Producers, Managers
and Convenors

OdeHeidi Gregory from Ode Management, which manages some of the world’s greatest disruptors, innovators and thought leaders explains the importance of getting the right speaker for your next event

Choosing the right speaker for your event can ensure the success of a conference as well as set the tone of an organisations culture, performance and productivity long after the event is over.

It is vital to be armed with the tools to select a speaker who meets your brief, inspires an audience, all while delivering an impactful presentation onstage. As a busy PA or EA, you are no doubt dealing with a sea of competing priorities, so read on to ensure you select the right speaker, with the right message every time!

Do your prep
Finding the best speaker requires research and preparation. To get started it is a great idea to allow yourself plenty of time in the lead up to the event, and to prepare a speaker brief. In that brief, make sure you include the purpose of booking the speaker and outline any specific needs. Write a list of questions. Do you have a thorough understanding of the organisation booking the speaker, the nature of the event, the theme and audience details? What is your budget, and are there any other parameters that will influence your decision?

Once you have completed your research and prepared a clear brief, you have choices. Do the legwork yourself by researching speakers through websites, blogs, social media, referrals and the like, or source an expert to support you in making the right decision.

In seeking out an expert, look for someone with credibility, product knowledge, and a commitment to finding you the perfect speaker match. Make time to talk to the consultant on the phone or in person. A great consultant will be your primary support and someone whose opinion you need to trust.

See them in action
If you are already working with a great consultant, they should provide you with a list of relevant speakers including links to speaker profiles, testimonials and footage of each speaker in action on stage. Ask the consultant to provide you with their personal thoughts as they may offer key insights based on their experience. Share the proposal with your colleagues, ask for feedback and select your top two to three speakers from the list.

Make Contact
Once you have decided who your top speakers are, feel free to request more support. Coordinate a phone call with the speakers, or ask them to prepare a written or short video proposal. Through this process, you will get a feel for the style, tone and energy of the speaker in addition to how they will approach your brief. You will find with the support of your consultant this process will reveal who the right speaker is to wow your audience, create a fantastic event, while ensuring you look like a rock star!

Once you have made your decision about which speaker you would like to book, relax and let your preferred consultant do the work! From contracting, to accounts, logistics to pre-event meetings and promotion, your consultant will provide you with everything you need, to ensure that your experience of booking a speaker is easy and efficient.

Feel free to ask as many questions as you need. Your consultant is there to support you in understanding all aspects of the booking, and assist you with anything you need from the speaker. Make sure you also ask for additional information on workshops, topics, video programmes and books as these tools are designed to provide ongoing learning long after the event and may be valuable resources post event.

About the author: Heidi Gregory from ODE Management, a direct management office for some of the world’s greatest disruptors, innovators and thought leaders.

Ode is a PCO Association business partner

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