Should you bring in an external speaker or not? That’s the question…
Your annual conference is on the horizon and the CEO or MD is once again suggesting they take on the task of giving the keynote address. The problem is, you know from feedback, that the staff and teams would prefer a speaker who can give them a new perspective or something more inspiring.
What’s more is every event organiser knows the whole idea of an event is to create something memorable that truly engages the staff, makes them want to be part of the business’s future and ignites their passion or genius in some way.
Why the team has grown restless…
Employees get used to the voice and same messages from the senior leadership. They may feel it’s the same old, same old. If they feel like this, they are never going to feel inspired when they come into work and they are certainly not going to do their best, most imaginative or creative work.
When the CEO takes the stage each year, the team may already be bracing themselves for the same message said in the same, or slightly original way. They can see the business isn’t hearing outside influence, isn’t getting fresh perspectives and is essentially just listening to itself. It’s closed off from the industry and the world.
Like the company, the employees may feel they are part of a business that is just treading water.
Change is inevitable… and you have to meet it head-on
How a company rises to meet inevitable changes defines its future. Today, we are dealing with issues like:
- Diversity, equality and inclusion
- Huge economic change
- Tech advancement
- Changes to individuals’ values effecting who wants to work where
- Shift to a green economy
- A need for greater care surrounding mental health and well-being
Companies addressing these topics with their employees and learning or having an open dialogue on these issues will show themselves to be leaders and will increase employee buy-in, leading to greater loyalty and reduction in recruitment and training costs, and will be able to divert budget to training for growth.
To give an example, Manifest.com claims 87% of employees across the world are not engaged, resulting in $450 billion productivity losses!
Because the issues facing leaders are so diverse, and because inviting dialogue with employees can lead into sensitive areas, it’s always important to hire in professionals who already know the issues likely to crop up. Professional keynote speakers and facilitators even know how to head off objections and even lead the discussions in fruitful conclusions. In many cases they’ll also be able to highlight areas of contention and ask you how you would best like to handle it.
The fear of being undermined
Many CEO’s fear that by allowing an external speaker into their organisation for their event will lead to their direction being undermined. This isn’t the role of a keynote speaker. In fact, booking a keynote speaker shows a leader to be open-minded, having the best interests of the business at heart, and want to discover the best and most innovative ways forward – admirable qualities you want to see in any leader.
A keynote speaker brings in a fresh perspective. This may be an industry-wide perspective or it could be across multiple industries or nations. Keynote speakers are vastly experienced and successful individuals who have usually achieved great things. They want to share their knowledge, insights and the trends they see.
External keynote speakers also have methodologies and key phrases that can be used to galvanise a team through a launch or a project, adding great resilience and steels as well igniting a stronger can-do attitude.
Since Covid-19 lockdowns, people’s values have changed. While pay is always going to have some importance, other issues are now also high on the agenda. Good employers leading the way with the list given in bullet points (above) will keep and attract the best people to a business. Those failing to do so will find themselves struggling to keep people and hire, affecting continuity and profits.
More than anything a guest speaker will bring people together, with stories, demonstrations, anecdotes and methodologies.
Aren’t external speaker fees outrageous?
Are speaker’s fees huge? Not necessarily. It depends on what you want or need. Professional speaker’s rates usually start at around £5,000 per keynote. This isn’t a lot of money when you consider the good they will bring you.
What a CEO or MD has to keep in mind when they bring in an outside speaker is that people listen differently to an outside speaker. They open their minds to their ideas, their expertise and their passion. It’s like when a parent tells a child what to do 10 times. The child ignores the parent, then a teacher or coach or peer says the same thing and they do it.
Outside speakers disarm audiences. People are more willing to ask them questions and voice opinions that they won’t voice to the CEO or any of the leadership team. They can spark conversations that won’t happen without them.
Imagine a business spends just £10,000 on a speaker. If the business turnover is just one million a year and as a result of your next event engagement and effectiveness or staff turnover shifts by anything above 1% and you will get a return on your investment!
At Stellar Speakers, we help you find speakers who can talk on subjects that are important to your organisation. Because we represent them, and because they bespoke their keynotes, we know you will get value for money. You will not get “canned” speeches. You’ll get something tailored to your needs and your event.
Our speakers will spend time with you before an event to get a good brief from you including the outcomes you most want. Our speakers also expect to hang around after their keynote and will often chat with delegates, do podcast interviews and add a bit more value for you.
Finding an external speaker with a speaker agency
Stellar speakers are 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 external speaker with confidence.
For more information contact: https://stellarspeakers.com/contact-us/