At the point of deciding on your next event, weigh up the pros and cons of hiring a keynote speaker.
In some instances, it may be that your organisation has a big enough, expert enough talent pool to draw from that can share information with your people in an engaging way. However, that’s not always the case.
It goes without saying that any event requires a speaker who will engage your audience, regardless of the type of session. Failure to gain engagement could mean the audience will tune out and fail to absorb the content. Since people are giving up valuable productive time to attend, it’s important to the individuals attending and the organisation that the person speaking, grabs and keeps the audience’s attention.
The pros of hiring a keynote speaker
Here are the Pros for hiring a keynote speaker:
1. Energy – A professional keynote speaker brings energy, engagement, entertainment, inspiration and motivation. They have a clear and easy way of communicating, that grabs the audience’s attention and keeps it. When you book a keynote speaker you do not have to worry about their speaking ability!
2. Clarity – Keynote speakers are expert communicators. You give the keynote speaker a brief and they build their keynote around that brief, making sure their content is relevant to the event theme, topic, and audience’s needs and communicated clearly.
3. Fresh perspective – When you hire a keynote speaker you will change things up because an outside speaker, brings in a fresh perspective. If you choose to use an internal speaker, many people will know that person and perhaps already have heard everything they have to say on a topic. As a result, the audience may be disengaged even before that speaker takes the stage.
4. Build enthusiasm – Many businesses go through challenging times and transitions, at which point enthusiasm may be low. A keynote speaker can help fire people up and start to help them look at the future in new and brighter ways.
5. Adding buzz – A big-name speaker, a celebrity, industry or thought leader is an excellent tactic for generating buzz around an event. When attendees have something to look forward to, they arrive with a higher level of excitement and engagement that can carry through the entire event.
6. Investment in people – When you hire an outside speaker you are demonstrating that you are willing to invest in your people and that you are an outward-looking company, engaged in understanding market and world trends and will help educate your people and help them grow. There are a number of ways keynote speakers can help an organisation to show this investment in its people.
The cons of hiring a keynote speaker
Above we’ve given you some excellent reasons for hiring a keynote speaker, below we’ve listed the drawbacks:
1. Budget – Event speakers can cost a lot of money and the question many event organisers will have is, where can you get the return on investment from the fee invested? We would argue that this comes down to the planning. For example, if the investment in the speaker is part of an annual plan or project then it helps the people or organisation get better at something or address an issue. The keynote speaker then becomes more valuable, because they are bringing in a perspective, understanding or learning that deepens the impact of the other training and development going on.
2. Misalignment – On occasions, a speaker may not align to the event or company goals or values. If this is the case, the issue isn’t so much with the speaker, it’s in the event planning. A professional keynote speaker will want to understand the event goals and your company values before taking the stage. They will have some knowledge of your business and what it does for its customers. If the event plan is clear in terms of the theme, topic and session outcomes, misalignment should never be an issue, if you are hiring a keynote speaker via an agency.
3. Not motivational or inspiring – Some speakers are better than others. Professional speakers are better than public speakers; experienced speakers are better than novices. If you spend more than £5,000 you should expect a professional, someone who knows their topic exceptionally well and is a subject matter expert. You would also expect they are well trained in speaking and can put their topic across with ease and clarity. If you book through an agency, you will remove the issue of the speaker not giving the wow factor you will almost certainly be looking for.
We hope the pros and cons listed above will help you when it comes to hiring a keynote speaker for your next event.
Please also check out our ultimate guide to finding the right key note speaker for your event
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.