One of the biggest pieces of any successful event is the speaker. The speaker will either be a complete grand slam, leaving the audience with something to talk about, or they will be some version of a dud, leaving the audience with something to talk about.

And you ALWAYS want the audience to have great things to say about your event.

But finding the perfect speaker can be difficult. If you haven’t found the perfect speaker, these tips might help.

  1. Check your budget.

You can’t hire Bill Gates if your budget won’t allow it. And while some people equate high price with better quality, that’s not always the case. Alternatively, a good speaker might be worth shaving a little off of other areas in the budget. Ultimately, your event budget is a reflection of your priorities. If you think a powerful speaker is important, budget appropriately.

  1. Keep your audience in mind.

Does the speaker fit the overall tone of the event? Will the speaker share information or knowledge that your audience will love? It’s important to keep in mind what you want out of the speaker.

  1. Do your research.

Don’t just do a Google search. Dig deeper. Ask for at least 2-3 references from their past events, and be sure to follow up. Nowadays, nearly every speaker should have videos of past events available for your review. Take the time to chat with the speaker yourself for 10-15 minutes, either in person, over the phone or via Skype or another online conferencing method. If you have a few speakers on your wish list, schedule calls with 2-3 of the top candidates.

  1. Book early.

This is especially important if you have a particular speaker you want to hire for your event. Good speakers can be scheduled far in advance, so spend the time early in the planning stages to snag them. When looking for availability, be sure to factor in travel time for the speaker. You don’t want to book someone who won’t be able to make the event because they can’t get to it in time.

  1. Share your knowledge.

Even a great speaker will need to know about your event, your audience, and what you want to get from them. Otherwise, they won’t be able to perform at their best. In a perfect world, the speaker would have a chance to talk to a few participants before the event, to get a better sense of how to shape their talk. If that isn’t possible, give them as much information as you can:

  • What kind of event is it?
  • Who will the audience be?
  • Do you want them to educate/inform or entertain the audience?

Speakers can make or break your event. Take the time to be sure the one you hire will knock their socks off!