When it comes to putting on a memorable corporate event that people talk about for months, event planners know it all boils down to the speakers. Yes, the venue, catering, swag… those are all important to the success of your event. But the speakers are the stars of your show.

So how do you go about choosing the absolute best speakers for your corporate event?

The following tips will help you find highly credible speakers that will provide valuable information and inspire your audience:

  1. Think Like an Attendee

It’s important to think from your audience’s point of view. Why are they attending your event? What do they hope to learn? What motivates them and gets them inspired? The more you know about the people coming to your event, the better able you’ll be to select a speaker who aligns with their needs and expectations.

Consider sending out pre-event surveys to get a glimpse of what your audience hopes to achieve by coming to your event. You may also want to look at past events and some of the feedback you received to gauge your attendees’ reactions. And finally, talk with your sales team to see what kinds of questions, concerns and hesitations they receive from prospects. This can help inform you of what’s on your attendees’ mind.

  1. What Type of Speaker Will Suit Your Event Best?

There are four main types of corporate event speakers: Motivational, Informative, Instructional, and Entertaining.

  • Motivational – These speakers inspire audiences with impactful messaging. If you want your audience to take massive action, look for a motivational speaker.
  • Informative – These speakers are typically industry experts who wish to share their knowledge with others. If you want your audience to learn something new and useful, these are the guys and gals for you.
  • Instructional – These speakers offer “how-to” messaging and often give hands-on demonstrations. If you want your audience to pick up a new skill or engage with a new tool, consider hiring an instructive speaker for your event.
  • Entertaining – Everyone wants to be entertained. These speakers are ideal when you’re looking to connect groups of people. If you want humor, passion, and awesome personal stories, look for an entertaining speaker.

Now of course, many events require more than one speaker, so you may decide to have one of each of these to satisfy your crowd!

  1. Think in Terms of Cost VS Value

Reality requires us to hire speakers based on our budget. Sadly, because I’m sure we’d all hire Mark Cuban, Gary Vaynerchuk and the like.

So you’ve got to take a realistic look at your budget and determine, should you throw a lot of money at a celebrity speaker? For some with big budgets, this makes a lot of sense because a big name can significantly increase ticket sales.

But for some events and budgets, it makes more sense to go with a local, more affordable speaker who has a message that will very much resonate with your audience.

Something worth considering is that there are speaker willing to speak for FREE. Many industry experts are willing to forgo pay because your event will help them promote themselves. Sometimes, a new speaker is fantastic and has a great motivation message, but since they’re new, they offer their services for free to attract event planners.

If your event is on the long-ish side, requiring you to have multiple speakers to keep engagement up, you may want to think about hiring a couple of FREE speakers, then throwing your entire speaking budget at one very notable speaker. This can work very well for your event.


Where Can You FIND Awesome Corporate Event Speakers?

Now that you understand some important considerations for choosing the right speaker, we should also briefly discuss some of the ways to go about finding them. Here are some ideas to help get you started:

Scan Your own Network

LinkedIn is a great site to find prospective speakers. Go through your network to identify speakers who may align with your event’s goals.

Use a Speaker’s Website

The National Speakers Association is a great way to find speakers who specialize in big corporate events.

Issue a Call For Proposals

A call for proposals sends out the signal that you are looking for speakers. Interested speakers can directly submit their ideas for talks. You’ll end up with a large pool of qualified speakers to choose from.

Check with Industry Organizations

Many people in a variety of industries join industry organizations as a way to build their expertise and advance their careers. Many within these organizations are looking for speaking opportunities.

Local Universities

Professors can make ideal speakers so it’s a good idea to check with the universities in your area.

Local Nonprofits

Many nonprofit leaders are very comfortable speaking in front of groups. As a bonus, you can add a charitable component to your event, which can often draw a bigger crowd.


The Wrap

All aspects of your event are important, but none more important as the speakers you select. If you use this guide you will be able to find and choose speakers that fit your budget as well as your audience’s expectations!

And if you need any help with your next corporate event, please get in touch with us. We can help you with selecting speakers, caterers, venues and more!



Corporate Event Management
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