Speak to me: Getting it right every time

Heidi Gregory from ODE Management, which manages some of the world’s greatest disruptors, innovators and thought leaders explains the importance of getting the right speaker for your next event

Choosing the right speaker for your event can ensure the success of a conference as well as set the tone of an organisation’s culture, performance and productivity long after the event is over.

It is vital to be armed with the tools to select a speaker who meets your brief, inspires an audience, all while delivering an impactful presentation onstage.

Do your prep
Finding the best speaker requires preparation. To get started allow yourself plenty of time in the lead up to the event to prepare a speaker brief. Make sure you include the purpose of booking the speaker and outline any specific needs. Write a list of questions including, do you have a thorough understanding of the organisation booking the speaker? What’s the nature of the event, the theme and audience details? What is your budget, and are there any other parameters that will influence your decision?

Once you have completed your research and prepared a clear brief, you have choices. Do the legwork yourself by researching speakers through websites, blogs, social media, referrals and the like, or source an expert to support you in making the right decision. In seeking out an expert, look for someone with credibility, product knowledge, and a commitment to finding you the perfect speaker match. Make time to talk to the consultant on the phone or in person. A great consultant will be your primary support and someone whose opinion you need to trust. 

See them in action
If you are already working with a great consultant, they should provide you with a list of relevant speakers including links to speaker profiles, testimonials and footage of each speaker in action on stage. Ask the consultant to provide you with their personal thoughts as they may offer key insights based on their experience. Share the proposal with your colleagues, ask for feedback and select your top two to three speakers from the list.

Make contact
Once you have decided who your top speakers are, feel free to request more support. Coordinate a phone call with the speakers, or ask them to prepare a written or short video proposal. Through this process, you will get a feel for the style, tone and energy of the speaker in addition to how they will approach your brief. You will find with the support of your consultant this process will reveal who the right speaker is to wow your audience, create a fantastic event, while ensuring you look like a rock star!

When you have made your decision about which speaker you would like to book, relax and let your preferred consultant do the work! From contracting, to accounts, logistics to pre-event meetings and promotion, your consultant will provide you with everything you need, to ensure that your experience of booking a speaker is easy and efficient. But do make sure you also ask for additional information on workshops, topics, video programmes and books as these tools are designed to provide ongoing learning long after the event and may be valuable resources post event.

About the Author:
Heidi Gregory from ODE Management, a direct management office for some of the world’s greatest disruptors, innovators and thought leaders.
ODE is a member of the PCO Association