Are you searching for speakers for your conference?

Are you having a hard time finding the “right” speaker?

Not sure where else to look to find speakers?

Know that you’re not alone.

Hundreds of event planners and conference organizers around the globe are in search of the “perfect” speaker for their event.

We’re here to let you know, respectfully, that the “perfect” fit doesn’t exist.

And if you already knew that, great!

If you didn’t know, well, here we are.

Let’s get through this together.

Below, we’ve put together a 6-step process to help you source speakers without wasting time, money, or energy in the wrong direction.

6 Steps to Sourcing the “Right” Speakers

#1. Request Proposals or Abstracts From Your Pool of Speakers

If you’ve been planning events or organizing conferences for some time now, you have a network of people you turn to when looking for speakers.

Instead of calling each connection one at a time, send out a request for proposals to speak at your event.

Your connections should be aware that you’re always looking to book speakers, and this “request for proposals” approach makes their lives way easier.

Imagine, as an agent or speaker, getting an email from one of your favorite conference organizers requesting speakers for a specific event with a detailed information on what needs to be accomplished.

The pairing would be straightforward. They either have speakers for your event or they don’t.

What’s more, this request strategy gives you a pool of speakers to choose from without having to do all the legwork yourself — or pulling your VA off other planning priorities to look for speakers.

#2. Review Attendee Surveys

Do you have a backlog of events you’ve organized and managed?

If you took attendee surveys for those events, you can review those for insight.

You probably work in an industry to plan events and organize conferences, so your prior attendees can help you find a “through-line” on the types of speakers that resonate.

A “through-line” is a Hollywood term for consistent message or connection from start to finish through a movie. The same can be applied to your conference or events. What’s the through-line your attendees will experience?

Get that information and apply it to your speaker search.

See if you can find a speaker’s story that falls along that through line.

#3. Call on Internal Members, Partners, or Sponsors

You may be looking for an outside party to speak at a corporate conference. It makes sense to bring someone in with an outside perspective on the theme or message.

But, you can also call on internal members, partners, or sponsors to speak.

In fact, you may find a collection of people internally who will captivate the attendees.

Keep in mind, too, utilizing internal talent could make you look like you aren’t able to find external talent.

It may be advantageous to limit your internal talent booking so that you book externally.

#4. Check Speakers Lists

There are dozens of speakers lists and databases on the internet. You may be able to find great conference-speaker matches.

What’s more, your speakers agencies, bureaus, and organizations are a great place to tap into, as well.

As you may already know, it’s about more than just “finding” speakers. You need to find the “right” speakers to fit your conferences.

#5. Dig Deep Into Journals and Publications

Did you know many speakers are also published in journals, publications, and magazines?

It may take a bit longer to sift through, but these types of articles could be a gold mine for a fantastic speaker.

In fact, if you have a VA, you can have them focus on specific types of journals and publications to discover speakers versed on a given topic or subject matter.

Another way to “proof” speakers is to ask if they’ve been published on the topic anywhere.

Go visit your favorite big websites and start checking out the bylines of the articles you enjoyed reading.

Research those people. Check their websites. Do they speak? If so, you can add them to your list of potentials.

#6. Search Social Media

Phrases like the following searched on social media platforms can help you find great speakers:

  • “Leadership speaker”
  • “Motivational speaker”
  • “Inspirational speaker”
  • “Business speaker”
  • “Marketing speaker”

Log in to LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and more to start your search.

Dive into groups and let the people know what you’re looking for. Groups on both LinkedIn and Facebook are super powerful (if you can find the right ones).

Also, at the very least, these groups will know who you are, what you do, and what you’re looking for. This has its advantages. You have more people aware of you and will help you find what you’re looking for as time passes.

[BONUS] #7. Create a Speaker Wishlist

We have a wishlist for nearly everything these days. We have bucket lists, too. Mostly, these are lists of things we want to happen, but are a bit out of reach, for right now.

Create a speakers wish list. Put people on it that you’d absolutely love to have on one of your stages.

Then, consider what the people on that wish list want/need to make their careers more fruitful. See if you can figure this out.

For example:

One of your wishlist speakers just launched a book, and they are promoting it. The audience for that book aligns with the attendees of your conference. Could you position your conference as a great trade? Book promotion for speaking? It’s a great way to get speakers “out of your league” to your conferences.


How you source your speakers is important. You don’t want to book just anyone in the industry. You want the best fit for your conference. This happens by you doing the legwork up front.

Again, here’s How to Source Speakers in Just 6 Easy Steps:

  • Request Proposals or Abstracts From Your Pool of Speakers
  • Review Attendee Surveys
  • Call on Internal Members, Partners, or Sponsors
  • Check Speakers Lists
  • Dig Deep Into Journals and Publications
  • Search Social Media
  • Create a Speaker Wishlist

Now that you have seven different ways to source speakers, give it a try.

Also, you can view our roster of fantastic speakers. See if they would fit your conference. If they do, let us know, and we’ll set up an into call to discuss booking in more detail. Contact Platinum Speakers Agency today.

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