Find the right expert for your next event
Make sure the speaker goes beyond the “canned” presentation.
An expert who speaks goes beyond what he or she thinks is relevant and focuses on what your audience deems relevant. So not only will the speaker get to know your attendees, but he or she will also tailor the presentation to your group’s needs. Unfortunately, many expert speakers don’t focus on the message the audience needs to hear. Rather, they give the same presentation to every group, regardless of the group’s dynamics or special circumstances. An expert who speaks may have some stock material, but he or she frames that material in a way that resonates with a particular audience.
Know what you really need.
What kind of expertise are you looking for? Realize that the expertise you want from your speaker isn’t always technical or industry specific. For example, if you’re trying to get a group of banking professionals through a time of tough change, it may be better to bring in a change expert rather than a banking expert. Expertise in “change” can come from a variety of scenarios. Chad Hymas is a speaker who survived a horrific accident that left him a quadriplegic (talk about a major life change!). As a result, he has powerful insights on how to handle disruptive change and turn it into a positive. Often, you’ll find that the speaker’s personal life story can do as much to inspire your audience toward the goals of the meeting as the specific “how-to” oriented words they offer.
Don’t forget the “speak” part.
Getting the world’s foremost expert in a particular topic could be a huge mistake if the speaker can’t deliver their knowledge in a way that engages your audience. Of course we’d all love to find the leading expert in the field who also happens to have incredible platform skills. But that’s a rare find. If you have to give something up, it’s usually safer to err in favor of speaking skills and give up some technical expertise. An engaging speaker with a little less technical knowledge is a better choice than someone with the deepest technical knowledge and a sleep-inducing delivery.
Your Expert is Waiting
Experts come in all flavors: Some speak, some are authors, some are CEOs or entrepreneurs, some have navigated a major life or business challenge, etc. However, just because someone calls him or herself an expert doesn’t mean that person is one. The title of “expert” is never self-proclaimed. Rather, it’s a descriptor bestowed on a person from outsiders. So always ask around and find out what others are really saying about a particular speaker you’re considering.