Keynote speakers who have mastered the art of speaking – how did they do it?
As an event organiser you may want to know more about the speakers you may book in the future. You might want to get a glimpse into their world and what they have done to become great at what they do… you might also want to be able to spot the “wannabes” quicker.
Many speakers aim high. They see the fees and believe they can earn the £5k, £10k or £20k plus fees. And some will. But most won’t. As an event organiser you will want to sidestep the wannabes because they will likely offer less depth and a return on investment.
Which speakers will you pay the most for?
Speakers who command higher fees have already completed hours of diligent effort in their area of expertise and all that effort has now paid off and they have reached a level of celebrity status. Because celebrities are known, they are usually in demand. They include: TV or radio personalities, politicians, sports personalities, industry influencers and more.
From time-to-time you may come across a speaker with obvious charisma. This kind of speaker can often go reasonably far locally or within an industry, and if they work hard on their speaking career, in time, they can become very popular on the speaking circuit and command higher fees.
How does a speaker become renowned for their topic?
As a speaker agency we are only interested in speakers who are change-makers. This means our speakers have something deep and meaningful to share based on their experience, knowledge and research. Our speakers don’t just speak because it earns them a living, they speak to make an impact and to leave a legacy.
Because our speakers care they have developed their methodology into something deep. They didn’t just skim the surface or regurgitate someone else’s work. They got obsessed. They research, read books, attended conferences, interviewed experts, developed theories, tested them on individuals and tested them in groups. They wrote blogs, uploaded videos, build a framework of keynotes, talks, workshops and trainings and have sometimes written a series of books.
Here are two Stellar examples:
Richard Barrett is an example of a speaker who has developed his methodology deeply. Known as the “values driven leader” he speaks internationally on leadership, values and culture. He developed Cultural Transformation Tools which have been used in 7000 organisations and he didn’t just build his methodology her perfected it and trained 6,000 change agents.
Dave Coplin is an example of a speaker who has immersed himself in their industry. He built his knowledge over 25 years working in the tech industry, for several big tech companies including Microsoft becoming their chief envisioning officer. It’s given Dave the insight to re-envision how tech can be used which he discusses in his podcasts, books and keynotes.
Janey Lee Grace is the wellness publicist with several best-selling books to her name. A radio two presenter and former backing singer with George Michael, she admits she used to wake up at 3am, hating herself for drinking too much. She didn’t just quit drinking, she learnt wellness techniques and trained as a wellbeing coach, then created a whole movement. Her podcasts downloads now exceed 200k and her Facebook group has grown beyond 5000 members.
In short, before a quality keynote speaker turns up at your event, they’ve done the hours to create a deep understanding about a subject that your audience will get the benefit of. When they talk about their subject, you’ll know they know it. And that’s why they are in demand!
How does a speaker become a great speaker?
In the same way a speaker obsesses over their topic, they obsess over their ability to speak. They’ve gone beyond the genius who can’t explain their genius. They’ve gone beyond being so excited they can’t get their words out and they have mastered how to get and hold the interest and attention of an audience.
As speakers they have honed their craft. They’ve gone beyond knowing how to construct the beginning, middle and end of a presentation. They’ve worked on how to build engagement and interaction, developed their own style, got training, learned about the speaking process, delivering content, voice projection, stagecraft, storytelling and more.
The Beetles played their 10,000 hours in Germany before becoming famous and speakers have likewise practiced, practiced and practiced and invested in getting better from coaches and mentors.
As with knowing their topic, a speaker developing their art as a speaker takes time, discipline and hard work. As their presentation became more succinct and better communicated audiences walked away with a clearer understanding and recommendation and referrals began to go to the speaker with increasing regularity, placing greater demand on their time and requiring to price that time at a higher premium.
Why does one great speaker get booked more than others?
If you’ve booked a few speakers, you’ll recognise the answer to this one. Person A attends an event. After they leave, they speak to you because they think the speaker will be a perfect for your event. A gives you a business card as a reference point. You research the speaker, but can’t see the connection person A saw. At this point you might rule the speaker out, because you didn’t have the assets in place that would have helped you make a decision – assets like a showreel, photography a bio and clearly laid out keynote topics. If you persist with this speaker, it’s likely only because the person who recommended the speaker is a good friend or trusted peer. The reality is however, your research leads you to another speaker who has everything you need.
A speaker who is booked regularly will have what we call speaker assets in place that will help you feel confident in your choice of speaker. These assets will let you see who the speaker is, what they stand for, and showcase their expertise, knowledge, ability and topics.
Building speaker assets is probably the easiest of all the things a speaker needs to do. Some will put these speaker assets in place early, while others will leave it late. There are some tell-tale signs in a speaker’s assets that will help a booker know how experienced a speaker is. These can be found in the speaker’s bio or in their testimonials.
All the speakers listed in the Stellar Speaker speakers directory have been through the process of developing their topic, their speaking ability and their assets.
We believe all keynote speakers should be Stellar Speakers – able to entertain, connect with an audience and make a positive impact. As a unique speaker agency representing change-making keynote speakers, we provide expertise to help you manage your budgetary expectations and provide realistic options. We provide a preferred partner’s service base, so that partner clients get everything they need, lowering your risk as a booker of speakers, so you can make your choice about your next speaker with confidence.