11th January, 2018

5 questions to ask when booking a speaker for events

When you’re looking to book a speaker for a corporate event, we know how important is to make the right decisions early on. Whether you’re looking to hire a celebrity speaker for your big event, or simply a master of ceremonies to knit the whole evening together, finding the right speaker can make all the difference. So to make sure you find the right speaker, we’ve put together a list of important questions to ask yourself before you get started.


As with all entertainment at events, it’s important to first establish who your audience is. Age, occupation, interests and more can all factor into choosing the right speaker for your event, quite simply because what might work for a room full of medical professionals in their 40s might not work at an event for 20-something media agency types. It might sound obvious, but it’s worth thinking about before you start making enquiries.


Another thing that might sound obvious – but can be lost in the rush of planning an event – is tone. Your event might have a feel that suits a playful, comedic speaker who can bounce off the audience and crack jokes off the cuff; in that case you may want to book a stand up or TV personality who suits the mood. On the other hand, you might need something slicker, more professional and scripted; in which case we’d suggest a newsreader or someone who hosts more serious current affairs shows on TV or radio.


Not every event has an overall theme, but many have one element that ties everything together. It might be the industry that your guests work in, or it could be a theme around a product launch or new venture. Whatever your theme might be, it can be useful in guiding your decision-making when choosing the right speaker for your event. An event with a sports theme naturally lends itself to former sportspeople and pundits; events with a tech theme might be better suited to authors and entrepreneurs with big ideas to share; something themed around fashion might suit a speaker with a background in the creative industries, and so on.


For this one, you might think the answer would be ‘speak’, but there’s a little more to it than that. You may want your speaker to deliver a TED Talks-style lecture on a particular topic, or offer a longer lecture for an invested audience with a shared background in a subject or field of study. But you might also want someone to act as a host for a panel discussion, or a master of ceremonies to bring together a range of other performers. Not every speaker is able to do all of these things, and some are better at one thing than others, so it’s worth talking to your entertainment agency to find out who’s best suited to what you have planned.


While we all love seeing a big name celebrity at an event, even we have to admit that it’s a nice-to-have rather than a necessity for many event planners. Star names can add some buzz around your event for sure, but sometimes they can distract from other things you may have planned, and there’s often a higher price tag for bigger names. It’s often worth asking what a celebrity speaker is really adding to your event, and whether you can achieve the same effect with a capable, but less recognisable speaker or host. We know lots of brilliant hosts and emcees who might not have the star wattage of their famous counterparts, but can offer a comparable service at a fraction of the cost.

So those are a just a few of the questions that are worth asking before you start your search for a speaker, but there are plenty of other things to consider. If you’re looking to hire a speaker or host for an upcoming event, feel free to get in touch to discuss options, or check out some of the hosts and speakers we have on our website.