How to Book a Speaker: How Do I Convince My Colleagues Once I’ve Found the Right Speaker?

This is the fifth installment in a new series on how to book a speaker in which we will guide you through the process of selecting a speaker and bringing him or her to your event. Please call us at 800.225.4575 or contact us on our website with any questions on how to book a speaker.
 
After conducting ample research and comparing countless speakers, you’ve finally narrowed your choices down to a handful of speakers who would be great for your event (for more on choosing the best speaker for your engagement, see How to Book a Speaker: Choosing the Right Speaker for Your Event) and who match your budget (for more on speaker fees, see How to Book a Speaker: The Cost of Booking a Speaker).
 
And now, unless you’re working alone, it’s time to present your choice or choices to your colleagues for approval.
 
This may seem daunting – after all, it’s difficult to get consensus from a group of people with varying perspectives and you only have a few precious minutes to share hours of research into why a particular speaker is a good fit for you business, association, or school.
 
APB speaker Alexandra Cousteau
 
By working with a speakers bureau, a program consultant will give you as much ammunition as you need to walk into your boardroom and sell your speaker or speakers of choice. Program consultants are expertly versed in their speakers’ presentation styles and programs and will thoroughly educate you on your speaker of choice. As experts on how to book a speaker and on the process of selling speakers to committees, they’ll also provide you with the language you’ll need to explain why your speaker is a perfect fit for your group and how your speaker will share a message that is in line with your school, corporation, organization, or association.
When you present your speaker or speakers, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared with materials to prove their value and worth. At APB, program consultants equip you with the following materials you can share with your board or committee:
 
  • A speaker’s biography that not only lists his or her major accomplishments but shares what he or she brings to your market – whether it be healthcare, education, or business – as a speaker
  • Recent articles from reputable sources that highlight your speaker’s cultural relevance
  • Videos that showcase your speaker’s presentation style and how audiences react to him or her
  • Descriptions of your speaker’s speeches and programs
  • Testimonials from past clients that share what various organizations, from universities to Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits, thought of that speaker
Try to limit the number of suggestions you bring in to your committee to two or three speakers. Otherwise, the process of choosing a speaker from a long list may take an inordinate amount of time and may require your board or committee to hold multiple meetings to settle the issue. If possible, try to put a deadline on the decision – at around a month – to make sure it isn’t continually sidelined.
APB speaker Geoffrey Canada speaking to students
 
To make the process significantly easier for you and your committee or board, here’s another helpful piece of advice: Before you embark on your search for a speaker, talk to your committee or board and find out exactly which specifications they would like a potential speaker to meet. Cover as many details as possible – gender, age range, subjects he or she discusses – and make sure you’ve got the right figure when it comes to your budget. That way, when you start the process of talking with a speakers bureau, you’ll known exactly what you’re looking for and your program consultant will be able to point out a handful of speakers who meet your exact specifications. And when the time comes to meet with your board, you’ll expedite the process of selecting a speaker by having narrowed your selections down to a small number of speakers, thereby making the boardroom conversation as short and sweet as possible.
If you’re worried about not being able to adequately sell your speaker or speakers of choice to your committee or board, don’t panic: program consultants at APB are ready to jump in on a conference call with your organization to help you sell your speaker. They’ll share their inside knowledge of that speaker and why he or she is such a great match for your event, as well as provide your association with any other information on how to book a speaker. In this manner, you can jointly sell your speaker along with a program consultant, or if you’d prefer to have the spotlight taken off of you, you can let a program consultant take the reins and sell your speaker of choice for you. After all, that’s exactly what they do day in and day out.
 
If necessary, some speakers are also willing to get on the phone to speak with you and your association’s members so that you may get a better sense of who they are and what they would sound like to your audience.
 
Speakers bureaus such as APB are here to help you through every step of the way of the booking process and will go to every length to help you explain to your colleagues why a particular speaker is a great addition to your event.
 
Still have questions on how to convince your colleagues once you’ve found the right speaker? We are happy to provide you with more advice on selling your speaker and to answer any questions you may have on how to book a speaker. Call us at 800.225.4575 or contact us on our website to get started.
 
Next time: 
How to Book a Speaker: Getting Your Speaker to Your Event
 
Previously: 
How to Book a Speaker: The Cost of Booking a Speaker

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