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1. Conclusive proof that the Speaker can engage an audience.

The stats show how big of a challenge that is – according to various studies the average attention span of a human being has plummeted from an incredible 12 seconds in 2006, to 8 seconds today! Even a goldfish does better with an attention span of nine seconds. And this inability to focus and listen isn’t just a Millennial disease – in a study conducted a few years back by IBM; 65% of 55 to 64 years olds surf, text while they watch the TV! Add in the workforce engagement stats as highlighted by Gallup 30% and falling and you can see this is the ultimate challenge!

  1. The desire to understand the pain points in your business and a willingness to provide clarity and guidance on same.

The most important and compelling slide in any presentation is when you say “I spoke to a cross section of your team and they highlighted the following as the pain points in the business. Immediately you have the audience hooked because they know this isn’t a generic presentation that is delivered regardless of the industry.  Also the speaker’s attempt to truly understand your story proves they are truly committed to providing real value to your audience. And if you are truly committed to the process I suggest you give the speaker as much access as is necessary.

  1. A track record in the subject matter.

In an ideal scenario you are looking for a speaker that lives and breathes the topic ie the messenger is the message. A simple example of course is for those that seek a sales motivational speaker for their annual kickoff events. A simple test of whether or not this person is suitable is by checking their CV – have they broke sales records in the past in this or any other industry – if they are positioning themselves as an authority in this field –  they should have! Indeed when you speak to them pre-decision, normally within a quarter of a second you should know “yes they are the real deal!”

  1. A bias for challenging the audience and moving them outside their comfort zone.

So you want to inspire, empower and move your audience to action? If so the speaker will need to move them outside their comfort zone. For some this can be a challenge but when moved in a safe and fun environment, it can reconfigure their programming and bring them to the next level. A few may not like the feeling but if the company wants results this is the only way.

Here is the deal – successful speakers move people to action – they don’t go on stage to be loved by everybody (it is not a popularity ccontest)– they go on stage to empower, challenge and move people to action. Interestingly the success of your conference shouldn’t be judged by the amount of people that thought it was fantastic post event but more by the people who feel a little uneasy….but weeks later take action based on what happened that day. These are the true success stories!

  1. Are they willing to exceed your expectations?