Having read Marcus Sheridan’s book: They ask, you answer I immediately got it, and got to work…
Whenever I’m asked a question, I respond to it directly to the person asking, and then add it to my FAQ’s page!
Please take a moment to read through, I’m sure you’ll find some you have already thought to ask, and others you may not ever have thought of, or considered asking!
And, if by chance you haven’t had all your questions answered, simply book a call, I’d be only too happy to chat things through with you, answer all of your questions (and if I may, add them to our FAQ!)
About Speaking (13)
First determine your event audience, budget, date, and location. Only then will it be time to start researching speakers, either directly or through a speaker bureau, but either way, they will guide you through the process.
As a professional keynote speaker, our mission is to ensure your conference leaves the RIGHT lasting impression, and you the hero, by providing world-class resources and exceptional service (with some fun thrown in along the way).
Have you yet downloaded my Guide to planning a Successful Event? It’s free, there’s no hidden agenda, simply a desire to ensure you’ve got everything covered.
You might also wish to book a call?
Again, NO hidden agenda, on more occasions than not, I’ll recommend at least 3-4 other speakers to every enquiry, based on my extensive knowledge of the speaker industry and the many speakers within it.
During the call I’ll help you to identify your exact needs. Only then can I help you find not only the right speaker on any given subject…but the best speaker for the event for your audience.
Selecting a speaker is a daunting process and choosing the right person from the thousands who claim to be amazing can seem impossible. Clearly knowledge and understanding of who’s who is key.
According to Wikipedia, a keynote in public speaking is a talk that establishes the main underlying theme.
In corporate or commercial settings, greater importance is attached to the delivery of a keynote speech or keynote address because the keynote establishes the framework for the training that follows.
Most keynote addresses are 45 minutes to 90 minutes long (although there is no rule limiting it to a certain duration). In a relatively short period of time, the keynote speaker has to establish rapport, educate, entertain the audience, and leave them wanting more.
A keynote is also meant to inspire the attendees to want to be at the event and stay there from start to finish. It should also give them a “Call to Action” to want to learn, interact, and bring home tools from the event that can improve sales, overcome negativity, or help them do their everyday duties better.
The keynote speaker must know their subject inside and out, and be able to offer insights or possible actions that are easy to understand and hard to forget. This is often accomplished with humour, personal stories, or unusual accomplishments.
Most attendees are looking for a “black belt” in a subject from the keynote speaker, someone that’s been there and done it, rather than simply read up and recited it! They should be able to incorporate your event theme, terminology and have a working knowledge of the work they perform and the challenges and obstacles they face.
Jay Allen – Opening Keynote
As your opening keynote, I take the time to research the audience. That I am relevant, fun, and energising. That energy is then carried on by the other participants throughout the rest of the conference.
From the moment I enter stage, I get the audience engaged, they are ready to hear my message and any message to follow. I emotionally charge the audience on the premise: “They will not remember what you did or said, they remember how you make them feel.”
You can count on me to set the stage for the rest of your event, and start your event with laughter, much to think about, and make this event, one of the most memorable this audience have ever attended.
Jay Allen – Closing Speaker
As a closing keynote speaker, I work to incorporate the event theme. Reference significant points during the event and much more into this captivating close.
One of the main goals in a closing keynote, is to provide the audience with a revitalised “Call To Action” they take back with them and implement straight away. Invite me to keynote if you want your event to end on a high, with everyone energised and driven to achieve YOUR objectives.
Whilst there are MANY who are recognised as Motivational speakers, others are often referred to as inspirational speakers. So what is an ‘inspirational speaker’?
An inspirational speaker talks about themselves and lets you draw your own conclusions. It maybe they have faced something either horrific or done something heroic. Either the way their story and how they deliver it are inspirational and delivered to give a clear example of what CAN be achieved.
In contrast, a motivational speaker actively sets out to help their audience to improve in some way. Motivational Speakers typically help organisations, leaders and individuals become more efficient and excited about what they’re already doing.
