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Tips for hiring the right speaker from a speakers’ bureau
Hiring the right speaker for an event can be a challenging task. The task becomes harder considering that there is a wide variety of professional speakers in different fields and variable budgets. We have made the hiring process very simple for you by compiling these 10 tips to help make your event very successful:
1. Define your audience and their needs
Work out a clear objective for your event. A good knowledge of the needs of your audience enables you to know the ideal type of speaker to hire from a speakers’ bureau.
2. Prepare for the date, time and budget
It is advisable to start looking for a speaker early enough since many of them have busy schedules. As soon asyour date is decided, start looking for a speaker.
Convey your program timing to your speakers’ bureau in advance and where possible, you should be able to work out the most convenient timing. A professional speaker can also help you allot time to the programs as well as arrange the order of topics and other content. For instance, you may not want to follow a humorous presentation with a long educational presentation.
Work out your budget and narrow down or broaden your search based on your budget.
3. Identify the right speakers
High price and popularity should not be the yardstick for identifying the right speaker. Look for an expert in your particular field of need. Again, ask your speakers’ bureau for helpful suggestions.
4. Use your contacts and resources
Recommendations from colleagues are useful to get a good speaker, as well as specific choices from your speakers’ bureau.
5. Get to know your speaker selections
Find a speaker who has spoken to groups similar to yours. Ask about their experience and request for testimonials and biography, including videos of their past performances. Find out from these speakers whether they are members of professional bodies. You can ask for permission from the speakers to attend their programs and observe them while presenting. Many times, your speakers’ bureau can also help you with these.
6. Selecting your speakers
It is advisable to hire a good professional to minimise risk. The fee you pay to a professional is not just for the time spent on stage. You are also paying for the long hours spent on research and preparation for the presentation.
7. Put it in black and white
Put your agreement in writing, outlining your expectations such as:
8. Prepare your speaker
Share relevant and useful information about your group with your speaker and give him or her a good insight about your target audience. Inform your speaker of other speakers on the program to enable him to customise his presentation and avoid duplication.
9. Set the stage
Make sure the stage is properly set including lighting and audio/video equipment. And ensure you stay on schedule.
10. Evaluate the result
Evaluate your result by allowing your audience to assess the speaker and his or her presentation. Forward copies of the evaluation to your speakers’ bureau. Evaluation is necessary for future planning of similar programs.
A speakers’ agency or bureau is a business which sources professional speakers for event planners, organisers and companies. The work of a speakers’ bureau is the most important element in hosting a successful event. A reliable agency will save you time and money and reduce the risk involved in finding a good speaker for your company or client.
A speakers’ agency helps an event organiser to locate and book speakers according to specific requirements and needs. An agency can locate good speakers and also quote fees. Some speakers’ agencies specialise in particular areas such as authors, celebrities, business speakers and sporting speakers. Other agencies handle hundreds of general speakers.
It’s important to choose and work with a reliable speakers’ agency; avoiding the hassle involved with cheaper options. Recommendations from friends and colleagues who know about leading speaking agencies could be a useful way of finding your ideal speakers’ agency. You can also confirm the authenticity and credibility of an agency you see on the internet or offline from a reputable speaker or presenter. It is advisable to contact a speakers’ bureau immediately after you have established the date and budget for your event. When you begin to look for a speaker with enough time notice, you are more likely to find a good one. Most good speakers normally have busy schedules.
A speakers’ agency cannot work successfully in isolation. You must supply them with the right information to enable them match your event with the perfect speaker. An experienced agency will partner you within this process. They collect relevant information through an online form or by asking specific questions by phone or by e-mail. They want to know what you want them to accomplish for you. The objective or aim of your event should be communicated to them with a clear brief. Your audience requirements and budget range should also be specified. You can request for a speaker who has spoken to a similar audience as yours - on similar or the same subject matter if required by you.
If you need a speakers’ bureau you can rely on, we are happy to help. On our list are outstanding speakers who have performed excellently at conferences, in meetings and conventions as motivational, business or other guest speakers.
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