How To Get The MOST Our Of Your Professional Speaker InvestmentHow To Get The MOST Our Of Your Professional Speaker Investment

Wow what a tough job you have today! Finding a speaker who is a Proven Expert and within your budget that your audience will appreciate and love. A speaker that makes YOU look good! It's a large investment of time and dollars so let me give you 10 ideas to help you get the best out of your Speaker Investment.

1. First let me tell you that with all the job layoffs - there are allot of people who are now trying their hands as speaking for a living. And the scary thing is YOU probably can't tell. Today there are vendors who will create a glossy cd/dvd by creating a "fake" audience and adding in applause, and with the right kind of editing - you just might never know these people have no paying clients under their belts, that they're speaking for free while practicing their content and you might be their first paid audience. That's ok... you just need to know that BEFORE you book them. If you want to increase your odds for success, go to a speaker you trust and ask who THEY would recommend. I have clients calling me apologetically "It's not that we don't want you, we just need a topic you don't do or a MAN instead this year, can you help us?" They know I am not a Speaker - I am a RESOURCE to my clients. I build the trust that I can problem solve for them so they call me for help. And I will NEVER recommend a speaker unless I have sat in their audience and seen how they are received by their audience. After all it is MY reputation on the line when I refer.

2. Who's on their client list? Make sure you call at least two past clients and ask them about results of their program. It's nice to hear "they were great" but I'm sure you want more than a "feel good" feeling for your return on your investment

3. Are they asking for three people to interview before they come to speak? This way they can personalize their talk knowing background and internal information that will connect with the audience. Every presentation needs to be customized to each audience.

4. How do they PARTNER with you BEFORE the Event? Attendees are waiting until the last minute to make a decision to attend. So what does your speaker do to partner with you and create a high attendance level? Here are just a few things I do for my clients:

o Create a personal email that gets sent out to all prospective attendees before the event telling them that I'm excited about meeting them there.

o Offer a free article about the topic I will be speaking on that often gets printed on their website, newsletter, or magazine

5. Do they have Celebrity Clout? Ask them where they've been published and see if they can create a way to blend that into your conference's theme. Since my stories are in Chicken Soup for the Soul and Chocolate for the Soul books, many clients theme their lunch with a chicken soup appetizer and a chocolate dessert.

6. Are they savvy with the media? Do they know how to talk in "sound bites"? I often do radio promotions of my client's upcoming event via telephone several weeks out. And I'll go to the local television station before or during an event to help that organization get even more publicity.

7. Are they able to help you build additional Pre-Conference Revenue? Ask if they are able to do a pre-conference breakfast and then you can charge an additional fee for this Private VIP Event. Sometimes I will also do a VIP luncheon allowing the audience to ask questions and have access to me that they would not get otherwise in the large convention audience.

8. Do they know other speakers? Remember your speaker should be a resource to you. I always ask my clients - will you also be looking for additional speakers for your event? Then I lighten that work load by recommending or even contacting those speakers for them. Often time a speaker buddy will negotiate down a fee as a favor to me that the client would not be able to get otherwise. I also have a list of Audio/Video vendors who are available locally for clients and a specialty company again for helping theme their event or "stuff their bags".

9. Can they do more than just one session? A speaker who has been in business successfully for many years can often stay and do a breakout for you on another topic. This helps save you travel dollars and time NOT having to find another Expert Speaker for that. I especially enjoy this "gift" to my clients because I really don't get to go into as much depth with a keynote so I can come back and go deeper into the content at a break out session. Can your speaker show their expertise with another topic?

10. How do they support you AFTER the Event? Yes books and tapes are good at the event but what can they offer to support your audience and make sure everyone gets the best return of dollars and time spent? Here are some questions to ask.

o Do they have an auto-responder that can send articles to every attendee with tips and strategies for follow up?

o Do they give their personal office or cell phone number so that attendees can call with questions? I never want my attendees to feel I 'took the money and ran". Try contacting those other "big wigs" after they speak. Attendees have one year follow up with me for questions and help and in 20+ years it has never been abused!

o Do they offer podcasts, webinars, or tele-seminars for supporting the audience after the event?

o What about "motivational minutes"? Wouldn't it be great to hear that voice once a week to start your work week?
o Do they offer articles after the event to publish in your newsletters, magazines, and use as the focus for staff meetings?

Today it's all about building a relationship with your Expert who can help you create success for more than that one day! Professional speakers understand the Power and the Privilege of the Platform. They over deliver, are not arrogant, and look forward to being of service. I hope these tips help you to find just the right one!
by CSP Sheryl Nicholson
References and Bibliography
CSP Sheryl Nicholson is a top rated International Professional Speaker and Published Author with articles in Inc, Success, Entrepreneur, and more. She can be reached at 727.678.6707 and you can view more credentials at or email at She's results oriented
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