This year the event will include a few great speakers, but how do organizers decide who should step up to the podium? You want someone who is effective and dynamic but without being cheesy. Public speakers are a dime a dozen, but few are really great at what they do. Even the ones that are engaging and able to pull in a crowd may not be practical for the type or theme of the event you’re planning.
The organization wants speakers at this year’s expo or tradeshow, so what are you looking for exactly? Consider seven attributes that matter for a great public speaker.
- You Want Someone Who Knows the Basics
What are the basics? When it comes to public speaking, there are rules to follow. For example, they must know how to master nonverbal communication. Gestures have as much power during a speech as the words do. People don’t just talk with the hands–they make a statement with them.
Add to the gesture rule the concept of the power stance. Yes, how the speaker stands matters, too. A slumped posture lacks confidence and authority. A puffed chest and squared shoulders convey self-awareness and enthusiasm.
Another basic rule for public speaking is to know your audience. An event planner who hires a speaker should expect to answer a few questions. If the prospective speaker doesn’t ask any, that’s a problem.
The right public speaker will be excited to be asked to talk. It shows a passion for the subject matter, for one thing. If the person doing the talking is bored, then what do you think the audience is experiencing?
Excitement is about more than just a love of the topic, though. It shows the speaker has confidence in his or her knowledge of the subject and ability to discuss it openly. Being excited indicates authenticity and almost ensures engagement with the audience.
You wouldn’t hire a vet to speak about floor tile. Expertise is an absolute necessity because no self-respecting homeowner or industry influencer is going to sign up to hear that vet speak. Authority is what pulls traffic in and gets the audience excited about a keynote speaker.
It’s that little something most people pick up on even if they don’t know why. Interview each speaker to get a sense of whether or not they have charisma. It’s what keeps the audience engaged even if the subject matter isn’t that interesting. Organizers can get a better sense of the rapport a public speaker has with the audience with a face-to-face interview and whether they have enough charisma to keep everyone smiling during a speech.
- They Are Able to Answer Questions
You should have plenty to ask, too. Asking the right questions during the interview gives you a sense of the speaker’s expertise on the subject matter and overall ability. If they hesitate during your one-on-one, they will when the audience asks questions, too. You want someone with authority. That’s what the attendees expect, but it is up to you to ensure that authority is genuine and that means you have to ask a few questions.
- Samples and References
Experienced public speakers will usually offer videos and feedback from former clients. You shouldn’t even have to ask for it, but if they don’t automatically provide it, then go ahead. Make sure any references provided are legitimate, too. They should be corporations that list past events and speakers on a company website.
- They Should Be Willing to Sign a Contract
A contract allows the event planner to outline specific expectations and to define the arraignment details. For example, what is the travel stipend? What about lodging and equipment? These are all details that should be worked out ahead of time and then defined in the contract.
What makes a good speaker great? There are a lot of factors that go into picking an event speaker. Being organized on your end will make the process smoother. Once you get the right people in place, you can market them confidently on social media, through the exhibitors, and in the Expo event app.