by Pandit Dasa, professional wellness and mindful leadership speaker | July 08, 2019

Booking the right keynote speaker for your event is a crucial task. That selection will serve not only to market the event in advance, but will also color attendee perception of their overall event experience -- for better or worse. Both beginning and experienced meeting planners should heed the following tips, and as a result, navigate the keynote speaker search with ease, grace and total success.

Determine the Desired Event Outcome 

To effectively search for talent, you must envision the desired meeting outcomes. Work backward from there to ensure all logistics are in place. Sometimes looking toward the future can be overwhelming; beginning at the end, on the other hand, helps tasks seem less daunting.

Determine which of these outcomes works best for describing the goal of your event:

• Network building: Bringing people together from related industries to create long-term business relationships
• Continued education: Providing attendees the necessary educational credits to satisfy their professional requirements
• Team building: Creating a sustainable culture of trust and reliability within an organization
• Change communication: Preparing people with tools to weather change within their industry or organization
• Health and wellness: Helping people learn and institute new ways to manage stress and enjoy their life and work

If you're still not quite sure what your speaker should be delivering, look to the event specifics:

• Determine the overall meeting agenda.
• Understand the wants and needs of the ideal attendee.
• Define the conference objective for all participants.

Adjust Fee Expectations

Where most planners get stuck in the keynote-selection process is in the negotiation of speaker fees. Here's what you need to know:

• Professional keynotes run upward of $10,000 to $20,000 plus associated fees. 
• A higher-profile candidate can collect as much as $40,000.
• Approach the fees and negotiation process in relation to other costs, such as a catered morning breakfast.

Book Talent

Request pertinent examples of work. Reviewing an uncut video of a presenter speaking to a similar audience is an invaluable step.

• Give yourself ample time to interview potential speakers. You do not want to miss out on the person who is perfect for your event.
• Find a presenter who can speak to your event's specific themes.
• Consider any extra services speakers may need to provide, such as making themselves available to the crowd after their presentation, and ensure they are willing to do so.
• Aim to reserve a speaker six to 12 months before the conference takes place.

Design an Environment

• Envision an environment that will best facilitate the keynote.
• Weigh venue options carefully, as they can affect every aspect of the speaker's delivery.
• For team exercises, consider a location removed from regular life, which can provide a better opportunity for people to be themselves and gain new perspectives.
• Beware of environments that can derail your objective. For example, a mindfulness session will require a space free of random noise, conversation and interruption.

Address the Small Details

• Find out exactly what your speaker needs for the presentation, and triple-check that the venue can accommodate these requirements.
• Have the speaker do an on-location rehearsal.
• Discuss the roles and responsibilities of all parties in the event of schedule changes or other mishaps.


Pandit Dasa is a mindful leadership expert, motivational keynote speaker and author who helps organizations improve employee engagement, retention and workplace happiness. He does this by inspiring his audiences to lead by example, appreciate the contributions of their colleagues, communicate mindfully and manage one's emotions. He helps individuals develop positive leadership qualities, lower stress and anxiety, increase focus and productivity and boost emotional intelligence.

Dasa is represented by Marc Reede, president, Rave Reviews Speakers & Entertainment. To book Pandit Dasa and a number of other noteworthy speakers for your next event, visit the Rave Speakers website.