Planning a corporate retreat, organising a company-wide series of meetings or orchestrating a convention or conference is a process which requires an individual or a team to fine-tune thousands of details ranging from booking a conference space, organising catering, creating a schedule, and perhaps most importantly, finding the perfect guest speaker to accent and punctuate the themes you want to communicate to your organisation.
Though your colleagues may rave about your choice of food for the weekend or the venue you booked, this type of praise is fleeting. A year or two from now, those details will fade, save for the occasional mention of “that beef Wellington that one year” or “that one hotel we stayed at during the convention”.
The best way to make a lasting impact on your team is to invest in a speaker whose message revitalises your audience in the moment of his or her presentation and whose message reverberates into the future in such a way that their words and philosophies create a ripple affect in your business.
Knowing how important that is to a CEO who wants to transform his company culture, a secretary who wants to meet the boss' expectations or the conference organiser who desires a memorable event not easily forgotten, we've researched a list of four reasons why hiring a high-level guest speaker is one of the best investments you can make as you budget and plan for your next event:
Contracting a well known speaker is well worth the money. Simply by using the speaker's name in promotional materials to employees and to the communities associated with your business, excitement will build and your brand shine mores brightly in the months and weeks leading up to your conference or seminar.
Your guest speaker communicates something about who your company is and what it wants to do with its future. A forward-thinking choice for your next conference expresses a forward-thinking company. A confusing choice for your next keynote speaker communicates a lack of clear vision.
When you choose a well-known, talented speaker for your conference you're communicating something important to your audience: you care about them. You want your organisation’s employees to feel like your choice for your next guest speaker is a reflection of your concern about their level of motivation and satisfaction.
Mike Agron, a presentations expert and guest speaker for many well-known companies, said in a 2011 interview that success hinges on this principle of speakers whose background and experiences meet the needs of your audience: “Any successful event, live or virtual, puts the needs of the audience as the #1 focus.”
The majority of keynote speakers give their best effort to inspire audiences through laughter, introspection or challenging narratives of difficulty and triumph. In many ways, these speakers live and die by their ability to inspire.
The best speakers aren't just the ones with the famous names and the accolades; they've learned how to tug at the emotions of companies and organisations. They understand a business mindset and have crafted their presentations within the context of that mindset. Therefore, what you get from their presentations is premium content specifically designed to inspire.
In a 2011 article for Forbes, communications expert and renowned public speaking coach Nick Morgan pointed out the power of inspiration in relation to a business-conference setting: “Especially in the business world, clients tell me all the time that they're uncomfortable with emotion. They don't want to 'go there.' If you want to inspire, you have to tug at the emotions. It can't be done any other way.”
To this day, Steve Jobs' speeches make the rounds on YouTube and Facebook because the late Apple CEO had become an expert (among other things) in inspiring others to greatness.
What is the result of inspiration? Action, and for the company who wants to find that missing component to their forward movement, a well-chosen convention speaker can help them discover it. In a 2013 Forbes article, speaking coach Nick Morgan emphasised this point when asked what a keynote speaker can really accomplish at a convention or conference.
Here's his reply: “A keynote speaker is a temporary tribal leader who can move an audience to action. A keynote speaker has the opportunity to take an audience on an intellectual and emotional journey that can propel an audience to a new place, position, or outlook. People only take action because of other people, and a keynote speaker has a unique opportunity to do exactly that.”