Choosing A Closing Speaker:

5.5 Reasons your closer is just the beginning:

As an event planner you have a lot of balls in the air – everything from venue selection to AV set-up to accommodations to choosing the perfect speaker to launch that all-important convention.

Sometimes, event planners overlook the importance of selecting the perfect opening speaker given all of the other items on the "to-do" list, but your opening speaker kicks off the event and sets the tone for all the activities that follow. Critical. So, how do you find the perfect opening speaker? Here are 5.5 tips to ensure a successful search.

1. Closing speakers are the most remembered because they speak last.

Your closer should be exciting, dynamic, engaging and informed about the purpose of the event and the activities that took place during the previous few days. A quality closer does his or her research and motivates the audience to take action on the information acquired during the days' previous activities.

Look for an individual who's closed other events – a motivator to charge up the audience as they head for home. The role of closing speakers is to motivate the audience to action based on what members discovered throughout the event. If attendees don't act on what they've learned, well, they've wasted their time and bloated employers' expense accounts without a solid return on investment (ROI), so choose a professional, motivational speaker rather than an industry insider who simply repeats what's already been said.

2. Closing speakers provide context for information sharing.

A sales conference is, certainly, about increasing sales, new marketing initiatives and other topics that relate to boosting sales back home.

A good closing speaker places this "hard" information into a broader, less "academic" context by introducing different ways audience members can actually use what they've learned to break down barriers and expand their activities after the conference. A good closing speaker encourages action, moves attendees to employ what they've learned and to push themselves further within their areas of expertise.

So, if cellular marketing was a part of the event, that closing speaker will place cellular into the context of increasing sales in a tangible manner. And, remember, these closing speakers are working with professionals who are tired and worried about that connecting flight in Denver so enthusiasm and humor, along with delivering real-world context, are key functions of a professional closing speaker

Pick someone who's closed hundreds of events before. They know how to reach an audience of tired professionals eager to get back home.

3. Closing speakers energize listeners with a passionate delivery and humor.

At least the good ones do. They get audience members up and out of their seats, testing their skills in activities that build self-esteem and push boundaries to employ all the information they've gathered in the previous three days.

4. Closing speakers "connect the dots."

Conventioneers arrived with the best of intentions. They attended several seminars, sat through a couple of business lunches and networked over dinner, sharing the events of the day.

The closing speaker performs extensive research before taking the stage or walking through the audience. These speakers know the conference manual. They, too, attended seminars and round tables so they have a broad base of information that can be reviewed and recapped at the final gathering in an entertaining fashion.

A good closing speaker builds on the good intentions of event attendees by covering key points, often using a fill-in-the-blank outline as a take-away – something to read on the flight home. This recap reminds attendees of the who, what, where, when and why of any event – an invaluable service that drives home both broad concepts and specific tactics that can be employed in the months and years ahead.

5. Closing speakers deliver a strong call to action.

It's one thing to learn about the latest in technology-based service delivery. Actually integrating these tactics and strategies into the workplace culture is another thing altogether.

Your closing speaker defines what audience members will do with the information they've gathered and the connections they've made. She or he defines synergies between the information presented by Speaker A and Speaker B. And most importantly, these professional speakers initiate actions that demonstrate the effectiveness of what convention goers have learned. A strong call to action generates enthusiasm among the audience – enthusiasm that attendees bring home with them.

In turn, these super-charged conventioneers spread that energy across the strata of their companies, extending the value of the event beyond those who were actually present. Co-workers, managers, directors and other key members of the business team de-brief attendees, and what they discover is simple: the closing speaker summed up the important points and generated energy while recapping the important information that may have slipped through the cracks during a two-hour, one-sided presentation.

5.5. The closing speaker gives them an experience they will never forget

Businesses don't always consider emotions and feelings as part of the value they deliver to their clients and customers. But closing speakers understand the emotional drives of the audience and identify and enhance the positive feelings these men and women take with them as they head home.


Questions? Comments? Contact Chip directly at 865-300-2742 or complete the form below, and Chip will get back to you as soon as he is able.
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