The BIG difference here, is that inspirational is all based on the SPEAKERS experience in their own life, whereas a motivational speaker may well use stories but not necessarily their own to motivate an audience.
Jay provides breakout sessions, Workshops and Masterclasses.
Usually, these are not events where everyone attends. Instead, they are one of many sessions scheduled at the same time and participants are free to attend by choice. These break out sessions typically offer participants more of an in-depth educational experience by focusing on one aspect in more detail than a general session, which may also include handout materials, and are usually intended to provide very focused training.
Workshops are more interactive experiences where Jay facilitates learning, rather than presents. These can vary in duration; some are an hour or two hours; however Jay has conducted events where the workshops were ½ day and even full day offerings that are then duplicated so others at the conference can also attend. Most workshops include interactive activities that allow participants to work with each other at a level that is not possible during a large general session.
Masterclasses are an extension of a Workshop but often geared at a Strategic rather than operational level. They are rarely less than ½ day sessions and may be longer than 1 day. Again, they are interactive, and include handouts, but usually based towards C-Suite, Shareholders, and Senior management.
It may be for one reason or another, that you have chosen to invite a Military Speaker to present at your event? But what is a Military Speaker?
Regardless of service (Army, Navy, Air Forces, or from which country the service personnel previously/currently serve) a military speaker is either currently or has previously served their country within the Armed Forces. The HUGE benefit this brings to any event, CANNOT be underestimated. Exceptionally disciplined, experienced and un-phased by difficult situations. A Military speaker will ultimately bring a sense of authority and discipline to an audience to a level perhaps they have never witnessed before.
I am exceptionally proud to have served my Queen and Country for 12+ years, and acknowledge MANY of the successes I have witnessed both within my own businesses, and that achieved whilst working within others, have been as a direct result of my service. It’s what prompted me to write my first book: Battlefield2Boardroom – 10 Proven Military Lessons to Combat Mediocrity.
And has been pivotal to my post military career success. Having worked at Boardroom level for 2 of the UK’s largest high street chains, and having either bought, acquired or set up 4 of my own businesses and won both National and International Awards.
Some internal speakers can be superb and work particularly well.
However, it doesn’t matter how brilliant your MD or other senior management may be, a quality external speaker will simply add another dimension to your event. When asked what has the most impact at a conference – video, catering, accommodation, speakers, recent research has shown that over 70% of conference audiences described guest speakers and performers as ‘the most memorable aspect of an event’.
And the reason for this is simple “You don’t know, what you don’t know”
It doesn’t matter how engaging, informative, comical or popular an internal speaker is, the fact remains they only know what THEY know, and this deems they will only ever bring to a life an internal perspective.
In contrast, an external speaker, knows nothing of the internal dynamics, politics or facets of the company. What they do bring is years of experience gleaned from hundreds (often thousands) of ‘snapshots’ of other companies. This, combined with their own knowledge of business, is more than sufficient to ‘take the temperature’ of any audience and determine which stories, examples, anecdotes to share in order to leave the most long-lasting impression.
Most companies book their keynote speakers months in advance of their event, but celebrities and high-demand speakers often need to be booked even further in advance. The preliminary planning steps often start a year or more before the event date.
Therefore, I’d strongly recommend start this EARLY in the planning process. I often find it alarming when event planners casually call to ask if you can speak at an event next week, which they have spent the last 3-4 months planning every other detail, other than the speaker!
Personally, I work on the following premise
The earlier you secure me as a speaker, the longer I have to research and prepare THE most bespoke and appropriate keynote for your audience and desired outcomes. Leave it until the last minute, and I’ve got little time to prepare anything other than an ‘off the shelf’ presentation (which whilst will still hit the spot) will not be as impactful as something I’ve been given the opportunity to truly work on to bespoke to you, your audience and your desired outcomes!
