9 ways to separate mice and women

How to tell if a conference speaker measures up (Part I of II)

Think about the last speaker you watched at a conference or, more specifically, the last presenter your company paid money to deliver an address. Were they sh*t-hot? Luke-warm? Or did they leave you ice-cold?

Here are 9 important things to look for in a top conference or event speaker:

  1. Is theirs a custom presentation, created especially for this company, event and audience – or is it the generic blather they re-hash at every podium?
  2. Does their slide design include Comic Sans, WordArt, cheesy animations or multiple bullet points in a size 12 font? RUN. Eye candy is critical. 
  3. Does the speaker charge a fee? This is important, because speakers who work for free or for exposure are usually sub-par. Top speakers put effort into creating their talks, spend time researching the audience and subject, and are committed to the success of the event. None of this comes free.
  4. Does the presenter have a loyal human following? In short, are they an active, authentic influencer in the real world – not only in Insta-numbers?
  5. Did the presenter ask technical questions, regarding the mic set-up, projector display ratio, whose laptop will be used, what type of clicker to expect, if there’s wifi, and if there’s a real-time Twitter stream visible?
  6. Did they ask demographic or psychographic questions about the audience?
  7. Charisma, presence, eloquence, and storytelling are important. But they’re not everything. Is the presenter equally skilled at public speaking, stylish visual delivery, and smart use of tech/social media?
  8. Is the content meaningful, in that it’s either a) something no one else is saying or b) being delivered in a way no one else is delivering it?
  9. Did the presentation make you feel: smarter, more enlightened, more inspired, or greatly moved – in ways that stay with you or, more critically, that you can translate into your actual personal or professional life? 

At 360 Degrees, we’re only interested in the sh*t-hot speakers, which is why we’ve entered a strategic alliance with the Unique Speaker Bureau (USB), considered to be the premier league of professional speakers. 

USB’s team of keynote speakers, MCs and program directors (facilitators) is known for its collective and individual presentation content, professionalism, expertise, experience, depth, and capacity for collaboration. Find out more.