We provide business speakers for companies, either for their employees or their customers. Why spend your budget on a speaker?
There are lots of places where you could put company resources. If you are an HR director looking to improve employee performance, you might want to invest in books, conferences, or one-on-one time with people who need help.
If you are a marketing director looking to bring more leads to your company, you might pay for advertisements in magazines, on the radio, or via billboards. You might buy lists of leads, or try to draw people to your website through content marketing.
These are all perfectly good methods for developing your employees or nurturing relationships, but they don’t have the central advantages of hiring a speaker: the audience effect and the audience experience.
What is the audience effect? It’s a psychological phenomenon that relates to the way we conduct tasks. We operate differently when we’re under observation. Sometimes having an audience improves our performance, and other times it makes it worse, but in virtually all cases our behavior changes when we know we’re being watched.
When you bring an outside person into your organization to give a talk, you are telling everyone that you expect change. You want people to be inspired, educated, or at least entertained. You’re hoping for an outcome, whether that’s to increase sales, decrease waste, improve collaboration, or develop a new skill. And while almost everyone in the room is not on stage, a good speaker should cause people watching to empathize with them. The audience behavior should change in the future because they identify with the speaker.
The other benefit to hiring a speaker is creating the audience experience. In short, this is a balance where people are engaged through shared responsibility, but relaxed enough to pay attention. It’s the same sensation you get at a great movie, play, or concert. You feel like part of the process, but the performer is doing most of the work.
The audience experience is a fantastic method for employee development. That’s why it’s been used by colleges and universities for centuries. We explain concepts to a larger group, and challenge people to implement what they’ve learned.
But the audience experience is also a great system for marketing. When you bring people together into a shared space and provide them with something of value, those people can turn to one another to share what they learned. Not to mention you have an opportunity to follow up and develop the relationship.
So what do you get by hiring a speaker? It’s simple:
- An event which inspires an audience to change
- A program that efficiently reaches many people at once
- A record of attendees that you can use in next steps—either employee development or further sales/marketing.
A better question than “what are the benefits of hiring a speaker” is “how does paying for a professional speaker compare with other options for employee development or marketing?”
In the case of helping your staff to change, the key distinction in working with a speaker is interactivity and shared experiences. If you pass out a book or ask people to watch videos online, they won’t have the kinds of discussions that allow for significantly improved collaboration.
If you’re hiring a speaker for a marketing event, the advantage is two-fold: your company is seen as being an expert because you brought in an expert, and you also get direct access to all of the attendees. That’s a huge benefit over traditional marketing programs in which you tell people directly how great you are, and hope they decide to act on their own after seeing your blog post/billboard/television spot.
Ready to talk details about hiring a speaker? Contact us here at AccelaWork. We’d love to help you make a difference in your organization.