05 Aug 2010

Making keynote speakers work for YOU!

by Paul Adams

Like most people in this industry, I’ve lost track of how many events/ conventions I’ve been to.

And, I’ve seen my share of keynote speakers at the events. From really big household names to people you’ve probably never heard of. I’ve seen a lot of them.
It’s interesting to observe these speakers as well as the audience’s reception to them.

In truth, I’ve only seen a handful of really bad speakers.
Not that the bad ones couldn’t speak in public — most are polished with a reasonable sense of timing and presentation skills. But, some of these people just didn’t have a clue who the audience was and what they could / should say that could help them with their home-based business.

Many of our clients are looking for two things when they hire a keynote speaker for a big event.

#1 – They want to help attract people to the event.

#2 – They want someone that can motivate and entertain the audience.

That’s pretty easy to find. There are plenty of talented speakers that can deliver on #2 and you can leverage for #1.

However (you knew that was coming), the most powerful speakers I’ve watched over the past couple of years have delivered more than that.
They have provided REAL content that the attendees can take back to their homes and apply to their lives — making an impact far past the excitement of the event.
These speakers have taken the time to truly understand direct selling and the people involved in it. They understand that real people that are trying to make a difference in their lives need motivation AND an action plan they can manage on their own.

The attendees are able to carry the excitement from the event much longer than the plane ride home.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some of the speakers that have real entertainment value. I like the stories of overcoming the odds and achieving things that most people don’t. I feel good and enjoy the presentation. I might even go home and tell my wife about him / her and how much I enjoyed the 60-90 minutes of the presentation.

Usually, the speaker is REALLY good at selling their book. I’m even ok with that.

But, what I really want is information I can use.
When the speaker is onstage, I want to be compelled to take notes that I will review and use to implement real change in some part of my life.
Sometimes, a single good idea is all it takes to make a difference to someone in the audience. And, if the speaker has several good ideas, the chance of impacting a larger segment of the audience increases dramatically.

At the end of the presentation, I hope a big portion of the audience is compelled to improve some aspect of their personal and business life. And, I want them to have the information and access to the tools they need to implement the change.

It doesn’t sound complicated.

But, for some reason, many speakers are more focused on making people laugh or cry and selling their books than on the long-term value of the content.

Next time you’re looking for a speaker, spend the time considering what you want the audience to get from the presentation BEFORE you call to see if a specific speaker is available.
Then, make sure the speaker is willing to spend the time with you in advance to make sure the presentation meets your needs and helps deliver the outcome you are looking for.

If the speaker isn’t willing to be your partner — even if for 60-90 minutes — and help you achieve your goals, you may want to reconsider where you are spending your money.