Six Questions to Ask A Keynote Speaker Before Your Next Virtual Event

Do you know the right questions to ask a keynote speaker before you book them?

As every event planner knows, the wrong keynote speaker can sink an otherwise impeccably executed virtual event

You got the theme right, you got the platform right, you got all the other presenters and side events right. But at the moment when all butts are in seats to watch the highlight of the whole event, the keynote speech, the wrong tone, or the wrong message can be a disaster. A bad keynote presentation will be the story your attendees take with them when they leave the virtual event. 

And all your hard work will end on a sour note.

In order to avoid this situation, it is absolutely essential that you know the right questions to ask a keynote speaker before you book them. 

If you ask these questions at the outset, you will be sure to hire the right speaker for your virtual event and avoid any mishaps.

Six Questions to Ask a Keynote Speaker For Your Next Virtual Event

1. How will you interact with the audience? 

Virtual presentations don’t have the benefit of the energy of a live audience and speaker. So if you want your audience to feel involved and engaged in the content and message, your speaker needs to know a thing or two about how to interact with a virtual audience. Ask your speaker for specific examples of how they have successfully engaged an audience with positive results. A bored audience will not speak well of your event, or at all. You definitely don’t want that!

2. How will you tailor your presentation to fit this particular audience?

It’s great that your speaker has a powerful message or an animated delivery. But one of the most important questions to ask a keynote speaker is: how are they going to connect with YOUR particular audience? A canned speech can only go so far to connect with people. But your audience all share a common thread, a reason for being there. So how is your keynote speaker going to connect with that reason? 

3. What is the audience going to take away from this speech?

Every experience of value teaches a lesson or at least makes an audience member consider something they’ve never thought of before. So what will be the main takeaways from your keynote speaker’s presentation? Is this takeaway in line with the message, theme, and other content of your event? If this potential keynote speaker’s message is off point, you might want to consider someone else for your virtual event.

4. How will you market this event?

It’s important as a planner to know what sort of promotion this speaker will do for this event. Will their marketing clash with the tone or message of your event? Will it be on the brand? Are they open to letting you take over their marketing strategy for the event? As marketing is so important to the success of a virtual event, it’s really important to know how a speaker will go about it.

5. What do you know about this industry?

If a keynote speaker comes into an event with no knowledge of the industry of the people she’s presenting to, her presentation will come off as shallow and uninformed. She needs to be able to interact with the audience from at least a slightly informed place, and it would be nice if she could adjust her presentation to make sense in the context of that industry. If she can’t relate at all to the people she’s speaking to, she will seem ingenuine. 

6. What sort of technology are you comfortable with? 

One of the most important questions to ask a keynote speaker who is going to do a virtual presentation is: have you done this before? How many times? And what platforms did you use? There is no wiggle-room here; you need an honest, accurate idea of how comfortable this potential speaker is with using various forms of technology. Not to say that you can’t book a speaker who isn’t experienced, you just need to know how much help they will need on-the-day, so you can accurately prepare.  

There are a lot of choices out there for choosing keynote speakers. At eSpeakers, we have the knowledge and experience to help you find the right speaker who is comfortable presenting to a virtual audience. Check out our extensive roster here, and get in touch to see how we can start working for you!

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you:

Nine tips to promote your virtual event effectively
Virtual Event Planning: 8 Tips to Help You Move An Event Online at the Last Minute
Six steps for putting on a virtual event that works.

Ten Virtual Event Ideas to Keep You Ahead of the Curve

If you’re like every other event planner in the world right now, you’re scrambling to think of more and better virtual event ideas every day. Online event hosting has become the new normal, whether you were ready for it or not—COVID-19 has turned the events industry (along with pretty much every other industry in the world) on its head. So where have you landed?

Event planning is a competitive business. And every busy event planner knows, you have to stay ahead of the curve to keep landing those contracts. You are expected to knock every event out of the park with innovative new ideas and impressive results. And to do it all with lower and lower budgets.

Online events are no different. With COVID-19, the whole industry was shifted online. Live events will see their day again. But in the meantime, virtual events are on the rise and planners are upping their online game with every one.

Virtual events have less overhead, lower travel costs, and less personnel involved. This leaves a lot of room for over-the-top marketing and investment in stellar speakers and quality content. 

To help you keep ahead of the game, here are some innovative virtual event ideas to keep in your toolbox. You never know when you might need them.

10 virtual event ideas to keep you ahead of the curve

1. Go 3D

Utilize immersive environment technology to create virtual meeting rooms, stages, and other creative locations. It may not be exactly virtual reality, but this alternative presentation will give your attendees a break from the usual format of flat-screen after flat-screen.

