Questions to Ask When Hiring a Leadership Keynote Speaker
Do you want a list of the best questions to ask when hiring a leadership keynote speaker? Then you came to right place. As a leadership keynote speaker myself, who has also hired speakers and planned events, I understand the critical role a leadership keynote speaker plays in making your event a success – and making you look good! Furthermore, as a longtime member of The National Speakers Association, I’m familiar with what separates the best speakers from the rest. Here are dozens of the best questions to ask when hiring a leadership keynote speaker, to ensure you get the best…
Hire experts but ensure they are humble, helpful, and flexibleConsider the interview process similar to hiring an employeeHow you ask the questions mattersGet the best questions below
Event planners need to hire the perfect speaker. The pressure is on!
Here are the best questions to ask when hiring a leadership keynote speaker.
Industry Experience Questions
1. Do you experience applying what you teach in the workplace?
2. Have you worked in our specific field / industry?
3. Have you spoken to audiences similar to our industry?
4. How do you stay on top of new and emerging trends in the industry?
Speaking Experience Questions
1. How long have you been speaking?
2. Do you have video samples of your talks – especially any clips relevant to this specific topic?
3. How do you measure success of each talk?
4. How do you stay on top of new and emerging trends in the speaking and events industry?
1. What professional speaking credentials do you have?
2. What other credentials do you have?
Do you have an MBA, Masters Degree, or relevant technical certifications?
3. Do you have a published book?
If yes, will you provide free copies or sell copies after the talk?
4. Do you have a blog or other publications?
If yes, will you use the publications to promote our event?
5. Who owns the content after the event?
For example: may any recording of the talk be used or shared by our organization?
The eSpeakers Virtual Presenter Badge is one example of a great professional credential.
1. How do you describe your delivery style?
2. What media formats do you use in your delivery?
Image slides?Text slides?Videos?Audio clips? Physical props?
3. If your presentation was rated like a movie, what rating would it receive (G, PG, PG-13, R, NC17, or in Europe U, PG, 12-A, 15, 18…)?
4. Do you prefer to stand at a podium, walk the stage, or walk out among the audience?
5. How do you ensure consideration of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEI&A) matters in your presentations?
6. What do you usually wear when you speak and will you customize it for our audience?
7. In the case of a technical meltdown, are you able to deliver your presentation without slides or a confidence monitor?
8. How would you describe the ideal audience?
9. How would you describe the least ideal audience?
10. Can you describe your virtual presentation tools, technology, studio, and comfort level?
1. Do your fees include only the talk or participation in the event for the full day?
2. Are you willing to also engage in a breakout session, executive luncheon, Q&A, panel discussion, or similar additional activities?
3. In the case of unforeseen circumstances, can you quickly shift from in person to a virtual presentation?
1. How do you customize your presentation to each audience?
2. Do you customize materials (handouts, web links, slides) to each audience?
3. How do you familiarize yourself with client industries and audiences ahead of the event?
4. How do you engage with the audience immediately after the talk, while still at the event?
5. How do you engage with attendees after the event is over?
6. Do you offer virtual sessions with attendees before or after the event?
1. How do you engage the audience during your talk?
2. Does your audience engagement vary based on audience size?
3. What will be the takeaways for our attendees?
4. Have you ever encountered a difficult audience member and how did you handle the situation?
5. How do you engage attendees differently when online / virtual vs. in person or live?
How to Ask Your Questions
When asking these questions, remember to request examples. If you’ve hired employees before, the process is similar. Your prospective employee or speaker should come prepared with excellent answers. Ensuring the very best for your organization or event means expecting details and specific examples. For example, instead of asking simply, “Have you spoken to an audience of this size before?” Try asking, “Can you tell me of a time or two when you spoke to an audience of this size before? How did it go? Did you do anything different than when preparing for smaller audiences?”
What to Look For
Every event is different. However, I find most people in your shoes like speakers who are very engaging, yet humble, flexible, easy to work with, and aligned with your mission, vision, and values. Naturally, expertise and experience are important. So finding speakers who have worked in the trenches and applied what they teach helps them relate better to attendees. When choosing your speaker, don’t look only at the facts, but also their personality. Are they the type of keynote speaker who not only impresses you and your attendees but is also personable, engaging, and fun to work with?
QUESTION: What would you add to this list?
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