Speakers aren’t conference staples, they’re conference essentials. Through their prestige and oratory, they draw audiences, paint ideas, and motivate people with a vision. Here’s a guide on how to find and handle them.

 

Choosing a Speaker

In general, there are two kinds of speakers:

Choosing a Speaker | Industry Speaker

Choosing a Speaker | Industry Speaker

Industry Speaker - is an expert in a particular field. He knows a subject in depth and has the background to prove it.

Choosing a Speaker | Guest Speaker

Choosing a Speaker | Guest Speaker

Guest Speaker – is a well-regarded celebrity who might not know the specifics of a subject or industry but understands how to excite and galvanize the crowd. 

The choice between the two depends on your conference’s agenda. If the conference caters to a particular audience with a specialized topic, an industry speaker is what you need. On the other hand, a guest speaker is great at conveying broad, universal themes and is often famous outside their specialty. They make great keynote speakers.  For a large multi-track conference with several sessions and speakers, it’s not unheard of to use both. A guest speaker can be just what you need to energize your audience in the beginning while industry speakers discuss the meat of the issues during in-depth sessions. 

Always pick speakers that you have confidence in. If you haven’t met them or seen them speak before, try to talk with them first to gauge if they will fit your audience. To make it easier, prepare a list of traits that you want to see before speaking with him.

 

Managing Your Speaker

Managing Your Speaker | Remind your Speaker

After selecting speakers, it’s crucial to brief them on your conference. Your programme contains a narrative designed to stimulate your audiences and your speaker should adhere to it. Don’t be afraid to describe their role and your expectations.

In fact, tell them multiple times. Speakers have very busy schedules and are also very human. Important emails are easily open and then discarded and forgotten.  Remind them constantly to ensure that they receive your message.

Managing Your Speaker | Prepare your speakers’ arrival

Aside from briefing them on your expectations, you also need to prepare for your speakers’ arrival. Speaker fees are sometimes required and should be included in your budget. Foreign speakers or those who come from far away also require help with lodgings and transportation. Find accommodations as near the conference venue as possible to reduce the hassle and the risk of traffic mishaps.

Managing Your Speaker | Prepare your speaker’s gear

Additionally, ask your speakers if they need extra equipment, such as projectors and computers. If they’re bringing their own equipment ask what kind. Not all technology is compatible with each other. Coordinate with your venue to determine if the speaker’s gear will work with theirs and, if not, find ways to make it work.

Managing Your Speaker | Your choice of speakers will determine the success of your conference

Your choice of speakers will determine the success of your conference. Choose someone that you believe will help you achieve your agenda and provide them with the tools to do it.

What to worry about after the speaker? Subscribe and check the next installment of our conference series!