You may want to check these six surprising facts about keynote speakers before trying to book someone.
1.A keynote speech and food don’t go well together.
Many keynote speakers have to deliver their speeches while the guests are being served with delectable and mouthwatering dishes. This is the case in many breakfast, lunch, and dinner meetings. However, guests can only focus on one thing at a time, and you can bet that many of them prefer the food over a speech that they have probably anticipated already.
In a meeting over a meal, the guests need to enjoy both the speech and the food so that the entire event can stick to their memory. Instead of serving the food while the main discussions are going on, divide the event into two parts. Put the meals either at the beginning or at the end.
2.Many speakers don’t really have entirely written speeches.
Keynote speakers normally read their prepared speeches on the podium or on a projected screen. However, many experienced speakers and those who have already made a living from delivering speeches in big events seldom need a script. Most of them only need outlines to remember the key parts and transitions of their speeches. For them, reading speeches verbatim is ineffective and confusing.
It’s still better to ask your invited speaker if he needs a projector or teleprompter for it, but experienced ones only need to memorize the different parts and they can talk spontaneously.
3.Emcees are needed in tandem with some keynote speakers.
Many speakers, like motivational speakers, have already mastered the art of entertainment and humor to keep their audience alive, interested, and enthusiastic. However, it’s also not a secret that many speakers are only good at delivering fully written speeches and in discussing their area of expertise. This is especially applicable to experts who are not necessarily practicing public speakers and lecturers.
If you are organizing a large event with hundreds of attendees, and the speaker you have invited is more of the serious type, assign an emcee that will host the segment to keep the audience attentive. The emcee can also serve as moderator just in case the speaker is open to answering some questions.
4.Round table is the least effective seating setup for speaking engagements.
This comes as a surprise to a lot of people because this is also the most common seating setup for formal events. In fact, for many events, the setup is not really an option.
Round table is least effective because many people have their back on the speaker, which makes them more inattentive. Having people who don’t even try to face the speaker (especially when there’s food on the table) is rude and distracting to the speaker. Also, the speech’s effectiveness is somehow undermined as many people in the audience can easily chat with one another and just talk about their own topics. Round table basically encourages private conversations among groups.
5.Prominent keynote speakers charge as much as $40,000 for one session.
The ongoing rate for an effective speaker who has already authored a book has a range of $10,000 to $20,000. Booking a speaker outside his state normally costs $15,000 to $25,000. New York Times bestselling authors charge as much as $40,000 when they are already out of their promotional tours. For all the rates, the travel cost and accommodation are not even included yet.
6.Speakers are booked six to 12 months in advance.
That is how early you need to book a prominent speaker in advance to secure a schedule. Many speakers can also be booked for only three months in advance, but you have to be wary of speakers who can be booked anytime. They are obviously not too busy, and that is for a reason.
Some keynote speakers like Garrison is known for his appeal to a wide variety of audiences by delivering serious, result-driven information with professionally honed humor.