The events world is constantly changing and evolving. With conferences in particular, however, it is still seen by many organisers as necessary to have a guest speaker.
There is no questioning the positive effects that a guest speaker can bring to an event, we’ve even previously spoken about how to find the right guest speaker for your event, but organisers need to be aware that there are other options out there.
There is a greater empathy now for trusting each other’s opinions, so why is it necessary to have a speaker telling participants what they should do? There will be plenty of great ideas and inspiration in the attendees, but it’s up to you to give them the opportunity and platform to draw them out. Think about working in smaller groups, discussing and debating decisions.
Yes, you’re right: speaking in front of an audience is an art form. But the power of art is its variety, so why do conferences insist on restricting themselves to just the one? Dance and music performances can present a message and tell a story in a different way – which can make it more effective.
Professional dancers, actors and musicians can be used on stage or you could have your delegates take part in these activities to put across their message in an art form of their choice.
To keep an audience engaged you need good storytelling. Video can combine visuals with a powerful message like no speaker can. The video can be paused at regular intervals to get attendees’ viewpoints and perspectives on what is being covered.
There are a lot of great speakers out there that can help to bring value to an event. Refrain from using monotonous, generic speakers and find ones that fit the event and involve the delegates.