Not all impressive speakers are worth your time. Some will give you more problems rather than helpful advice. Here are the five red flags to watch out for when hiring a keynote speaker.
1.The speaker claims extensive knowledge but less experience
Knowledge by theory and knowledge by practice are two different things. Knowing a lot of things about a certain subject is only certified by application, so if the keynote speaker you like to hire claims to know the topic of the event extensively but cannot back up his claims with actual experience, you might as well study the subject matter and deliver the speech yourself.
The audience will look for credibility, and for most of them, credibility is only certified by extensive experience. That makes up a real expert. Look for a candidate’s whole body of work and industry involvement to be sure.
2.The speaker is a frequent guest of a competitor
There is really nothing wrong with hiring a keynote speaker who usually takes part in activities of your direct competitors (if it is for business or organization). Maybe you just want to have the best that your competitors usually have.
However, you have to take note that frequent guest speakers sometimes hold allegiance to whomever trust them first and the most. There is also a possibility that your payment is lower than what others usually give. As a result, you might get less than what you pay for.
You also have to be careful about sharing your strategies that you want the speaker to expound to an audience (i.e. your employees or associates). If the speaker has closer ties with a competitor, it is just a matter of time before your corporate secrets cross over other fences.
3.The speaker is obviously egocentric
There are famous and infamous speakers. Famous speakers educate, inspire, motivate, and make sure that the audience is one with him all throughout the speech. Infamous speakers, on the other hand, are credible yet egocentric speakers who like talking a lot about themselves instead of focusing on the subject matter. It is given that a keynote speaker is hired based on merits, so he should no longer push his achievements harder – and event organizers should find clues if he will.
Ask for referrals to find the most credible and reliable speakers. If you have candidates, ask for feedback from references who already hired them. Ask them: “Are you willing to hire this speaker again?”
You can also check online. Great speakers opt to prod discussions online through their past contented and impressed audiences (or the other way around). The right speaker will think of his audience first.
4.The speaker refuses to work with the organizer
Okay, a credible speaker knows his job very well. He’s probably did it a thousand times before. Nonetheless, different events have different requirements. Even the same subject matter might require different treatments and focal points when delivered. Thus, a speaker should properly coordinate with organizers not only for the details but for the preparations as well (e.g. visual presentations, handouts, etc.).
Some speakers think highly of themselves that they see the fact of them being gusted as the organizer’s and audience’s honor. It might be really be the case, but there is no need to sell the idea. Cooperation is important towards a successful speaking engagement.
5.The speaker cannot commit attendance
This happens with VIPs who have their schedules fully-booked and are on standby for emergency meetings. Company CEOs who are scheduled to give speeches usually have their proxies on standby just in case a last-minute emergency takes place. If the keynote speaker you are hiring is a really big name in the industry, learn how to adjust. Otherwise, just find somebody else for the job who can commit.