How to Choose a Keynote Speaker: Your Comprehensive Guide for Success

How to Choose a Keynote Speaker

Are you planning an event and looking for a keynote speaker to engage and inspire your audience? The right keynote speaker can make all the difference in the success of your event. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to choose a keynote speaker that will leave a lasting impact on your audience.

Understanding Your Event

Before you start looking for a keynote speaker, it’s important to understand your event and what you hope to achieve. Consider the following factors:

How to Choose a Keynote Speaker

Type of Event

Is your event a conference, a gala, or a workshop? The type of event you’re hosting will determine the tone and style of your keynote speaker.

Audience Demographics

Who is your target audience? What age range, gender, and professions are they? Understanding your audience demographics will help you choose a keynote speaker that can relate to and engage with your audience.

Event Theme

What is the theme of your event? Your keynote speaker should align with your event’s theme and message.

Finding Potential Speakers

Once you understand your event, it’s time to start looking for potential keynote speakers. Here are some tips for finding speakers:

How to Choose a Keynote Speaker

Ask for Recommendations

Ask your network for recommendations. Reach out to colleagues, industry associations, and other event planners to see who they recommend.

Research Online

Search for keynote speakers online. You can use speaker bureaus, industry associations, and social media to find potential speakers.

Check References

Before you book a speaker, check their references. Ask for testimonials from previous clients or event planners.

Evaluating Potential Speakers

Once you’ve found potential keynote speakers, it’s time to evaluate them. Here are some factors to consider:

How to Choose a Keynote Speaker


How much experience does the speaker have? Have they spoken at similar events before?


What is the speaker’s style? Do they use humor or storytelling in their speeches? Consider how their style will fit with your event’s tone and message.


What is the speaker’s message? Does it align with your event’s theme and message? Is the content relevant and timely?


What is the speaker’s fee? Make sure you have a budget in mind before you start evaluating potential speakers.

Booking the Speaker

Once you’ve found the right keynote speaker, it’s time to book them. Here are some tips for booking a speaker:

How to Choose a Keynote Speaker

Sign a Contract

Make sure you have a contract in place that outlines the terms of the speaker’s engagement.

Provide Event Details

Give the speaker all the details about your event, including the event’s theme, audience demographics, and schedule.

Communicate Expectations

Communicate your expectations for the speaker’s performance. Let them know what you hope to achieve and what you expect from their speech.


Choosing the right keynote speaker can make all the difference in the success of your event. By understanding your event, finding potential speakers, evaluating them, and booking the right one, you can ensure your event is engaging, inspiring, and successful.


  1. How much should I expect to pay for a keynote speaker?

    • Fees vary depending on the speaker’s experience, popularity, and demand. Expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 or more for a keynote speaker.
  2. Can I negotiate a speaker’s fee?

    • Yes, you can negotiate a speaker’s fee. Keep in mind that speakers may have a minimum fee they won’t go below.
  3. How do I know if a speaker is a good fit for my event?

    • Look for a speaker that aligns with your event’s theme and message and can engage with your audience.
  4. How far in advance should I book a keynote speaker?

    • It’s best to book a keynote speaker as far in advance as possible to ensure availability. Aim for at least 6 months to a year in advance.
  5. Can a keynote speaker customize their speech for my event?

    • Yes, many keynote speakers will customize their speech to fit the specific needs and theme of your event. Make sure to communicate your expectations and needs with the speaker beforehand.