Some years ago, when SNW was just starting out, I had a client who called to book a speaker she had seen a few years earlier. “Well, this is too easy,” I thought. I didn’t have to do any research at all. I called the speaker, made all the arrangements and seemingly created a perfect match for client, speaker and the event. Once the meeting had concluded, the client called, a bit disappointed, and shared that the speaker had not changed the message, not one bit since the last time she has seen him speak. Fortunately, I was able to have the opportunity to serve her again by suggesting a great speaker, and that time she was incredibly pleased. I got lucky!
The real takeaway from this experience is for the speaker as well as for the bureau. Speakers must continue to grow their message and resist taking the easy route of a memorized speech. Just because someone has heard a specific speaker’s keynote, doesn’t mean they want to hear the same message over and over. It’s great for speakers to have an incredible story that defines who they are and is critical to their presentations, but their purpose is to help the audience understand the objectives set up by the meeting planner. The best speakers know it’s not about them, it’s about the audience.
SNW also learned something important: When a client asks for a speaker they have already heard, we make sure to ask the speaker if his/her presentation has been updated since the client last heard them speak. Clients want to trust speakers to put as much time into perfecting their message as they do in planning the meeting.
A really great bureau has their client’s back and asks the right questions ensuring the best meeting possible.