A guest speaker is often the highlight of an event. It may be that they’re a subject matter expert who is going to educate attendees on a particular topic or give them a new way of thinking about an issue. Alternatively, you might be seeking a motivational speaker to challenge thought processes and boost motivation.
Whatever you’re looking for in a guest speaker, you need to be sure that they will add value to your event so that you can justify the cost.
Understand your Requirements
Before you begin your search for a guest speaker for your event, you need to make sure that you understand what you’re looking for. It’s important to think carefully about your attendees, along with the goals of your event. For example, if your audience is medical students, you might be looking for a subject matter expert to talk about a specialist topic to increase their knowledge base.
You’ll also need to think about the logistics. This includes the date of the event, where it is being held and how long you expect the speaker to present for. Event courses which go through the logistics of planning an event and the responsibilities involved in the process may help you with this process.
Finally, you’ll need to consider what budget you’ve got available for hiring a guest speaker, as this may influence which speakers are available for your event.
Timing is Critical
Different stages of your event will have different levels of energy, and the timing of your speaker will help to determine what type of guest speaker you need.
At the start of the day, you’ll be looking for a kick-off speaker who is able to outline the bigger picture, setting the tone for the day and putting your event into perspective. This speaker should be able to get the audience excited about what’s to come and build anticipation for the rest of the day.
After lunch, you’ll probably find that your audience are slightly more tired and lacking energy. If you’re looking for a speaker to occupy this slot, they’ll need to have energy and enthusiasm to motivate your attendees.
Your closing speaker needs to be able to pull together the key messages from the event. They’ll need to reflect on what’s been said and bring it all together. They’ll also need to end with a memorable message, as this is what your audience will remember as they leave your event.
Ultimately, you need to know whether or not your speaker was successful in their goals, and whether you’ve achieved that all-important return on investment.
It’s important to consider the measures of success before the event and take the time to fully evaluate these after the event. This will help you to plan for future events, increasing your chances of success by learning what works and what doesn’t.
Choosing the right guest speaker for your event isn’t always easy, but it’s an important task that requires careful consideration. If you choose the right guest speaker, you’ll give your event the best possible chances of success.