Almost every event has at least one Speaker. Even if it is just the person that is opening the event or the one that is reading off raffle tickets. You still have someone that is the “face” of the event and that can make a lasting impression on your attendees… good or bad!
Set the Tone
The most important thing to consider when looking for a speaker is the tone that the speaker will set. This tone will be conveyed to your attendees from everything from the words they speak to the way they stand, and the tone of voice that they use. It is important to consider all these factors when looking for a speaker. You want to have a speaker that can connect with your audience. Being able to capture the attention of your audience will allow them to hear pertinent information or even open their wallets in the case of a fundraiser.
If you are looking to have a keynote speaker or opening speaker for your event make sure that the person is relevant. This means that if you are a Medical Conference having a leading person in the medical field would probably be a pretty good fit. The other way that you can go is with a famous personality that can tailor their speech to the audience and connect with them. Just make sure that you are honest with what you are looking for when you talk to the potential speaker. I once went to a travel conference that had Julia Louis Dreyfus as a speaker. While she was fantastic the mediator didn’t direct the questions in a way that connected with the audience and the subject of travel or even leadership building. It just took what could have been an amazing opportunity to one that was pretty flat and boring.
Speak Well & Be Engaging
If you are looking for a speaker for a fundraising event it is important to have someone that can connect with the key people in the audience. It is also important to note that your key people in the audience may not be your board or even members. They may very well be VIP guests that were invited or prominent members of the community of media. These are the people that will open their (much) larger wallets and give large donations or a positive story on the 10 pm news. A compelling story that ties into the narrative of the organization is always important. You want your people to tear up a little bit but you don’t want them to cry too much. Just remember you need to tug on the heartstrings and then start the ask for money directly after that. Timing is key in speaking at fundraising events.
When looking for a speaker just remember that the most important thing is connecting with your audience. Don’t be afraid to tailor your presentation to match the needs of the organization or pick a non-traditional speaker in order to drum up excitement.