The holidays will be here before you know it. Is your organization planning a holiday event with a keynote speaker?

It’s time to lock down the details of your organization’s holiday gathering.

If so, it might not be too late to book a great speaker, but you need to start soon. Fortunately, there are a lot of professional keynote speakers who specialize in motivational and inspirational speeches, and these can be a good fit for holiday-themed occasions.

You can find potential speakers through word of mouth recommendations, speakers’ bureaus, research on YouTube and other search platforms, and through individual speaker websites. These are great starting places, but there is much more to do when booking the right keynote speaker.

Book Early, but Have Major Event Details Ironed Out

While it’s best to book your holiday keynote speaker as early as possible, ideally you should already have the details of the event itself planned out. When you already know the date and event schedule, as well as your budget and the overall goal of the event, the booking process will be faster and easier.

Bear in mind who your audience will consist of. If it’s an event during the workday for employees, you may want a different speaker than if it’s an evening event that includes employee spouses.

Read Reviews, Watch Videos, and Pay Attention to Audiences

Many keynote speakers have YouTube channels, so spend time on them watching the speaker in action. Pay attention to the types of media and props the speaker uses and the size of the venue. It’s good if the speaker you choose has experience in the type of venue where your event will take place.

Additionally, pay attention to the audience. How well do the speakers’ audiences correspond to the type of audience that will be at your holiday event? Matching the speaker to the audience is one of the keys to having an outstanding and memorable keynote speech.

What types of audiences do your candidate speakers typically address?

Ask Some Key Questions Before Choosing Your Speaker

Before booking your keynote speaker, ask some key questions, either directly to the speaker, or to the representative from the speakers’ bureau representing them. Here are some good questions to ask:

  • What is the speaker’s background?
  • Why would this speaker be the best fit for our audience?
  • Has the speaker spoken to organizations like ours before?
  • Where can I find online articles, videos, or books that will tell us about the content of the speech?
  • Does the speaker customize the speech, and if so, how?
  • Would the speaker be willing to talk to our organizers before the speech to help prepare for it?

Understand Fees and Contracts (Including Riders) Before Signing

Fees for a typical professional keynote speaker can range from $5,000 to $20,000, with fees for famous speakers going well beyond that. Be prepared to pay a high fee for a speaker who is famous, who has written a best-seller, or who is considered a world-class leader in their particular area of expertise.

Every detail should be spelled out in the contract, including transportation, accommodations, and venue requirements. Contracts should also specify what happens in the event of a problem (like a snowstorm that closes airports). Be certain you understand everything in the contract before signing, and if there’s something you don’t understand, ask! No question is stupid.

Booking the right keynote speaker for your holiday event can help ensure everyone goes home happy and having learned something or gained insight. Speakers’ bureaus and most independent keynote speakers want to go out of their way to make sure they meet clients’ needs and exceed their expectations, so don’t be afraid to make contact and ask questions.


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