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How to Select the Perfect Keynote Speaker

If you are at all familiar with event planning, you have probably encountered the challenge of selecting keynote speakers. You might ask why this is a challenge at all. Isn’t the keynote speaker simply supposed to be an individual noteworthy in the industry who can offer advice or fascinating insight into a certain topic of interest? Yes, this is all true, but therein lies the challenge: getting it all just right.

Selecting the perfect keynote speaker comes down to marrying the speaker’s personality to your audience, setting, desired speech topic, and budget. It can be an ideal match if you prepare correctly, but a major disaster if you wind up tone-deaf on what your audience and event are really all about.

How exactly do you select the perfect keynote speaker, then? We’ll run through a few major steps here, and then tell you how you can hire a celebrity for an event.

1. Understand the Event’s Purpose

This first point seems like a no-brainer, but it pays to cast our net widely when starting to think about this. If you didn’t know the purpose of an event, how could you choose a speaker for it, much less the singular keynote speaker of the entire enterprise?

So, you must determine what you and the other event organizers are looking to draw from the event. What sort of function is it? Is it a dinner, a fundraiser, a graduation ceremony, a holiday party, an anniversary celebration? What do you want to accomplish? Are you trying to persuade a group of people to do something? Do you want your audience to be informed by the speaker’s expertise? Or perhaps you want your keynote speaker to motivate your audience members to go forth bravely and achieve something, as in the case of a graduation.

Half of knowing your event’s purpose consists of knowing your audience. Who are they, and who would they most likely respond to? What will they stand to gain from giving up their time to hear this speaker?

If you know your event and your audience through and through, selecting your keynote speaker will be that much easier.

2. Know Your Speaker

Of course, choosing the perfect speaker also requires you to ensure your desired speaker’s personality matches up well with your audience. You might love to hire Jerry Seinfeld to lighten up your dinner, but will your audience respond well to his dry comedic wit? By the same token, will this or that political pundit hit it off with your newly graduating college students? What if their politics do not align, or the speaker cannot connect with a large crowd of 22-year-olds?

While you’re at it, you also must know what the speaker wants to get out of this engagement. Besides what you will be paying this person, how does it benefit the speaker? Does your candidate have some special wisdom he or she is looking to impart to younger people working in the same industry? Is the speaker promoting something, a new book or other creation, that would benefit from such exposure as your speaking event?

As before, try to align the goal of the speaker with the purpose of your event. Doing so wisely will ensure the greatest possible engagement when it comes time for your function’s keynote address.

3. Work within Your Budget

Let’s face it: when planning your event’s keynote speech, many of us probably think it would be amazing to flip through some pages of available celebrity speakers and pick one out of the hat to speak for you. After all, celebrities seem to command greater authority in what they say, since many of them are known throughout the world and have earned some degree of the public’s trust by virtue of that fact.

If your budget allows you to hire a celebrity to deliver your keynote speech, by all means, start making phone calls. However, if your organization or event is more modest in scope and finances, try to rein in your desires to get Bill Gates or LeBron James. You may have to think smaller on this one, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Celebrity keynote speeches are certainly events unto themselves, but you don’t need an A-lister to get a point across to an audience.

Think about the first two steps above before anything else: know your event, and know your ideal speaker. The answer to your keynote speaker question may lie in a relatively unknown personality or someone more famous, but at least you will have put your ducks in the right order.

Hire a Keynote Speaker for Your Event

Luckily, Celebrity Speakers Bureau can connect you to a diverse range of well-known personalities who can suit just about any event you are planning. The speakers we can book for you range in expertise from business to health and wellness to news and media and many subjects in between. Do you need a successful athlete to inspire a dinner of young, aspiring athletes? We have you covered. The same applies to reporters and CEOs.

Just head to our contact page to fill out a form telling us about what you are looking for. We will match you up with a speaker in your desired topic area and, maybe most importantly, within your budget.

Now you know how to go about selecting the perfect keynote speaker for your event. Just put the appropriate work in, and everything should go exactly as planned.

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