3 Keys to Great Speaker Selection: Preparation, Delivery, Interactivity
Sep 19, 2011 by DeDe Mulligan
speakerWhat does a great speaker look and sound like? It is often hard to put into words, but we usually know when we find them. Besides wonderful peer reviews, it is important to have a checklist of things to ask your speaker during the interview process. Before signing a contract with them, consider the following questions as a useful speaker’s guide.    

Preparation

  1. How much time does it take to prepare their presentation?
  2. How do they tailor their presentation to the audience demographics and needs? Ideally, you want to hire a speaker that asks a lot of questions about your meeting and tailors their talk to meet the attendees’ needs. 
  3. What is the key message?
  4. Do they integrate stories and facts into the presentation? What research are their facts based on? A thought leader is going to impress their audience. Having someone that can "dive deep" into subject matter content is what attendees are demanding. 
  5. Are they using Powerpoint and/or other AV equipment? If so, what presentation services audio visual equipment do they require? Make sure to get this in writing. 
  6. How long do they rehearse their presentation? You definitely don’t want someone to "wing it" but a presentation given by rote is not effective either. Somewhere in between is good. 
  7. Are they willing to come 1 to 2 hours before their presentation time to test and run through the Powerpoint presentation equipment? If they are not willing to come early and test the equipment, don’t hire them. Since technology is so important to the success of most meetings, it is vital the speaker come early, run through their presentation, and meet the AV support staff.
Delivery
  1. Do they have presentation videos or can you see them live at another meeting? Check out their videos and have others from your organization do the same. See them live, if possible, so you can read the audience and experience first-hand the energy in the room. 
  2. Are they reading from the PowerPoint slides or their notes? This shows a huge lack of preparedness. 
  3. Does their presentation seem mechanical, spontaneous or somewhere in between?
  4. How is the speaker engaging the audience? Look to the body language of the audience and see if they are leaning in, smiling, or nodding their heads. 
  5. Does the speaker have lots of energy and enthusiasm?
  6. Do they have too many Powerpoint slides for the time allotment? This is one area where you can step in, before they get there, and tighten or eliminate some slides.
  1. Is the speaker willing to come early, stay late, and attend conference networking events?
  2. Are they willing to "go with the flow" during their talk?
  3. Do they ask the audience questions throughout the presentation? If so, make certain you have the right sound and lighting rental service so the presenter can both see and hear the attendee.
More than anything else, understand what your attendees want to learn about. Focus on your audience members’ needs first and then make certain you have the absolute best presenter to meet those needs. 

Are you event planning in California? AV Event Solutions can provide your event organization with high quality LCD displays, projector and screen rentals, microphones, and lighting. Give them a call today or request Express Quote if you know what gear your speaker needs. 

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