you ask the questions that need to be asked to get the best speaker for your event.

How to Prep for Hiring a Speaker: What to know and what to ask before the big show

Fees & Expenses

  1. What fee does this speaker charge for the length and type of engagement that you're looking for?
  2. Does the speaker's fee match your budget?
  3. If not, are there other places that you can pull funds from? Can you give them advertising, a booth, additional exposure in any way that will assist them with their goals?
  4. Does the speaker require travel fees? If so, what are their requirements and who does the booking?
  5. Is a deposit needed to hold your date?
  6. Are there ANY other fees? Bureau? Per diem? Personal cabana boy?
  7. Can they fill more than one spot on your roster (and save you on the cost of another speaker’s travel)?

Experience & Expertise

  1. Is the speaker a professional speaker or an expert who speaks?
  2. Does the speaker have multiple formats? Keynote? Workshop? Interactive?
  3. Do they have a livelihood that depends on them doing what they are speaking about, or do they just train?
  4. Can they custom craft an event for you?
  5. Do they have any certifications or accreditations in their field? Have they won any awards?
  6. How do they typically prepare for a speaking gig?
  7. Do their speaker reels (videos) appear engaging? Entertaining? Exciting?
  8. What materials will they bring? Are they going to bring educational or supportive materials or only just their selling tools?
  9. Can they use ‘clean jokes’ or do they only get laughs when eyebrows are raised?
  10. Are they published? Do they have books, articles, youtube shows or the like?

Environment & Temperament

  1. How easy was the speaker, or their team, to connect with? Get answers from? Talk to?
  2. How will they make your organization look good?
  3. Do they seem to speak at the same level that your audience is at?
  4. Are they going to just be on stage, or are they going to engage with the folks at your event?
  5. Do they use the tech tools that are going to make it a fit for your audience?
  6. If they are going to sell from the stage, what does that look like and can they do it with class?
  7. Can they help you drive home your message from the stage? Do you want them to drive people to take the next step? Purchase a product or something else?
  8. Will they be easy to work with?
  9. When will they arrive at the event? Leave?
  10. Can they be flexible to last-minute changes?
  11. What impact will this speaker have on the audience once the chairs have been put away?

Well, there you have it. The exhaustive, every-question-answered speaker booking checklist. I hope this helps you on your journey. We are here to help you find your next (or first) ‘perfect’ speaker, and just for the record, we have already asked most of these questions for you!

Find out more at today- we are ready to help! Speakers@atrevenue.com


Facilitating Powerful Networking Events

Facilitating Powerful Networking Events

After facilitating high-level networking groups for a decade, I must say, I LOVE THEM. Why, because I control the environment to ensure success. That might sound arrogant or "controlling" but it's not, it's what's needed.

A few tips about running great networking events are:

1. Facilitate your own so you can set the tone.

I run lunches that have 8 members that come every month.
Each member commits, on a contract, to be there every month with a decision maker level or deeply networked guest. We spend 1.5 hours in a highly structured but fun environment getting to know one another's business. And before I close the lunch, I ask EVERY attendee to publicly announce with whom they can help and how.

I've personally generated Hundreds of Thousands of dollars from these events over the years.

2. Host as few drinking events as you can.

I always tell my clients that they need to understand, "networking is work. It's not net-drinking, it's networking!" These events rarely result in a return on the investment of time and effort. If you’re going to have one, host it as a party more than a networking event.

Having said that, a nice structured dinner and wine event from time to time is always nice for those clients/contacts that will appreciate them.

3. Be picky about who attends.

There is not always strength in numbers. I recommend “purposeful networking”. Think about who you want to invite and then scrub your network to find purposeful guests. This is an instant winner for your attendees and sets you apart as a force in the networking world.


 

A few tips when attending an event.

4. Have a plan before the event.

With whom do you want to spend time? Recruiters, business owners, accountants, etc. Be purposeful about how you execute your plan by focusing your time on the right people that you can help and that can help you.

5. Go to give.

Don't go with the mindset of "I'm going to find business today". Instead, go with a determination to enhance others networks by making strong connections. This mentality will set you apart from many at the event. And I guarantee, if you go with that mindset, business will come and you will not be disappointed.

6. Understand that networking is not a leads group.

Many people attend events with skewed expectations. Networking is about identifying strong likable people to whom you want to open your network and who want to reciprocate for you. This can take a follow-up call, a personal 1:1 meeting and a concerted effort to identify and introduce people to one another. Expecting to get business by dealing out 50 business cards will only set you up to frown upon networking. It doesn’t work!

7. Don't give up too easily.

Unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment, disappointment often leads to giving up. If you plan to join a group, be picky. Once you find one that makes sense, make a commitment to give it all you have for a year.

8. Offer solutions, don't point fingers.

We've all been to bad events. If you have a suggestion to make one better, talk to the facilitator. If they are real networkers, they will appreciate the input. If not, go build your own with best practices.

9. Track your Return on Investment.

I recommend to my clients and I insist for my members to track the ROI. Return on Investment or Results, Outcome, Impact. Sometimes connections add value in other ways than the bottom line. They find you a new office space, a deal on furniture or travel, etc. ROI may not be just dollars.  But if you add up your financial investment in a group, the time you spend, measured at a reasonable rate and then you run the numbers for a year, you BETTER be getting an ROI. If not, stop it, and find something that works. Like starting your own group and then running it like a machine.

As you can probably tell, I am deeply passionate about networking and the powerful impact that it can have. Being a coach and the co-founder of @revenue, www.atRevenue.com, I’m happy to talk more about my passion for making networking work for you.