Do you know the right questions to ask a keynote speaker before you book them?
As every event planner knows, the wrong keynote speaker can sink an otherwise impeccably executed virtual event.
Picture this: Your theme is just right, the platform is on point, and your side presenters and events are on par with everything you want to achieve with your event. But at the moment when everyone takes a seat to watch the highlight of the whole event, the keynote speech, you find that your keynote speaker has the wrong tone and the message has fallen flat. And all your hard work will end on a sour note.
A bad keynote presentation will be the story your attendees take with them when they leave the virtual event.
To avoid this situation, it’s absolutely essential that you know the right questions to ask a guest speaker before you book them.
Six Questions to Ask a Keynote Speaker For Your Next Virtual Event
If you ask these questions for the guest speaker at the outset, you can hire the right person for your virtual event and avoid any mishaps.
1. How will you interact with the audience?
Virtual presentations don’t have the benefit of the energy of a live audience and speaker. So if you want your audience to feel involved and engaged in the content and message, your speaker needs to know a thing or two about how to interact with a virtual audience. One question to ask a guest speaker is how they have successfully engaged an audience with positive results. A bored audience will not speak well of your event, or at all. You definitely don’t want that!
2. How will you tailor your presentation to fit this particular audience?
It’s great that your speaker has a powerful message or an animated delivery. But one of the most important questions to ask a speaker is: How are you going to connect with my particular audience? A canned speech can only go so far to connect with people. But your audience all share a common thread, a reason for being there. So how is your keynote speaker going to connect with that reason?
3. What is the audience going to take away from this speech?
Every experience of value teaches a lesson or at least makes an audience member consider something they’ve never thought of before. So what will be the main takeaways from your keynote speaker’s presentation? Is this takeaway in line with the message, theme, and other content of your event? If this potential keynote speaker’s message is off point, you might want to consider someone else for your virtual event.
4. How will you market this event?
It’s important as a planner to know what sort of promotion this speaker will do for this event. Will their marketing clash with the tone or message of your event? Will it be on the brand? Are they open to letting you take over their marketing strategy for the event? As marketing is so important to the success of a virtual event, it’s really important to know how a speaker will go about it.
5. What do you know about this industry?
If a keynote speaker comes into an event with no knowledge of the industry of the people she’s presenting to, her presentation will come off as shallow and uninformed. She needs to be able to interact with the audience from at least a slightly informed place, and it would be nice if she could adjust her presentation to make sense in the context of that industry. If she can’t relate at all to the people she’s speaking to, she will seem ingenuine.
6. What technology are you comfortable with?
One of the most important questions to ask a guest speaker who is going to do a virtual presentation is: have you done this before? If so, how many times and what platforms did you use?
There is no wiggle-room here; you need an honest, accurate idea of how comfortable this potential speaker is with using various forms of technology. Not to say that you can’t book a speaker who isn’t experienced, you just need to know how much help they will need on-the-day, so you can accurately prepare.
There are a lot of choices out there for choosing keynote speakers. At eSpeakers, we have the knowledge and experience to help you find the right speaker who is comfortable presenting to a virtual audience. Check out our extensive roster here, and get in touch to see how we can start working for you!
Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you:
Nine tips to promote your virtual event effectively
Virtual Event Planning: 8 Tips to Help You Move An Event Online at the Last Minute
Six steps for putting on a virtual event that works.