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Ah, you’ve been tasked with finding a keynote speaker for your company’s next big event. Congratulations! Or should I say, “I’m sorry”? Because let’s face it, this task can be as daunting as trying to explain to your grandma how to use Zoom. But worry not, dear fledgling planner, I’m here to guide you through this labyrinth

Welcome to the Jungle (of Keynote Speakers)
So you’ve been thrown into the speaker-finding wilderness. Do you hear that? It’s the sound of a thousand PowerPoint slides advancing and retreat drinks being poured simultaneously. This jungle is teeming with species of all kinds: The Motivator, The Intellectual, The Industry Guru, and don’t forget The What-the-Heck-Are-They-Talking-About-Er.

Pro Tip: You’ll need to know your audience to pick the right species. Sending an Industry Guru to motivate high schoolers is like sending a clown to a corporate board meeting. Fun, but wildly inappropriate.

The Speaker Budget Saga
Ah, money, the root of all corporate decisions. Before you get carried away browsing speakers who charge more than your annual salary for an hour of eloquence, establish your budget. And I mean really establish it. Don’t do that “Oh, we’ll figure it out” thing. Because nothing’s more awkward than backtracking after you’ve booked someone who demands a private jet filled with rose petals for their arrival.

The Love Connection: Matching Speaker with Audience
Let’s talk about dating… your speaker! No, not like that. It’s crucial to consider what your audience needs and how the speaker can deliver that. Are your attendees millennials in tech or seasoned professionals in healthcare? This is your audience-speaker love connection, and like any romantic comedy, you don’t want a mismatch leading to cringeworthy moments.

Quick Note: Asking your audience for input can be invaluable. A simple survey could save you from the equivalent of a disastrous blind date. Trust me, no one wants to be stuck listening to a speaker they can’t relate to for an hour.

The Speaker Hunt: Where to Find Them
You could be thinking, “Great, I know what I need. But where do I find this unicorn of a speaker?” Websites, agencies, and referrals are your friends here. No, they won’t bail you out of jail, but they will provide you with options and reviews. Sort of like Yelp, but for people.

Lifehack: Keep an eye on your industry’s popular podcasts and webinars. Speakers often guest star on these platforms. It’s like a free test drive before you buy the luxury car.

What Happens After ‘I Do’?
You’ve chosen “the one,” but the work isn’t over. Communicate. Keep an open line with your speaker about event logistics, desired outcomes, and what snacks will be provided in the green room. Nothing ruins a relationship faster than misunderstandings or, God forbid, the wrong type of bottled water.

And voila! You’re all set to go. Armed with this guide, you’re now more than ready to dive into the thrilling world of keynote speaker selection. Good luck, and may the speaker odds be ever in your favor.