2. Get united

Choose a common goal for your event, such as a certain dollar amount raised for a cause. Use this goal in your marketing and keep the message going throughout the event, getting people excited about reaching the goal. Track the progress and shout the results from the mountaintops. This will contribute to a feeling of community and cohesion among your attendants and strengthen the experience of your event, making it more memorable. 

3. Don’t forget to entertain

Live events usually feature entertainment of some sort, such as a musical act, a comedian, or a keynote speaker. So why shouldn’t your virtual event? Schedule live streaming entertainment and promote it as part of your marketing plan.

Speaker: Ten Fresh Virtual Event Ideas to Keep You Ahead of the Curve

4. Use music

Instead of dead air, liven up your waiting rooms with energetic music, and use it during your presentations as well. 

5. Activity breaks

Don’t forget that your participants are spending a large chunk of time in their homes staring at their computer screens so they can attend your event. Break up the event and add some movement by incorporating some health and wellness breaks, such as a scheduled yoga class or guided meditation session. This will keep your attendees from drifting off to get some exercise elsewhere, will lighten the mood and create camaraderie as they share a healthy experience together.

Meditation: Ten Fresh Virtual Event Ideas to Keep You Ahead of the Curve
A guided meditation session could refresh your attendees during a long event.

Click here for some more virtual event ideas.

6. Get competitive

Shake things up and get people interacting by incorporating some friendly competition into your event. Lead a game that goes on throughout the event, or puzzles or trivia questions that your attendees can respond to in order to earn prizes or rewards. 

7. Live illustrations

There have been some really cool things done with live illustrations at events. You can hire a graphic artist to create illustrations in real-time during presentations or webinars so that your attendees can watch as it evolves and highlights different aspects of your content. At the end of your event, these completed sketches can be used as marketing material or as giveaways or prizes.

8. Use unusual backgrounds

By this time, most people are used to watching webinars hosted in conference rooms, offices, or on stages. Do something a little more unusual such as shooting outdoors or another unpredictable space. Do keep in mind that you should be able to control your audio, so do a soundcheck first to ensure there won’t be any surprises (think wind and passersby). 

9. Go glossy instead of live streaming

Livestreaming is the main mode of presentation for virtual events. But why not invest the time to create pre-recorded sessions instead? While livestreaming is more immediate and can be more interactive by nature, they can also risk being boring and flat if it’s just one person speaking for tens of minutes. A pre-recorded video, on the other hand, can benefit from editing, cutting, and styling which can make for much more interesting, engaging content. If you don’t want your whole event to be pre-recorded, think about incorporating a few shorter elements into your schedule, interspersed with livestreaming. 

Prerecording: Ten Fresh Virtual Event Ideas to Keep You Ahead of the Curve

10. Get creative with your speakers

Sometimes the best choice isn’t the most obvious choice, which is why one of our favorite virtual event ideas is to hire surprising speakers. Search eSpeakers’ virtual speakers’ roster to find a talented online event-savvy speaker for your event.

Online events are here to stay. And just like the live event industry before it, the playing field is going to get ever more competitive and innovative. With these and other virtual event ideas, you can work to keep yourself one step ahead of the pack. 

Happy planning!

Are you a speaker wanting to expand your portfolio to include online training? Being certified is a great way to let customers know you’re a great virtual speaker. We offer certification at eSpeakers….check it out here.

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you:

Get certified! Become a Certified Virtual Presenter.
Virtual event planning: 8 tips to move your event online last minute.
Nine tips to promote your online event effectively.

Nine Tips To Promote Your Virtual Event Effectively

Do you know how to promote your virtual event? There are a few things that you have to do to make sure you draw the right audience. Here are nine of them.

How to promote your virtual event

If you’re like a lot of us in the event planning industry, you’ve had to do a lot of hustling in the last few months to quickly recalibrate your business model. You’ve had to remake yourself into a virtual event planner fast because if you didn’t you would sink. You’ve been learning new skills on the fly, and if you’ve been successful, you’ve been able to shift an existing event online or even launch some new ones.

An essential skill to master when planning online events is how to effectively market them. 

Seven steps to remember when you promote your virtual event:

1. Make sure your event will be effective online.

Think about your event’s different aspects, and envision to detail how they will play out in an online atmosphere. What platform will work best? Will people be able to engage? Is this a message that will translate onto a screen in a way that is easy to interpret and participate in? For example, a hands-on workshop might not work online.

2. Get a dedicated website up and running.

If you want to get marketing, you need to have a landing pad first. When you begin to promote your virtual event it’s vital that you have an engaging, informative website for people to go to, and don’t forget to make it searchable using SEO tactics. Spend time making this website a quality place to be because you want your potential participants to spend time there exploring your message and what they will gain by taking part. 

