February 28, 2019 in Motivational Speakers
How Much Should a Speaker Customize Their Presentation?
Before I send one of my keynote speakers or trainers out into the world, I’ll always try to put them on the phone with a meeting planner a week or two before the actual event. That gives everyone a chance to discuss logistical details, but also for the client to ask for any presentation tweaks they might have in mind.
One thing contacts and client companies ask me frequently is how much customization they should expect from a presenter. In answering that question, there are couple of things I keep in mind…
A Professional Speaker Will Tailor Their Message to Your Group
Having seen hundreds upon hundreds of keynote speeches, I’m sometimes amazed at the way a true professional can roll with the punches. I’ve seen speakers shrug off power outages, dropped dishes, and even medical emergencies in the audience. They might not enjoy these kinds of disruptions, but they can get through them because they’ve delivered their presentations hundreds of times before.
All of this is to say a good speaker can help you incorporate a key message, theme, or piece of terminology into their talk. They’ll know what they can do to add in these elements while adjusting for time and tone. Often, you’ll get the feeling that their speech is always contained the new parts even though you know that isn’t true.
If there is something crucial about your meeting or event you should definitely mention it to your speaker so they can help you reinforce a big idea. It will make your event seem more cohesive while giving a fresh voice to an important thought or initiative.
You Should Choose Speakers Based on Their Own Style and Expertise
With all the caveats given above, I generally advise my clients to avoid having speakers deviate too much from their normal outlines. It isn’t that the men and women I work with can’t handle change, it’s just that I think it reduces the overall effectiveness of their work.
Consider this: when you hire someone to speak to your audience it’s usually because they have a unique background, know things you don’t, or are credible in a specific area of expertise. Why wouldn’t you want them speaking on those topics?
Your speaker might not be an expert in your company or industry, but you will already have a room filled with those. What most audiences need is a fresh voice and a new perspective, not more of the same advice they hear week in and week out. While a little bit of customization can be a good thing and help to cement some important concepts, you don’t want your speaker to lose sight of the point you hired them to make.
Do You Need the Perfect Keynote Speaker for Your Next Event?
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