Audience Centered Speaker Robert Paylor doing an interview as a guest at a rugby game.

Finding the Best Guest Speaker for Your Event

A huge help is to narrow down the selection of speakers. Do you need a guest speaker, or a keynote speaker?This article will help you make the right decision.
Guest Speaker Robert Paylor doing an interview as a guest at a rugby game.
Guest speaker and former UCal Bears player, Robert Paylor.

Finding the perfect guest speaker for your event can be daunting. There are so many options, but at the same time, the right one is hard to choose. 

A huge help is to narrow down the selection of speakers. Do you need a guest speaker, or a keynote speaker? 

This article will help you make the right decision. 

What is a keynote speaker?

Briefly, let’s cover the broad definition of a keynote speaker. A keynote speaker is the main speaker for your event. They take center stage and set the tone. 

Still too vague sounding? We agree. It’s easier to think of the word itself, “keynote.” Musicians need to know what “key” they are in to play the right notes. When building an arch, the keystone is the center stone that stabilizes the structure. So, keynote speakers support the other features of the event, and help the audience tune into the main takeaways. 

For example, corporate keynote speakers will integrate the organization’s achievements, challenges, and goals into their speeches. Conference keynote speakers set the audience’s expectations for what information and networking opportunities they stand to gain. Festival keynote speakers celebrate the event and upcoming featured entertainment.

To recap, events that benefit from keynote speakers are:

  • Corporate Meetings
  • Professional Conferences
  • Festivals
  • Industry Expos

So, is a keynote speaker what you had in mind for your event? Or, were you looking for something different, but can’t put your finger on it. A guest speaker may be just what you need. 

What is a guest speaker?

Guest speakers are speakers that add value to your event through their speech, individual likeness and notoriety. 

Event planners hire guest speakers to make specialized presentations. In other words, they make speeches that are not only informed by their career, but defined by their own personal experience. For example, a professional football player speaking at an event based in the team’s town would likely be a guest speaker. Or, an industry expert that has achieved a level of notoriety for their work will be hired because of their namesake as well as their expertise. 

Guest speakers add value to your event, beyond the immediate knowledge imparted by their speech. Let’s return to our examples of the football player and industry professional. They both will draw more attendees than equally experienced but less recognized speakers. This is because they can add value to the attendees’ experience by signing autographs, giving photo ops, or offering Q&As. 

In addition to the events that benefit from keynote speakers, guest speakers are also a great choice for the following events:

  • Fundraisers
  • Corporate Holiday Celebrations
  • Client Engagement Events
  • Product Launches

In other words, a keynote speaker is usually the headliner or the main event. A guest speaker is more like a value-added appearance, as the person is usually famous outside of their speaking career. 

Once you’ve figured out the type of speaker you need, now you need to find someone who is experienced.

Finding A Speaker

Finding a solid speaker for you and your event is important. You don’t want a speaker that seems out of place, and you want to make sure that the person is prepared and experienced. Fortunately, the Mollie Plotkin Group can help you with this. 

The Mollie Plotkin Group

The Mollie Plotkin Group is a speakers agency that represents a plethora of keynote and guest speakers. MPG’s wide variety of speakers have proven track records and testimonials, so you know exactly what you will be getting.

MPG is a small business, so you can reach out to us and we’ll help you find the right speaker. At MPG, we believe that you shouldn’t have to deal with a faceless, corporate entity, so we’re ready to assist. 


Upcoming Engagements

Jun 17 - 20 2024

Kinexions 24 Annual Conference – Keynote Speaker Lisa Bodell – Miami, Florida

JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa
Jun 22 - 23 2024

Atlanta Women’s Expo 2024 – Keynote Speaker Laila Ali – Atlanta, GA

Gas South Convention Center
Jun 24 - 27 2024

HFMA Annual Conference 2024 – Keynote Speaker Suneel Gupta – Las Vegas, NV

Mandalay Bay Convention Center
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