Sarah Halfpenny Events

How to find Confident, Credible Speakers who deliver great Content


by Sarah Halfpenny

Sourcing good speakers takes time – don’t skip the research phase

All to often I attend events that cover exciting topics, new innovations and provide the opportunity to discuss different issues and themes but somehow the presenters fail to deliver, resulting in poor delegate feedback.

The main cause of negative feedback about speakers is that they fail to deliver clear and concise presentations, they drift outside the set topic parameters, the tone and pitch was not suitable for the audience and they lacked passion and enthusiasm in their delivery.

To avoid negative feedback about your speakers in the future, follow these few guiding principles

Do your research.

Whether that’s through desk top research or asking your network of contacts, without it you won’t go through the necessary checks and balances. Contact those who can provide advice on potential speakers and seek recommendations based on other people’s positive experiences. Its also worth finding event reviews which may highlight some positive testimonials that will help your shortlisting process.

Clarify and check your research.

Throughout your research stage you should be checking to see if your shortlist of speakers are qualified and able to deliver on your topic with confidence. So check their credibility and knowledge. Have they been quoted in the press and trade magazines; Have they been interviewed on the topic? Are they active on LinkedIn and does their profile stack up and show their experience?

Can they deliver with enthusiasm? Have they presented before or are they speaking at another event? Do they come across with energy and passion? Perhaps you could go and see how they present first hand.

Have they been filmed at other events or for interviews, this will provide you with some insight into how they will most likely come across to your audience. In addition, its important to not only assess how they present but the clarity of their content, so are they being clear in what they are saying and will the audience understand and keep up?

Sometimes though a topic is so new that it can be difficult to identify the right person and seek the evidence to prove someone is credible. This is often when a direct phone call and meeting may be necessary to determine if you have found the right person.

Make an assessment based on your research

Once your research is complete you can start to make an assessment by asking yourself; Is this potential speaker credible and knowledgeable enough to speak on the topic? Are they going to hold the attention of the room, be animated, energetic and enthusiastic? And do they have the ability to produce and present content in a clear and confident manner?

If the answer is YES then you can proceed with confidence that the speaker will help you deliver on your objectives and ensure positive delegate feedback.