Professional speakers can be used for several functions in a small business. They can be used for training staff members, for motivating them or for entertaining them. When you hire a professional speaker you need to select a person that knows what they are talking about and that also is entertaining to listen to.
Hiring Tip #1 – Search for Local Talent First
When you are hiring a professional speaker for your small business event you will want to look for local talent first. This will dramatically cut down on the fees that you are charged. This is because the travel and lodging fees will be lower because they live locally. There is another advantage of hiring local talent. They most likely will be familiar to your staff and they will be easier to connect with on a professional level.
Hiring Tip #2 – Look at Credentials
Professional speakers need have the credentials to back up their authority. Credentials including degrees, certifications, job experience and published materials. You need to not only identify their credentials, but in some cases verify them.
Hiring Tip #3 – Sample Their Material
Before you hire a professional speaker it is a good idea to see them in action. Nothing is worse then sitting through a two hour presentation made by someone that is dry and that stumbles through the material. There are many ways that you can sample a professional speaker’s material. Many will have a DVD or video recording of at least one of their presentations. You can use these DVDs to determine if you want to hire them or to determine with presentation you want them to make to your staff.
Hiring Tip #4 – Negotiate
While most professional speakers are going to ask for a set price for their services, the shape of the economy is making most business professionals be open to the concept of negotiation. When negotiating the price or compensation for the speaking engagement make sure you include non-financial compensation that you can offer. For example, you can see if they will be willing to accept a lower fee if you offer to recommend their services to your network of colleagues. This could lead to future speaking engagements for the professional speaker.
Hiring Tip #5 – Book Multiple Engagements At Once
Another way that you can save money is to book multiple engagements from the same speaker. If you know that you will be holding training events or motivational events at set times over the next few years and you like the speaker then book them in advance. In exchange for booking ahead and paying a deposit, you can often get a great discount worth up to 25 percent of the speaking engagement fee. Another advantage is that you lock in this year’s rate for future speaking engagements.