Are you a speaker wanting to expand your portfolio to include online training? Being certified is a great way to let customers know you’re a great virtual speaker. We offer certification at eSpeakers….check it out here.

3. Brand your event.

Generate excitement and anticipation by branding your event. This means considering who your target audience is and tailoring the look and feel of your branding to suit their tastes and needs. Do a little bit of market research and comparison, and use colors, messages, themes, and fonts that will appeal to who you are marketing to.

4. Blog about it.

Get writing! An important aspect to remember when you promote your event is blog power. If you have a blog, write a post that reflects your excitement about the event. Then share it on social media and contribute it to other blogs as well. You can also get other bloggers to promote your virtual event by writing a guest post on their blogs or asking them to write one and share it with their followers.

5. Make social media work for you.

Using social media doesn’t stop at sharing on your own accounts. Create dedicated accounts for your event across several platforms and get interactive. Participate in online discussions, share lots of content; basically, make your event a consistent presence online that people will start to notice. 

6. Leverage your speakers.

Use the star power of your host or speakers to get the word out. As part of your branding you will have graphics and logos to share; provide them to your speakers and ask them to share them on their own social media platforms. This will spread your marketing net even wider.

Finding a speaker who’s comfortable online doesn’t need to be a daunting task. Use our handy virtual speakers’ marketplace tool to find the perfect online speaker. Then contact us to get started.

7. Make a snappy video.

People love watching videos. Invest some time and money (if you have it) into creating a fun, engaging video that demonstrates what participants will have in store if they register. Share it all over social media and even send it out in your email invite.

8. Get your attendees to market for you.

When your attendees’ register, provide them lots of links and shareable material that they can use to let their own networks know about the awesome event they just signed up for! Word-of-mouth doesn’t need to be face-to-face—if you can leverage social media sharing, it can be an extremely effective way to get people talking about your event. 

9. Don’t drop the ball. 

The day of your event is an incredibly powerful day to continue marketing and generate interest in your next event. Share lots of snippets and highlights throughout the day. This will give people a taste of what they’re missing and will bring lots of attention to you and your team at the same time.

COVID-19 has likely changed the landscape of the events industry for good. There will be a return to live events again, but online events will be more prevalent than they were before the pandemic. Knowing how to effectively promote your virtual event every time will help position you for more success in the future.

Happy planning!

Did we forget anything? Let us know in the comments.

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you:

Get certified! Become a Certified Virtual Presenter.
Virtual event planning: 8 tips to move your event online last minute.
Ten event planning tips for absolute beginners.

Why I’m (Still) Happy with Dr. Marie-Hélène Pelletier

Dr. Marie-Hélène Pelletier is a speaker known for helping people take action on anxiety and burnout by increasing resilience and broadening our perspective. Something we could all do right now as we get through these tough times.

Marie shares why she’s still happy and helps you reflect upon your “why” of “Why I’m (Still) Happy.” She also shares a powerful message about perspective, and why that’s important today as we try to get through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

So gather your family around, share this video with friends and co-workers, and share on your social media channels. Pass this “Why I’m (Still) Happy” video along because everybody can use some happy. Join the “Why I’m (Still) Happy” movement by subscribing to this channel and making an inspiring comment of hope and appreciation below. #WhyImStillHappy #TogetherAtHome

Why I’m (Still) Happy with Steve Gilliland, CSP, CPAE

Steve Gilliland, CSP, CPAE: a speaker known for his storytelling, comedy, and his ability to help people Enjoy The Ride! Steve’s blueprint to life Enjoy The Ride, helps people examine where they are personally and professionally. Something we could all do right now as we get through these tough times.

Steve shares why he’s still happy and helps you reflect upon your “why” of “Why I’m (Still) Happy.” He also shares a powerful message about the love he and his wife have, and why that’s important today as we try to get through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

So gather your family around, share this video with friends and co-workers, and share on your social media channels. Pass this “Why I’m (Still) Happy” video along because everybody can use some happy. Join the “Why I’m (Still) Happy” movement by subscribing to this channel and making an inspiring comment of hope and appreciation below. #WhyImStillHappy #TogetherAtHome

Certified Virtual Presenters Now Available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Certified Virtual Presenters Now Available

Salt Lake City, UT — May 12, 2020 — The shift to online meetings brought on by Covid-19 has highlighted the urgent need for event organizers to find speakers who deliver their content remotely. Many of the old sources for keynoters and trainers do not give any indication of a presenter’s online ability via Zoom, WebEx, etc. 

