Book with Evolve for a chance to win a £500 One4All gift voucher. Terms & Conditions
Close Close icon

How to choose a keynote speaker for your event

In this blog post, we teach you how to choose the right keynote speaker for your next event because we know how difficult it is to choose one.

Jo Foster
28 Feb 2024

Picking the right keynote speaker for your next event is important because it can make or break the success of it. The keynote speaker you book can create real hype around your event, have people looking forward to it, but also captivate and inspire the audience, which are all associated with a successful event.

However, there are many keynote speakers out there so how can you find the right one for your needs?

At Evolve, we have successfully sourced many high-profile personalities for corporate events and more so have the experience and expertise in choosing speakers for events.

That’s why we reveal our best tips for finding the right keynote speaker for your next event in this blog post.

Step 1 – Understand the Purpose of Your Event

Understanding the aim of your event is the first step to choosing a keynote speaker. You must ask questions such as why is this event being held? What is the expected outcome of this event? What does success look like?

This will provide you with a better understanding of the purpose of your event, which is important because it will help you choose the best speaker for your specific needs as you can narrow down possible speakers.

For example, knowing that your event will be intended to motivate and inspire business owners, you would probably want a motivational speaker that has experience in the world of business instead of a football speaker.

You may also realise that you might need multiple speakers depending on the event layout so be sure you factor this in when choosing a speaker.

Step 2 – Establish the Target Audience

Understanding the audience that will be present at your event is important because you need to pick a keynote speaker that can resonate and leave a long-lasting impact on the audience.

You must ask questions such as who is the target demographic? What is the age range? What would they like to take away from the event?

These questions provide insights to the audiences’ interests and pain points allowing you to choose a keynote speaker that addresses these points through their talk.

You might be speaking to a group of young entrepreneurs, which would require an exciting speaker who has fresh ideas and walked the path of entrepreneurship already so they can answer business-related questions rather than a speaker that is quite calm and doesn’t have business experience.

We also recommend asking the audience of your event what type of topics they would like to see such as motivation, personal growth, or business-related topics. This will also aid you in narrowing down your list of potential guest speakers.

By understanding the audience at the MBN Events’ Sportsman’s Christmas Lunch, we were able to book former cricketer, Stuart Broad, which was a huge success and engaged the audience throughout. You can check out the full case study here.

This demonstrates the power of knowing the audience of your event, which you should strive to achieve allowing you to book the best possible speaker for your needs.

Step 3 – Assess the Speaker’s Credibility and Expertise

Now that you have narrowed down your list of potential keynote speakers, you must also assess the speaker’s experience, credibility, and expertise in the topic they will be talking about or the topic of the event.

This is important because you can determine whether they are qualified to even be speaking about the topic, and if they can provide useful insight. All these things can be picked up by the audience, which can either build trust or destroy it.

For example, if you have an audience of professional football players but bring in a technology speaker that has no experience or expertise in the field of football, the speaker will lack relevance to the audience and will struggle to engage them as the players may feel as though the speaker doesn’t understand the hardships they face on a day-to-day basis thus creating a disconnect.

In comparison, a motivational speaker that is a retired football player has the experience and expertise to talk about football, which will increase the credibility of his talk to the audience allowing them to engage and resonate with the speaker much more, which will be more impactful.

You should also ensure that the speaker you choose has experience as an actual speaker where they know how to control the crowd with their words, how they say things (tonality), body language, and eye contact, which are all ways to effectively communicate and engage the audience.

You can look online at the events they have previously spoken at to get a feel for the type of speaker they are and their experience level. Looking at their testimonials and reviews is another way to gauge how good they may be at your event.

Additionally, if you have a limited speaking window of 30 minutes but from your research you find that the speaker is known for speaking for over 60 minutes then they may not align with your plans as they will always go over the allocated time.

Therefore, make sure you do your research. You could even schedule a call on Zoom, Skype, or Teams to have a quick conversation with them asking questions and getting to know them, which will help you understand if they’re the right fit for your event.

Our speaker profiles are filled with information about the experience and expertise of each speaker in their respective field so you can be sure that you’re choosing the right one before you book them.

Step 4 – Consider Your Budget and the Price to Book Speakers

The price of booking keynote guest speakers can greatly vary depending on who the speaker is, their popularity, and accomplishments.

Keynote speakers who are well known and have many accomplishments tend to be more expensive than speakers who are less known and don’t have many accomplishments.

Therefore, it is imperative that you understand the price required to book specific speakers for your next event.

Additionally, you must clearly define your budget so that you can determine whether a keynote speaker is too expensive or at the right price for you, which will help narrow down your list of potential speakers further.

Don’t be disheartened because you can’t get the big celebrity to speak at your event because there are plenty of rising stars that can still leave a lasting impression on the audience without breaking the bank.

In most cases, you would have to look for the contact information of the speaker you are interested in then enquire about the price to book them.

Here at Evolve, we make this process quite easy so just contact us and we can give you the price of the speakers you are interested in.

Step 5 – Consider the Speakers’ Availability and Location

You must consider that speakers are quite busy as they are in high demand with tight schedules.

You might feel as though you have found the speaker that is perfect for your event. However, you must remember that if they are not available at the time of your event then you wouldn’t be able to book them.

Additionally, you must consider the location of the guest speaker and whether they are willing to make the journey to your event.

For example, it might not be the best idea to choose a speaker that lives in California, but your event is in London as they may not be willing to make the journey due to the time and cost.

That is why it is important to confirm the speaker’s availability and location of residence before picking them for your event but to also have backups on standby if your primary choice falls through.


Nonetheless, all the considerations highlighted in this blog post will ensure that you pick a keynote speaker that aligns with the purpose of the event, connects with the audience, has the credentials to be a speaker, is within your budget, and is available, which are the recipes for a successful event.

Here at Evolve, we host a diverse array of inspiring keynote speakers. So, whether your interest lies in sporting icons, technology experts, or anything in between, our selection of speakers will match your needs perfectly. To find out more about our range of speakers, get in touch with the team at Evolve today.

Related Articles

Would you like us to send all the latest Evolve updates and news direct to your inbox?

Your Speakers List