Furthermore, I firmly believe in value for money, and in that regard, the earlier you book, the more cost effective it is to secure me as a speaker! If, to accommodate your ‘lastminute.com’ request I need to make a number of changes to my arrangements, I’ll do it, because I’m keen to support you and the outcomes of the event. But this often deems time away from research and other commitments, all of which need to be taken into consideration in terms of reimbursement.
Finally, (and again remaining absolutely transparent) we are all learning, developing, improving ourselves all the time. Therefore, every time I’m booked, I begin the further research, further learning, more knowledge and experience. This all adds to the value I bring to every subsequent event, and so I have a policy of reviewing the level of investment requested for my services quarterly.
That said, I HONOUR every agreement made, regardless of how far ahead the event is; therefore secure me now for an event in 24 month’s time, and still benefit from today’s level of investment some 2 years later!
For the same reasons you’d utilise a travel consultant, stockbroker or estate agent. A speaker bureau offers a highly professional and specialist service in sourcing, securing and managing every aspect of your engagement with the speakers to which they represent.
Hiring a speaker is an investment. Bureau’s know the marketplace and could help make your job easier by offering a number of speakers with whom they represent with whom they believe meet your event requirements.
If you know WHO you want, and they are not ‘tied’ or ‘exclusive’ to a Bureau, you may wish to liaise with the speaker directly.
Most speakers are welcoming of the opportunity to work directly with the client, to get to understand ‘first hand’ their requirements and desired outcomes for the event and tailor a presentation specifically for them.
This can also reduce cost for you as a hirer and ensures no communication is mis-read or interpreted by removing a link from the chain.
Yes, and no! Whilst bureau’s do not charge YOU a fee, they receive a commission from the speaker for their role in facilitating the introduction. Therefore, speakers have either pre-inflated their fee’s to incorporate this, or are taking a reduced payment to cover the cost of membership of the bureau.
It may therefore, prove more cost effective to negotiate the best rate for their services.
Again, to remain transparent, the level of investment I request directly from the client, is exactly the same level of investment I require if paid via the bureau, who therefore ADD their commission to my fee before passing these details to the client.
Once the speaker accepts the invitation it would be normal for the speaker (or the Bureau) to issue a contract and confirm details regarding the event. A deposit is usually required, with the balance due either just before the appearance or directly afterwards. A separate invoice for any expenses incurred would be issued directly after the event.
You (and/or) the speaker may well wish for either a conference call or a pre-event meet, to confirm all detail of the event, the logistics and the desired outcomes. It is expected that the event booker will either be or delegate a point of contact (POC) for the speaker to liaise with should they have need to do so, and that this person be available to meet them as they arrive at the venue.
In some cases you can, in others not. Most top-name speakers and entertainers only work through bureaus, and for others, there are often a host of details you’ll have to deal with, including itineraries, travel, scheduling and more. In some cases, it can be a full-time job just to handle the arrangements needed to produce a large-scale event.
As you’ll see, I’ve put together a comprehensive guide to hosting an exceptional event to support event managers, and gladly work with them to support the event however I can.
Whilst registered with a bureau, I am not exclusive; and so welcome the opportunity to work either directly or indirectly with you to ensure the successful delivery of an exceptional event.
Whilst popular speakers are booked 1,2 sometimes 3 years in advance, they are rarely so busy speaking EVERY DAY that they would be unavailable to support a ‘lastminute.com” request.
Personally, I frequently take speaker bookings 12-18months ahead, however, rarely accept more than 2 speaking engagements a week. (allowing for travel and preparation time for each engagement). This therefore, does allow the opportunity to ‘help out’ and support lastminute.com requests as and when I am able.
The best thing is always to call and ask, the best that can happen is you get the speaker you are seeking and the entire event goes ahead without a hitch. The worst that could happen, is they are unable to help on this occasion, but offer you a string of other colleagues within the profession to try, many of whom you may not even be aware of!