You’ve saved the day, booked the venue and the guest list is glowing with the names of partners and people you want to welcome and wow at your forthcoming corporate event, but for them to really get a kick out of your conference it needs to be relevant, insightful and memorable. This is where your guest speaker comes in.

First, the relevance. If you’re holding a corporate event to drive sales, your speaker must be one who can rouse and inspire, while a team-building event won’t get the camaraderie off the ground without a fair amount of humour and lashings of cajoling. Common to most corporate events is the ability of a speaker to reinforce the value of your brand, so think carefully about how you want to project your identity and appoint a speaker who can reflect it with appropriate finesse/fun/formality.

Second, insightful. Your speaker’s credibility hangs on his ability hold attention, so ensure you’ve briefed well so the speaker can relate experiences and anecdotes that are relevant, considered and really give your audience something to think about.

Your speaker must be memorable and the only way to find out if his presenting skills are worth their salt is to ask for testimonials and references from satisfied customers. The speaker is your mouthpiece and corporate reputations can be won and lost on a patron’s performance at the podium. Critical to the success of your conference is the buy-in from your audience – and you’ll only achieve that if the speaker communicates with a credibility and confidence that’ll be remembered long after the event finishes.

As for you, as event coordinator, you’ll be responsible for making sure the speaker is booked, the logistics of getting the speaker to the event are covered and that you’re there to meet them personally and introduce them to your team in advance of the keynote. Ensure their schedule is correct and feasible and that any equipment, such as projector, speakers, mics and displays are all prepared and ready for action.

If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to booking a guest speaker, talk to an events management company who’ll have access to a world of accomplished presenters and will help you fit the right face to your function.