Whether you are hiring a speaker for a corporate function or kids' camping retreat, there are some common characteristics that you should look for to ensure an inspiring takeaway. Ideally, work with a reputable talent agency to find inspiring and entertaining speakers that fit your budget. 

Here are eight things to look for in your guest speaker:

  1. Availability. Look for someone that has availability when you are planning your event. You shouldn't have to change the date of your function to fit the speaker's schedule. With so many wonderful speakers out there, you should have no problem filling the position.
  2. Humor. Watch videos and look for a speaker that has a good sense of humor. Nobody wants to listen to someone who is too serious or dry; the underlying message may get lost.
  3. Experience. Make sure to hire a guest speaker with previous experience. This won't be a problem when you work with an agency, but make sure to request video coverage or references from independent speakers to ensure they have some experience in motivating a crowd, working a room, and engaging a group.
  4. A message. Know what the message is that the speaker is going to convey. Make sure that it is in line with what you want to pass on to your audience. For example, if this is a spiritual retreat, find a speaker that shares your views and perspective.
  5. Positive feedback. Do some online research to find reviews and feedback of your prospective speakers. This can provide valuable insight related to client satisfaction and quality before making your hiring decision.
  6. Flexibility. Choose a speaker that offers some flexibility in terms of time and scheduling. Anything can happen when hosting an event or function; make sure that your speaker can allow a few minutes on either end in case of a delay.
  7. Presence. Check out the stage presence of the speaker via video. Do they convey confidence? How is their body language?
  8. Cost. Naturally, budget will come into play. Talk with talent agencies about pricing and costs when discussing potential speakers for your event without compromising quality. Consider these costs when planning the event and make the speaker a fiduciary priority. 

Whether you are searching for a motivational speech to move an audience or an entertaining speaker with a sense of humor, make sure to preview videos and auditions of potential speakers to find the right fit for your function. Work with a professional talent agency whenever possible to ensure quality talent and easy scheduling.