Expert advice on how to find the right meeting speakers
1. If you are asking them to speak, ask for submissions that show a sample video clip of them speaking.
Ask around people in your industry that might have seen the speaker, and ask for their review (Would you accept a chef based on his ability to dance?).
This takes more time, but if lectures and panels are the primary thing at the conference, it should be worth that investment.
2. Provide a run through for all meeting speakers at the event.
Give them a short run through on the event.
The earlier you do this, the more time speakers have to make adjustments to their presentations.
Minimally, provide the run through at the event itself. You could require all speakers to show up early for a summary of tips, and event objectives.
Even a one pager on presenting do’s and don’ts ups the quality dramatically.
3. Review their presentation material.
You can often, but not always, judge a presenters comfort level with speaking by examining their materials.
Since often it’s the materials than live on past the event, quality control for them will pay off, even if the speaker doesn’t do so well. Its best to ask for draft slides from speakers that you have never seen speak before.
4. Collect feedback from the audience on the meeting speaker’s performance, and pass this on to the speakers.
You can choose to summarise and filter it, or you can give them the raw survey information.
This is another way to provide quality control. It’s not the best, since it happens after the event, but it does set you and the speaker up with a baseline to use in the future.