To assist their friends in the event organization business, eSpeakers announces the Virtual Presenter certification. This certification is a basic test of a presenter’s equipment, environment, and skill using remote presentation tools like Zoom, WebEx, etc. 

Speakers who display the Certified Virtual Presenter badge on their website and eSpeakers profile have been tested for:

  • Solid equipment setup with good microphones, cameras, and lighting
  • A presenting background environment free of noise and distraction
  • Internet connection speed and quality
  • Ability to recover from disconnection and return quickly to the meeting
  • Good use of visual aids, and Q&A capabilities with the audience

In addition, each certification provides a short “virtual proof” video of the presenter, recorded by the certifier during a virtual meeting, so that event organizers can see first-hand what they’ll be getting.

The Certified Virtual Presenter standard has support from leading industry organizations:  

  • Meeting Professionals International
  • Smart Meetings
  • Senior Planners Industry Network

“The certificate does not speak to the presenter’s content, platform skills, experience, etc.,” says Dave Reed, President of eSpeakers. “There are other industry certificates for that. When you hire a Certified Virtual Presenter you can be confident you’re hiring someone who will look good and sound good online, and is comfortable using the tools. We see virtual presentations being a big part of what speakers are doing in 2020.” 

You can see the current list of Certified Virtual Presenters here:
https://www.espeakers.com/marketplace/search-virtual

About eSpeakers

eSpeakers is a 20-year-old technology and marketing company providing the speaking industry with an online platform for connecting audiences with the great presenters. With unique desktop and mobile tools, online contracting and payment, and real-time availability, putting the perfect speaker in front of an audience is easy and safe with eSpeakers.

Visit eSpeakers and connect with them on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.


For more information, please contact:

Joseph Heaps

eSpeakers, CMO

jheaps@espeakers.com

888-377-3214

Why I’m (Still) Happy with Clint Pulver

Clint Pulver: a speaker known for his fun, dynamic and entertaining presentations that engage and inspire people. Especially during tough times!

Clint shares why he’s still happy and helps you reflect upon your “why” of “Why I’m (Still) Happy.” He also shares a powerful message that it’s not about being the best in the world…It’s about being the best FOR the world, especially as we try to get going after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

So gather your family around, share this video with friends and co-workers, and share on your social media channels. Pass this “Why I’m (Still) Happy” video along because everybody can use some happy. Join the “Why I’m (Still) Happy” movement by subscribing to this channel and making an inspiring comment of hope and appreciation below. #WhyImStillHappy #TogetherAtHome

Why I’m Still Happy with Jim Cathcart CSP, CPAE

Jim Cathcart CSP, CPAE: a hall of fame speaker known for teaching others how to improve communication, build confidence, and focus on what matters most. Especially during tough times!

Jim shares why he’s still happy and helps you reflect upon your “why” of “Why I’m (Still) Happy.” He also shares how being an optimist during tough times can help make you happy. He encourages everyone to take control of what goes into our minds and our hearts, especially as we try to get going after the COVID-19 pandemic.

So gather your family around, share this video with friends and co-workers, and share on your social media channels. Pass this “Why I’m (Still) Happy” video along because everybody can use some happy. Join the “Why I’m (Still) Happy” movement by subscribing to this channel and making an inspiring comment of hope and appreciation below. #WhyImStillHappy#TogetherAtHome

Why I’m (Still) Happy with David Horsager CSP, CPAE

David Horsager CSP, CPAE: a speaker known for teaching others about trust, and how they can enjoy greater creativity, productivity, freedom as a result. Especially during tough times!

David shares why he’s still happy and helps you reflect upon your “why” of “Why I’m (Still) Happy.” He also shares a story about riding his horse at age 12, and how he had to “Get back on the horse.” He encourages everyone to “Get back on the horse” as we try to get going after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

So gather your family around, share this video with friends and co-workers, and share on your social media channels. Pass this “Why I’m (Still) Happy” video along because everybody can use some happy. Join the “Why I’m (Still) Happy” movement by subscribing to this channel and making an inspiring comment of hope and appreciation below. #WhyImStillHappy #TogetherAtHome

Why I’m (Still) Happy with Sarah McVanel CSP

Sarah McVanel CSP: a speaker known for teaching others about the power of recognition when times are tough. 

Sarah shares why she’s still happy and helps you reflect upon your “why” of “Why I’m (Still) Happy.” She also shares how people all over the world are using recognition to boost spirits and morale during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

So gather your family around, share this video with friends and co-workers, and share on your social media channels. Pass this “Why I’m (Still) Happy” video along because everybody can use some happy. Join the “Why I’m (Still) Happy” movement by subscribing to this channel and making an inspiring comment of hope and appreciation below. #WhyImStillHappy #TogetherAtHome