Keynote Speaker Stuart Diamond posing for a photo in an alley.

How Meeting Planners Choose Keynote Speakers

If you're looking to book a keynote speaker for your next event, you've come to the right place! This guide will give you tips on how to choose the best speaker for your event.

Running a successful program is the goal of meeting planners. Booking a keynote speaker is an essential component of ensuring an engaging event. From our work with meeting planners, we have created this guide to help you choose a keynote speaker.


  • Time and Date
  • Live, Virtual or Hybrid
  • Location
  • Audience
  • Budget
  • Network
  • Goals and Objectives of Presentation and Keynote
Keynote Speaker Stuart Diamond posing for a photo in an alley.
Keynote speaker Stuart Diamond.

Booking Months in Advance

Meeting Planners Should (try to) Book Months in Advance

Meeting planners should expect some flexibility from the agencies they work with, but should still schedule as far in advance as possible. We know that time is of the essence, but booking six months before your event is a great target.

Booking a last minute keynote speaker will limit your options. Although, it’s not always realistic to book months in advance and hybrid and virtual events give greater booking flexibility as well. 

Event Attendance Vs. Invites

Understanding Who will be in Attendance

Meeting planners know the objective of the meeting they have planned and their choice of keynote speaker guarantees that is accomplished. Working with a skilled agency who understands the strengths of each of their keynote speakers will ensure this goal is met. 

Meeting planners need to make sure that their attending audiences receive the messages communicated by the keynote speaker that they want them to hear. 

Recognizing the size of the audience and its demographics is important. You want to make sure your audience connects with the keynote speaker.  

Finding the Right Speaker for Your Event

Things to Consider When Booking a Speaker

So, what are the most important things to consider when booking a speaker?

The three key things to consider are the audience demographic, industry, and the purpose of the event. Once you have researched these three things, you will have a much clearer idea of the type of speaker that would fit. 

If you know the demographic of your audience, you can now start narrowing down your selection. For example, if the audience is full of sports fans, maybe they would enjoy hearing from an athlete such as Larry Bowa, former MLB player and coach. 

Olympic athlete, sports commentator and media pioneer Leslie Maxie would also resonate with this type of audience. With topics ranging from The Olympian Within all of us, Excellence is Not An Accident, and The Power of Pure Intention.

Leslie Maxie, keynote speaker and former Olympic athlete.
Keynote speaker and former Olympic athlete Leslie Maxie.

Or maybe you know that your audience will have movie fans in attendance. Perhaps somebody like John Roesch, renowned Foley artist who has worked on films such as E.T. and the Empire Strikes Back (and hundreds more) would be a good fit.

So when booking a speaker, just remember to ask yourself these three things:

  1. What industry is this event being planned for?
  2. The demographic of my audience (age, areas of interest, etc)?
  3. What is the purpose of the event?

Keynote Speakers Vs. Guest Speakers

Yes, There is a Difference Between the Two.

Meeting planners who are selecting keynote speakers often choose those who are career speakers. Booking a guest speaker is a different process than booking a keynote speaker.

You might be asking yourself, “what exactly is the difference between a guest speaker and a keynote speaker?” This is an important distinction to make.

The primary difference to highlight here, is that a keynote speaker is someone who is more of a career speaker. This is someone who is well-practiced in public speaking, and does it very often.

A guest speaker will have notoriety within the industry and the demographic, but is not necessarily someone who speaks for a living.

One important thing to clarify: Many keynote speakers also fulfill the role of guest speaker as well. 

Speakers agencies can help meeting planners select, reach, and hire the right keynote speaker. When all goes well, the engagement will feel extraordinary. 

Booking Professional Well-Known Speakers

Keynote Speakers Must be Professionally Well-known and Recognized.

When booking a keynote speaker, it would be wise to select someone with a proven track record. This way you know exactly what you are getting, and there won’t be any unwanted surprises on the day of the event. Reading testimonials from people who have heard the keynote speaker in the past is a great way to make your choice.

Doing your research in this area will be important if you want a speaker that is well prepared and effective. For example, motivational and disabilities speaker Robert Paylor (former rugby star of the UCal Bears), has a long resume of recognizable organizations that he has spoken at. 

Guest Speaker Robert Paylor doing an interview as a guest at a rugby game.
Disabilities speaker Robert Paylor.

Robert has spoken at Intel, Samsung, Accenture, Visa, BerkeleyHaas, and many more well known companies. What’s more, is that Robert has also accumulated a list of testimonials from people who have attended his speeches…

I want you to know that you had the highest rating of all Intel LearningFest Presenters – higher than Steve Wozniak! Thank you SO VERY MUCH.

Statement from Intel Employee

Receiving testimonials like this after Robert has delivered a speech is something that happens quite regularly. Robert’s story is so captivating, that these types of reactions are pretty standard, making Robert a speaker you just can’t go wrong with. 

Since we’re talking about speakers with a proven track record, it’d be irresponsible of me to not mention someone such as Stuart Diamond.

Keynote speaker Stuart Diamond is an expert on the art of negotiation. In fact, he literally wrote the book on it. Having spoken at Google, Microsoft, and Pfizer (just to name a few), as well as Heads of Government and all Navy SEAL Teams,  Stuart Diamond is a prime example of a speaker who has a proven track record within the professional world.

Diamond’s negotiation techniques are so effective that his model is used by the U.S. Special Ops. As a Pulitzer prize winning journalist, Wharton professor, and Harvard-educated lawyer, this is a rare opportunity for audiences to gain insight directly from Stuart Diamond. 

Finding the Best Keynote Speakers Agencies to Work With

A Crucial Step in Planning an Unforgettable Keynote Event.

We have this whole guide giving you tips on how to find the best speaker, but an important step in doing that is finding the right agencies to work with. You want an agency with credibility behind it, an agency that will work to make your event fantastic.

Thankfully, local keynote speakers agencies like Mollie Plotkin Group exist, offering a wide variety of speakers to choose from. MPG is also a small local business, so you will be talking with actual people who want to help you, and not a faceless company. 

Contact Mollie Plotkin Group today, and make your event unforgettable!


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Jun 17 - 20 2024

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