Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Finding the right keynote speaker

At a recent conference I attended I was struck by something that we should all consider when planning an event:

Choose the right keynote speaker.

Now, I'm talking about the person who opens your event. The event I attended was a single-day event and build around a theme. However, after all the hype to attend, the opening guy lacked the energy or content to keep me around. I'd spent my $200, so I was going to stay. And I was collecting some great leads. But they didn't get me off on the right foot.

The closing speaker was great, however. She got me energized, moved around, used great visuals and was really excited about her topic and being with her audience.

Hmmmm. I feel a list coming on. If you need to choose a speaker for your conference, sales meeting or one of your people is speaking to a conference, remember these ideas:

  • Be energetic. People want to be involved and, if they are the opening speaker, charged up.
  • Move around. Does the speaker stand behind a podium (or need to)? Consider their speaking space and platform.
  • Use engaging visuals. Are the slides or videos stilted or dry?
  • Be on topic. Fit the theme and relate to the audience and the conference.

There are a number of other things to consider. Just don't forget your audience.


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