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20 Questions to Ask BEFORE Hiring a Speaker

When hiring a speaker, it is important to understand the speaker's skill with the art of public
. The following checklist should assist in gauging that skill

  1. Is the speaker's topic right for my audience?
  2. Does the speaker have verifiable references?
  3. Does the speaker have audio and/or video demonstration materials?
  4. Does the speaker customize? To What Level?
  5. Is the speaker entertaining as well as informative?
  6. Does the speaker do thorough pre-program research.
  7. Does the speaker provide handout masters and/or finished handouts?
  8. Does the speaker involve the audience?
  9. Does the speaker use only clean and appropriate humor?
  10. Does the speaker accommodate hearing and sight impaired audience members?
    (Handouts in Braille, Audio tapes etc.)
  11. Is the speaker accessible to attendees before and after the event?
  12. Does the speaker "hardsell" products from the platform?
  13. Is the speaker's office responsive to requests for information?
  14. Is the speaker easy to get along with? (Determined from references and personal conversations)
  15. What is the speaker's fee?
  16. Is the speaker's fee negotiable? Yes_____ No_____ If yes, what do I have of value to give in return for a fee reduction? i.e. Can I give the speaker any of the following if necessary: video tape master, list of attendees, testimonial letter, referrals, extra nights accommodations, choice of time slot,choice of date, multiple performance contract, extra publicity, spouse airfare and meals, products, services, etc.
  17. Does the speaker offer any discounts? (For certain geographical areas, resorts, time of year, non-profit organization etc.)
  18. Can the speaker fill more than one slot which will save money on hiring another speaker plus additional travel expenses?
  19. What are the payment terms of the speaker's contract?
  20. After getting answers to the above questions, am I confident my attendees will be happy with this speaker?

After all these questions have been answered to your satisfaction, the decision to hire or not should be much easier. Don't settle for someone who makes you uncomfortable--it's worth the time to do thorough research. Someone who practices the art of public speaking will be better speaker for your group.


Antion & Associates Copyright 1998 - 2005

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