Like every group who brings in a keynote speaker, your needs are unique. You want someone to motivate your successful team to be even more successful; you want new ideas to excite the imagination of a newly formed team; you want a subject matter expert to incite and inspire a group moving on to new initiatives; you have limited funds and seek a lower-priced speaker who has a good reputation.
Every need requires a different type of speaker, and one speaker – regardless of reputation or success of their book sales – doesn’t fit every situation.
How can you make sure that the needs you have match the capabilities of the speakers you’re considering? After A. getting agreement on the exact criteria you need to meet from the user group leaders and the meeting planners, B. putting together a list of your best guesses of speakers who will meet your goals, C. looking them up on line and watching their videos and culling the best, call them and say:
We’re going to be meeting in (June) of this next year and seek a speaker to (engage our sales winners with new ideas that will promote success). We saw your video and put you on a short list of speakers to consider. I’d like to ask you a few questions:
1. What do you need to know about us and our needs to make sure we have a win-win?
2. How do you engage audiences to incite them to success?
3. What do you expect our takeaways to be?
4. How will you know you’ve succeeded with us? How will we know?
5. Do you recommend the use of Twitter during the talk to enable instantaneous ideas for all to see during the talk?
6. Do you use a Q&A during the keynote? Or do a traditional talk?
Note their replies; collect your impressions and share them with the rest of the group. This will give you a good idea of how to choose the best keynote speaker for your situation. The best for you will be obvious.