How to find a keynote speaker

As an event planner you’ll no doubt already be thinking about this year’s conferences, AGMs, quarterly updates and networking events. Selecting the right keynote speaker for your event is crucial. But if you’re not sure how to find a keynote  As the main item on the agenda, speakers are the focal point for your whole event. The speakers are what draws the attendees in, and the content your keynote speakers deliver often becomes the main takeaways from your event.
There are a number of things you need to consider before booking a keynote speaker. From who to look for and where to find them, to how much you should be paying. Luckily, we’ve got some top tips on how to find a keynote speaker.

a hand holding up a sign that reads stay focused

1. Why do you want motivational speakers?

Establish why you want a keynote speaker and how your event is going to benefit. Once you’ve done that, the process will be much easier. Keynote speakers should be inspiring, authoritative and charismatic, affecting your audience in a powerful way. Speakers who are able to tell fascinating anecdotes, have had meaningful experiences, and are able to motivate, are much more likely to inspire and engage your audience.

2. Think about your audience

Planning is an essential part in any event management process and it’s no different when it comes to sussing out the best keynote speakers. You need to think about your target audience’s expectations and desires, and think about what you can offer them that they can’t or won’t get anywhere else. 
Ultimately, the process on how to find a keynote speakers should always provide your audience with new information, takeaways, knowledge or insight. The best professional speakers inspire an audience in a totally new and genuine way. Not everyone can be good at public speaking; it takes experience and knowledge. Your speaker should be a pro, but they should also bring their own individual qualities to the table.

How do you find a keynote speaker?

Social Media

A powerful tool, social media is a free and easy way to find new and exciting keynote speakers. Instead of relying solely on your traditional networks to find your next conference speakers, use various social media channels to explore new content relevant to your target audience, and you’re sure to find the most reputable and knowledgeable speakers for your event.

A hand holding a phone which has the YouTube logo on it

3. YouTube

YouTube is a priceless tool to find incredible keynote speakers. Search for the kind of content or industry you are looking to cater for to find the right speakers for you. This method may be a bit more time consuming than traditional processes but you can unearth some amazing speakers on YouTube. What’s more, you may come across someone who is relatively undiscovered or new on the scene – not only will you be offering something totally fresh and exciting, you may even be able to save some budget.

4. Twitter

Professional and influential keynote speakers will use Twitter to pull together content that’s relevant to their audience, thus relevant to you. Using Twitter to search by hashtags is a great way of finding keynote speakers. Once you’ve found a handful of prospects, this is a great opportunity to do a quick comparison of their network in relation to yours. If they are followed by a lot of influential and relevant people in your industry, you can safely assume they are well-known and respected by your target audience. You will also be able to tell by their feeds if they are truly knowledgeable in their specialism or field and, as this channel is more informal than LinkedIn, you can get a real sense of their personality too.

5. Speaker Content

When it come to how to find a keynote speaker. Your audience will want to see something they have never seen before, and you should want that too. It’s more than likely that your attendees have been to many events and conferences before. That means they have also seen lots of keynote speakers before. Ensuring the content is totally unique, thought-provoking and engaging is key when selecting the perfect speaker. You may need to have a few calls with your chosen guest speaker or speakers to discuss their expertise and what they plan to present, and to guide them on your expectations.
Conference speaker content should also align with the goals you have identified for your event and should also work in parallel to your company beliefs and ethos. If your brand is all about pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo, you need a speaker who stands for the same values. Aligning these goals is the ultimate synergy you should always strive for.
Rows of chairs in a large conference room

Before the event 

6. Dress rehearsal

It’s all well and good reading a list of your speaker’s publications or achievements, but you should never underestimate the power of charisma. Key to finding the ultimate speaker is watching the real thing. You need to be sure that your speaker can hold the attention of a large crowd, and invoke passion and enthusiasm in your attendees. We know time constraints can be challenging, but it is extremely important you have a run through to see exactly what your chosen keynote speaker can offer when it comes to the big delivery. It’s not easy being a public speaker so making sure someone is as passionate and galvanising as they say they are on paper is important.

After the event

7. Q&A

Keynote speeches can sometimes be one-sided monologues, discouraging interruptions and audience interaction. Stood on a literal pedestal, it’s easy for the audience to feel disconnected and to switch off. It may not be logistically possible to include audience interaction within your keynote. In these cases, choosing a keynote speaker who is willing to turn up early and meet the attendees – or even better stick around after their keynote speech – to discuss their content is a real winner. Attendees will feel much more satisfied if they are able to discuss ideas and feel like they are contributing to the day.

Our top tip on how to find a keynote speaker is to be proactive. Spending that extra time in sourcing the perfect match will make a world of difference on the day of your event. So, don’t rest on your laurels or fall back to the same old speakers. Get out there and find someone new.


One thought on “7 Tips That Will Help You Find Incredible Keynote Speakers

  1. I love that you mentioned how a motivational speaker should be inspiring, authoritative, and charismatic, so it’ll be more likely to inspire and engage your audience. In my sister’s work, they’ve been talking about hiring an expert to give a leadership speech. They want to motivate their employees positively. I think this information will be helpful to them. You did a great job explaining how to find a motivational speaker.

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