If you’re an event planner or conference organizer, you’ve spent time booking speakers.

Some would call it the bane of the planner’s existence.

While booking a speaker is one piece to the puzzle, it can affect the entirety of your event.

At Platinum Speakers Agency, we believe that there are no good or bad speakers, events, or planners.

We believe that it’s all about the proper fit between speaker and attendees.

You can have the best speaker in the world on HR and employee happiness, but they fail to connect with a room full of retired senior citizens interested in tropical vacations.

As you may see, it’s a mismatch between the speaker’s message and the market’s desire.

This is the key to successfully choosing the proper speaker for your event — or better yet your attendees.

7 Reasons To Not Book A Potential Speaker

#1. Cannot Define What Event Success Looks Like

Your event ought to have a singular goal with a few sub-goals (if necessary) to achieve. Your potential speaker should be able to see these and speak to them clearly and concisely with their presentation. If they cannot do that over the phone or in person, you may need to go back to the drawing board. Or, you’re interviewing the wrong speaker for your event.

#2. Cannot Define Clear Outcome For Speaker’s Presentation

What’s the outcome you want your speaker to help facilitate with their presentation?

Defining this is going to make it much more clear on who you book as a speaker.

For example, a speaker who is an expert on world traveling and vacation budgeting may not be the best fit for a room full of billionaires.

Your speaker is about more than filling time on the stage. They need to be aimed at delivering a specific message that helps achieve a specific goal.

Another example:

Say you’re running a digital marketing conference. An email marketing expert would be a great fit to give a presentation. It’s a niche of digital marketing, and it delivers value that marketers probably want.

#3. An Egocentric Speaker

Speakers bring a unique set of stories to your stage. It’s best to leverage those stories to deliver your message and achieve your event goals. And speakers who have a story that fits are great.

However, if you’ve got a potential speaker who wants to simply talk about their story and not tie it to your message, it may not be the best fit.

Instead, know your message before you get on a call with a potential speaker. See if they can tie any of their stories to your attendees.

If they can, consider booking them.

If they cannot, it may be best to move on to the next candidate.

#4. Ask For Follow Up Strategies

One-off events rarely create lasting change. These events can, however, spark interest and action.

When considering speakers, ask them how they think best to follow up with the attendees after hearing their speeches. Most speakers will have a book, course, or seminar that people can get online to really deliver on the action-plan outlined in the presentation.

What’s more, if your potential speaker can help with follow up, a second, third, or fourth event may be in order to help move your attendees along a specific goal trajectory.

Consider having a speaker back for more than one event.

#5. Get References

Your speaker may work with/through a bureau or agency. Even in this situation get references to prior events and clients. You can then call and see how the speaker performed, delivered, and acted as a partner in enacting action.

Great speakers will gladly give you references once you ask.

#6. Cost Is Primary Objective

Not all speaking fees are created equal. There is a cost (some would say investment) to hiring different tiers of speakers.

Knowing your budget before you go into a pre-booking discovery call can save you time and money in the long run.

Also, if speakers immediately lower their price once you say that you’ve got someone else closer to your budget, you may want to be leary of their intentions.

If all they want is to get paid, it may not be a great event-speaker fit.

If they want to create impact and are simply offering a lower price point because they believe in your mission, continue on vetting said speaker.

#7. Speaker Wants To Get In And Out Quickly

For most events, unless otherwise negotiated, involve the speaker in the program more than just on stage. Speakers can be in the lobby conversing with the attendees, creating social media content with your marketing team, or even doing some kind of follow up campaign to keep attendees engaged.

The speakers who want to get in and out quickly may not be the best fit for your event.


Remember, this is your event. You’re organizing, planning, and scheduling it. You know the message and goal better than anyone else. Hiring a speaker who does not fit your message or goal is only going to make it more difficult to achieve anything worthwhile.

Instead, here are the takeaways from this article that can help you avoid hiring the wrong speaker for your event:

  • Cannot Define What Event Success Looks Like
  • Cannot Define Clear Outcome For Speaker’s Presentation
  • An Egocentric Speaker
  • Ask For Follow Up Strategies
  • Get References
  • Cost Is Primary Objective
  • Speaker Wants To Get In And Out Quickly

Each speaker-event negotiation is going to look slightly different. Many of the items listed above will come up in your conversations with speakers, agencies, or bureaus. How these people address the concerns will help you determine if the speaker is the best fit for your event.

If you’re currently searching for a speaker, look at the Platinum Speakers Agency roster. It’s got some of the best keynote speakers in the industry ready to attend and present at your event. Simply contact us today to schedule a pre-booking discovery call.

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