How To Choose Keynote Speakers

Organizing a conference, seminar or just a symposium requires well-coordinated knowledge of all the ingredients that go into them. There is the type of audio visual aids to rent or borrow, and of course the delicate choice of the place itself. The place chosen should be conducive to relaxed but sedate surroundings with all the electric and mechanical aids.

Once all these non-human elements are checked and ready then comes the important part without which the gathering might fail or not meet its goals. And that is the proper choice of a professional keynote speaker. I am sure most of you reading this will hark back with much regret the time they attended a seminar—with a high fee at that, and was purely disappointed by the quality of the keynote speaker!

There is nothing really worse than having a louse or poorly chosen keynote speaker. The reason for this is that selected speakers are expected to do more than just re-echo the theme or message of the meeting. They are expected to share personal insights, create awareness, and up to the minute information using an energetic, entertaining, and smooth manner. Let us examine the ingredients of good speakers. But before that perhaps it is good to share some warning notes that bad speakers possess.

Here are some of the bad sides of speakers:

While ego plays a motivational drive for everyone in life in order to succeed, it is also annoying to note that some people are either suffering from a kind of social ailment which motivates them to like themselves ALL THE TIME and this becomes so obvious and annoying minute by minute, especially when the person doing this is a keynote speaker. In fact, if this situation exists there is a chance that participants may dwindle to just a few, thus affecting the entire program negatively. Yes, it can ruin the whole show. So, any keynote explorer prior to any conference should make sure he meets the person face to face long before the event, carefully to note how he speaks, what he talks about, and see his unnoticed quirks if they can be tolerated or not.

Then we have speakers that have the knack for cracking the most offensive, racist, or just socially bad jokes. This is critical because jokes are good given the proper place and done in the best of taste by one who has good taste. But dirty jokes or jokes that border on the gross (also known as toilet humor) are major no no’s! That is also a warning sign when screening a future keynote speaker. Aside from tipping the prospective speaker on what to do it is good to tell them categorically what SHOULD NOT BE DONE! This point, clarified, saves the searcher much time and money and humiliation in the long run.

One aspect is more physical and anything else. We know that handsome speakers—men or women, have an advantage over others since good looks “communicate” and this relaxes an individual who may be forgiving enough if the speaker misses on some points. However, even if one is not perfectly well groomed and uses spectacles that do not fit him aesthetically or something wrong with his teeth, alarm bells will ring. It is therefore important during the screening process to check these points so that one does not waste any more time for this high risk choice. Added to this point is the habit of speakers who for some good fortune had a smashing event in his previous speaking engagement.

Enough negativity.

First and final element: Selecting a great speaker is determining what combination of education and motivation and track record the person has to assure the success of the event.


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