Speakers are a vital component to any event - and can be one of the most difficult. Finding enough speakers to fill your agenda is one thing; finding the right speakers is another. The typical call for papers is a common method of finding speakers, but can often attract the same group of speakers in your market and can lead to stale content. So how do you find a new, robust pool of potential speakers who are engaging, knowledgeable, and available?
Here are 9 innovative ways to find great speakers for your next event:
- Search Slideshare. Use keywords to find presentations delivered on similar topics. You’ll get a preview of how they present their ideas as well as a shortlist of speaker names. Then take those names and search for them on YouTube or Google to see them in action.
- Search blogs and industry publications. Using your topics, add “blog” to your search terms and find out who’s been blogging on your topics of interest. This is a great way of finding speakers who may not be in the “circuit” and over-used. BuzzSumo can help you find publications in your industry with guest bloggers or authors who could be speaker candidates.
- Search LinkedIn Groups or Quora Threads, where you may find potential speakers answering questions your audience might ask in new and exciting ways.
- Try FollowerWonk - a search engine of Twitter biographies. Look for topics, or key terms that might appear in your ideal speaker’s job description.
- Klout and PeerIndex can find influential people in your market space or topic area who are very active on social media – and who might draw a large audience. Search BlueNod for influencers using particular hashtags on Twitter.
- Look to your alumni. Are there attendees who have attended every year? They might make great speakers because they clearly love your event.
- Turn to the pros. Try the National Speakers Association or Speaker Match for professional speakers. Speaker Match allows you to post a request for speakers for your event. Toastmasters and certified speakers organizations like National Speakers Bureau or National Speakers Association have local chapters where you can search for certified speakers.
- Tap into your Chamber of Commerce. Business professionals join Chambers to increase visibility for their business or brand, and could be good sources for speakers in your area.
- Try the local university. Professors often make excellent speakers because they are knowledgeable and articulate.
Tapping into a variety of sources for speakers will help you get fresh, on-point speakers for your event to deliver engaging content your attendees will love. Once you’ve got your line-up set, check out our other post on event promotion to get the word out about your great speakers!
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