Choosing The Right Guest Speakers for Your Online Event

Choosing The Right Guest Speakers for Your Online Event

Lila Cailles


How can you choose the right guest speakers for online events?

  1. Understand the tone of the event
  2. Know your audience’s needs
  3. Ensure the speakers are knowledgeable
  4. Make diversity of opinions a priority


No online event is complete without guest speakers. They’re the ones who are largely responsible for determining the success or failure of an event. If you’ve ever been to an event yourself, then you’ll understand just how impactful these people are. When you’re planning a virtual show, choosing guest speakers for your online event should be one of your priorities. Continue reading to learn more.


Understand The Tone Of The Event

A woman listening to an online event speaker

Guest speakers may have different expertise. There are guest speakers who have the right know-how in fields of economics, logistics, geopolitics, hospitality or events organizing — but if your event is about trade and commerce, then it’s best to look elsewhere. You don’t want to just simply hire experts, but rather the focus should be on hiring experts who would likely be able to understand the tone of your event.

Setting the tone should already have been considered during the event conceptualization process. This includes an understanding of the type of message that your event aims to deliver. A guest speaker should be able to supplant the tone and subsequently enrich it.

Let’s go back to the example above: if you’re planning to hold an event that talks about event organizing, then it may be wise to choose seasoned organizers whose main area of expertise has to do with putting together an event. They would be able to provide useful information like setting up trade booths, determining the layout of function halls, procuring necessary equipment, and the like. This is a way of ensuring that the type of language they use during the event proper is suited to the content.


Know Your Audience’s Needs

An attendee viewing the talk of an online speaker

Planning a successful online event is all about anticipating audience expectations and desires. Though the kind of event that you’re planning may already be enough to determine who’s going to be part of the audience, it would still be difficult to please such a large demographic. As such, before you even let any keynote speaker take the floor, make sure that the audience needs have been taken into account.

It’s important that you understand basic information such as the profile of your expected audience. For example, if you’re going to hold a webinar on how COVID-19 is impacting the healthcare industry, then you certainly wouldn’t want your audience to gain insights from a speaker with different expertise. Instead, they will most likely be warmed up by experts and professionals in the field of medicine who understand the risks and needs of the industry. The speaker should be able to cater to specific requirements that the audience is expecting from the event.


Ensure the Speakers Are Knowledgeable

A businessman speaking at an online event

Anyone can be a motivational speaker — even those who don’t really have any professional experience as regards the topic. However, if your online event is specifically dealing with a niche topic that requires the right expertise, then these motivational speakers may not be the right fit. You have to make sure that the speakers that you’ll hire will possess the right credentials in order to hold a high-quality event.

The proper know-how makes it possible for the speaker to address certain themes and topics that are covered in your event and should be able to answer questions at the end of the forum. It’s a good idea for you to be able to perform a thorough background check on the speaker’s experience. Making a proper assessment of their employment and educational history are good starting points for you.

It may also be a good idea to look into whether or not they have participated in events of a similar nature. If you want the event to be able to deliver a proper call-to-action, then choosing the right people to deliver it is especially crucial.


Make Diversity Of Opinions A Priority

The Diverse Line Up At An Online Event

Diversity of opinions should also be present in your online event. In particular, this is manifested by the variety of speakers that you’ve already chosen. You should be able to tread a fine balance between catering to diverse opinions, while subsequently ensuring that every speaker is the right fit for the job.

Given the healthcare online event example, it is given that you’ll be hiring people who are involved in the said industry. You may look into inviting CEOs from pharmaceutical giants or private biotechnology companies or officers of health associations. While having them grace your online event, it is important that you look towards other important people involved. These are the frontliners, nurses, healthworkers, and student groups who are producing test kits, as some examples.

Hosting an engaging event means that you have many or all of these people together, discussing amongst the audience and themselves, and sharing their well-founded opinions on a particular topic.


Key Takeaway

Choosing the right guest speakers for your online event may be a challenge while professionals exist in every industry, but the trick lies in vetting the most qualified ones who would most fit in with the topic that you wish to deliver.

Guest speakers should have the proper knowledge to expound and address certain issues and objectives that would be covered in the event. In much the same way, you’d want your audience to learn from a pool of perspectives which they could gain valuable insights from. Once you’ve considered these aspects, then you’re already on your way to finding the right people.

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