11 Nov WHAT ARE PROFESSIONAL GUEST SPEAKERS? – TOP KEYNOTE SPEAKER & FUTURIST EXPLAINS
What is a professional guest speaker? We’re delighted you asked – and are happy to fill in the blanks, working as keynote speaking pros ourselves. If you’re a meeting or event planner, it helps to know that a guest speaker in this context is someone who is paid to give speeches, lectures, presentations, or trainings to various audiences. All that said, you probably want to know a few things about pros and how their work differs from someone you’d simply invite to pop in free of charge to do a cameo or guest appearance at your convention, trade show or conference:
- Profession – Being a guest speaker is their main occupation. It is not just a side hobby or something they do occasionally.
- Specialized – Most professional speakers focus on particular topics or industries based on their background and expertise. For example, there are motivational speakers, political speakers, business speakers, diversity speakers, etc.
- Experience – They have experience speaking in front of and engaging with audiences. They know how to tailor their content and style to different groups.
- Skills – Excellent public speaking, communication, storytelling, and presentation skills. Strong research, writing, marketing, and tech skills are also useful for guest speakers to have.
- Resources – Professional speakers invest in speechwriting assistance, video production, website creation, marketing materials, etc. to support their business.
- Training – They often receive training in speaking techniques, delivery methods, voice work, body language, etc. Associations provide credentials.
- Business savvy – Top guest speakers manage their brand, market themselves, network with event planners, negotiate fees and contracts, handle travel logistics, etc.
- Insights – They stay up-to-date on current events and trends to provide relevant and timely insights to audiences.
- Passion – Genuine passion for their topic and helping audiences learn new information and skills.
We realize that you have many choices of folks to come in and present keynote speeches, breakouts, workshops, seminars, etc – many of whom might do so on an unpaid or volunteer basis. However, professional guest speakers are paid experts who make public speaking their career through experience, skills, resources, and business acumen. Audiences value their insights and ability to educate and entertain. And they often bring a level of research, experience, and insight to corporate gatherings that is simply unrivaled by counterparts who don’t give professional talks day in and day out for a living.