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How to choose a keynote speaker to your event.

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Posted on June 13, 2019

So how do you choose a keynote speaker for your corporate event? Check out these tips for a successful choice in your event planning:

A keynote speaker brings a lot of personality to an event. His/her photos will circulate around, creating buzz and highlighting their presence. Especially if we’re speaking about someone popular, who can help a lot on engaging the event audience.


difference between time and theory

1. What brings more value: a keynote speaker with market experience or theoretical knowledge?

When you have a broad knowledge of the purpose of an event, any decision becomes much more intuitive. And this includes the decision of the keynote speaker profile to connect with your audience and maximize the results.

Begin by identifying general aspects. Is it an event that talks about leadership, emotional intelligence or self-knowledge? These soft skills can be developed by professionals from any area. On the other hand, if there is a need to provide technical content, even in pills or in the form of inspiration, a specialist authority in the field might be needed. This is the case of pharmaceutical or medical events, for example.

Philip Kotler states in his classic book Marketing Management that “an event becomes a relevant experience as the consumer becomes personally involved.” Remember, at all times of your event planning, to put yourself in the place of your audience. Set the goal correctly and drastically eliminate the chances of making mistakes in the choice of speakers.


girl with a polaroid picture

2. Speaker = influencer?


It is easy to be tempted to choose a speaker by the audience that he can bring to your event. However, how do you balance great personalities with great content, optimizing marketing for events?

Your speaker’s fame is undoubtedly a validation for the event. But what ensures that it will bring the insights that the public expects? Or even that his/her popularity will not be a distracting factor?

A quick search on Google shows how celebrities are getting into lectures and TEDx’s constantly. Those are events that talk about innovation, leadership and content marketing, so it is possible to count on an influencer speaker who can also engage on promoting the event, besides having relevant experience to share with the audience.

Celebrities can be great communicators. What you need to keep in mind when making this choice is: during a talk, the keynote speaker and his audience engage in a relationship. So what makes a speaker ideal? Does he / she have something unique to say? Does he / she know how to build the story in a sequential way that enchants and makes the people in the audience feel like they belong? Or will it be another packed speech, delivered in the robotic form of a monologue?

An interesting alternative is to invite influencers to make the buzz, but as viewers. You can hire them to share their experiences on their social media networks.


target audience

3. Know your audience.

Deeply understanding your audience is an essential part of the process of choosing a keynote speaker. In fact, understanding your audience is key to any product development. Know your audience widely, from inside out and upside down, if necessary.

What is the pain of your audience for which your event has the remedy? There are speakers who really know how to speak and, even if they do not get anywhere, they can provide a sense of satisfaction. And there are intellectuals of many areas who have not yet discovered themselves as speakers.

Both are complementary skills, it’s true. If your candidates carry charisma and technique, you’re in a good way to find a speaker.

When in doubt, ask what topics people want to understand better. From the topics your audience wants to see, it’s easier to find someone who has the knowledge to talk about it. Use features like Instagram Stories poll or Twitter. Open space LinkedIn or Facebook to listen to your audience. In addition to being able to understand what your audience wants, you still broaden the audience engagement on your social networks.


man taking a selfie picture

4. The keynote speaker needs to engage with people.

In the boom of the event industry, being able to count on the biggest speakers is tempting. They transfer their credibility and size to the event. But are they always the best choice?

The keynote speaker is, above all, a person you can count on. He must demonstrate professionalism, commitment and credibility. Choose someone who engages with your event in every way, both helping to spread it on their social networks and bringing relevant themes to the discussion that will be established.

Finally, the ideal speaker is well organized and has a plan, but this does not eliminate the need for improvisation. A technical fault or an embarrassing situation can always happen. And then, whoever is on the stage will be the face and personality associated with your event and your brand.

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Don’t forget to check these other essential checklists to master event planning skills:


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