Back to Blog
What 7 Things Matter When Hiring a Speaker?
Caroline Martel

What 7 Things Matter When Hiring a Speaker?

When you hire a speaker, you usually find yourself paying pretty good money to someone you may not know very well. There’s an element of faith and trust in the process. You have to trust that the speaker will show up and deliver. Will their presentation be made for your needs? Will it be up to date, evidence-based? Will they stick to time? Is it going to be boring?

And let’s face it – a lot of speakers give the same speech over and over, regardless of who the audience is. You want to be sure the information at your conference is tailored specifically to the people attending and give everyone the stuff they want to learn.

You want people to come to you at the end of the day and say “Thanks so much for organising that speaker. I found it super valuable.”

Seven things that matter when hiring a speaker

Before you hire someone to speak at your event, consider the following points:

  1. They’re using social media to engage an audience. This illustrates to you that the speaker has something to say, can provide meaningful content, and is committed to captivating with your audience. Plus, if it’s relevant to you, this can also be used to promote your event with that speaker.
  2. They require payment. Now and then you might be offered a freebie. But the reality is that good professional speakers put significant time (often years or even decades) into their talks, develop powerful and carefully constructed messages, and care deeply about the outcome for participants in the session.
  3. They know their AV. While not an indication of a ‘good’ speaker, those who do this often care about the ratio of the PowerPoint slides, the quality of the sound, and the way audiences interact with technology during the presentation. This kind of insight shows the speaker is serious about the presentation and know what they are doing.
  4. Slide design quality is high. No speaker should ever be using black on white Comic Sans if they are taking their presentations seriously. Similarly, slides should not contain large amounts of text, too many points, or WordArt from 20 years ago. You can tell a lot about a speaker by their slides.
  5. They want to know your audience. Be wary of speakers who aren’t curious about who they’ll be speaking to. You don’t want the same old talk recycled over and over again. You want content specific to your audience. Speakers should be asking attendees’ roles, ages, education, and expected outcomes.
  6. They’re interactive. Let’s face it. Even good speakers can lose the attention of their audience in our age of digital pre-occupation. Great speakers don’t just speak at your audience. They speak with them. They captivate. They have the confidence in themselves and their material to let go of the script and be helpful.
  7. They know that content is king – and deliver on it. After all, that’s why you’re really hiring them. Make sure they have a track record of providing great content. You can find it through their previous customer testimonials, their books, blogs, tweets, Facebook posts, podcasts, YouTube, any online presence!

We may be a bit biased… but when you hire Dr Justin Coulson, you get all of this, and more. Justin’s keynotes offer practical and evidence-based tools audiences can implement straight away in an engaging, fun way, so if you want to learn more, get in touch!

Interested in sharing this content on your site? Simply reference Justin Coulson (or the relevant author) and link back to this article.

Author Avatar
About the Author

Caroline Martel

Caroline looks after Dr Justin Coulson's speaking and PR endorsements as well as the Happy Families School Membership. To enquire about any of these, please contact Caroline at

Related Articles

The Best Person You Have Worked With

The Best Person You Have Worked With

View Article