The Four Questions to Ask before you Book a Keynote Speaker.
Before you book a Keynote Speaker for your internal event, there are a number of questions to get an agreement with your key stakeholders. The more clarity you have internally on these, the easier it is to find the right Keynote Speaker for your event.
The goal of this article is to offer a simple framework, of four questions, that helps align the expectations of key stakeholders so you can easily find the right Keynote Speaker for your internal event.
The BEST Framework
The four questions to ask internally before you book a Keynote Speaker are summarised with the word BEST. Because every event is unique, it is not just about finding a Speaker but rather about finding the BEST Keynote Speaker for your event. The four questions are about your Budget, Environment, Stakeholders, and Time.
Budget: How much do I pay the speaker?
Question one, is the B in BEST, and it is to agree on the Budget you are going to spend on a Keynote speaker.
Always pay your speaker. Professional relationships are based on providing value and receiving a return on that value. You have put a lot of time and effort into organising this event so make sure you reflect this in the fee you pay the speaker. For a complete breakdown of Keynote Speaker fees check out our article: How much does a Keynote Speech (at my corporate event) cost?
To reduce risk, start with a budget of at least €7,500.
Environment: Where are you hosting the event?
Question two, is the E in BEST, and it is to design the right Environment for your event. Depending on the type of event it can be in-office or off-site (out of the office). Both have their advantages, however off-site locations tend to offer a more immersive experience with has fewer distractions.
Stakeholders: Who are the key Stakeholders of your event?
Question three, is the S in BEST, and it is to be aware of who are the key Stakeholders that are involved in your event. Will the CEO and leadership team join? Do you have alignment from them on the Purpose and Outcome of the event? Do they need to give input before or during the event? if you do not have alignment from the key Stakeholders you risk finding, what you thought was the right speaker, only for a stakeholder to refuse your choice based on criteria that was not explicit.
Time: When are you planning your event?
Question four, is the T in BEST, and it is about Time and the planning of your event. When are you planning the event? Does it clash with other events (or World Cup Finals)? Is it a half-day, full-day, or multi-day event?
All aspects of time need to be considered. If you plan the event too far in the future it is difficult to get agreements for participation and if you plan it too close people’s agendas are often already full. The best period of planning, therefore, is 1 to 3 months.*
Also, how long should the Keynote Speech be? The average time is between 45-60 mins, however for more details see our article on How long should a Keynote Speech be?
* This has many exceptions. Recently an emergency meeting was called in one organisation and I was asked if I was available to speak within 24 hours. At that time I had an opening in my agenda so I was able to make it on very short notice. This, however, is an exception and most of my speaking engagements are booked a number of months in advance.
So before you book your next Keynote Speaker use the four questions in this article as a framework to align the expectations of key stakeholders. So you can easily find the BEST Keynote Speaker for your internal event.
For more insights on Booking the BEST Keynote Speaker for your event download: Guide on how much does a Keynote Speaker cost below.