When planning an event, there is no substitute for an engaging speaker. No matter how effective you are at scheduling, decoration, and sound design, audiences will get little out of it without a skilled presenter to listen to. It is thus crucial to vet potential speakers, looking for:
Consistent Eye Contact
Eye contact is critical to giving an engaged, inviting speech. If the speaker stares at the floor or wall, they will convey a lack of confidence. The audience will thus have no reason to take them seriously, assuming that they are not confident because they do not really understand or believe in what they are saying. When interviewing and assessing potential speakers, pay attention to how well the candidates make and maintain eye contact.
No matter how carefully a speaker prepares for your event, something can always go wrong, disrupting the speech. The best speakers are those who know how to improvise in difficult situations, coming up with new material on the spot if something planned did not work out. If you have the chance to listen to speakers while evaluating them, try disrupting their performance and see how they respond. The better they’re able to handle interruptions and distractions in stride, the more they will add to your event.
Learning is always a dynamic process, and no successful speaker should assume that their past knowledge on a topic will be valid indefinitely. When evaluating speakers, ask them what they do to stay up-to-date on their area of expertise. Speakers who stay engaged with their topic and constantly strive to educate themselves will be able to offer your audience more valuable information. Pay particular attention to how the speaker addresses controversies in their field. The best speakers will be able to articulate controversies in detail, expressing their own opinions while showing respect for those who disagree.
Modern technology provides a myriad of opportunities to enhance speeches. While no speaker should be dependent on new devices, those who know how to use them demonstrate a commitment to improving their craft by any means necessary. Look for speakers with experience using a wide variety of different devices. Ask candidates what technologies they have used in the past, how they used them and what the benefit was for their speech. The more varied and specific their answer is, the more committed they are to giving excellent speeches.
A commitment to improving one’s craft means not only adopting new devices, but also listening to feedback from past audiences. When assessing a potential speaker, try to get a sense of how they engage with previous listeners. In addition to asking them this directly, you should also look at their social media posts, the comment section of their websites and anywhere else they might communicate with audiences. The best speakers take feedback to heart and make improvements accordingly.
The Power Of Passion
The single most important quality in a speaker is passion for the subject they speak about. Audiences can tell whether a speaker cares about their topic, and are more likely to trust and remember someone with an authentic interest. When considering speakers, ask them how they became interested in their topic of choice. The more engaged and detailed their answer, the more passionate they are.
Premier Meeting Services offers the advice and support you need for an engaging event. For more information on selecting speakers, vetting venues, and developing a schedule, visit our website today.