1. Choose the Topic in Advance - Before even thinking about inviting speakers for your event, you should already know what the topic is going to be about. In this way you can define the parameters of what the speaker should talk about, and how long they have to speak.
2. Define the Goals and Purpose of Your Webinar – You need to be able to articulate what the goals are for your event to the proposed speakers. This will help them determine if the event is the right one for them. Better that someone turns down the event than accept it and be wrong for it.
3. Describe the Audience – You know who your audience is, and you should be able to explain to a potential speaker who they are, down to all their demographics. Be able to describe your audience’s needs, wants and desires to the speaker so that they can best direct their presentation.
4. Attend Other Events in Your Niche – Not only might you meet a speaker who would be happy to speak at your event, you might also meet audience members who have terrific stories who would be even better than practiced speakers to tell their story.
5. Look up Speakers Bureaus in Your Niche – Many people who speak for a particular topic will sign up with industry speakers bureaus or even have speaking information on their websites. If you know who you want to speak at your event, go directly to their website to find the information.
6. Create a Temporary Schedule of Events – You can update the schedule until almost the last moment, but having a working schedule of how you see the event flowing will help the speaker know that you know what you’re doing, and that all they have to do is show up.
7. Tell Invitees the Benefits of Speaking at Your Event – The speakers are not going to do the presentation for your good, but they will do it for their own good. The benefits could be to attend the rest of the event free, to spread awareness to a new audience, for pay, and more.
8. Create Preliminary Sales Pages and Infrastructure – You can change the information later, but if you already have the URLs set up for the event it will be easy for your speakers to market the event to their audience.
9. Send an Invite Directly to Wanted Speakers – Create a professional invitation to speak at your event that makes everything simple for the speaker. Provide time limits for RSPVs, copies of presentation and step-by-step instructions for marketing, participating and following up.
10. Provide Marketing Materials – Each speaker should see the vast array of marketing materials you will be offering them to make it easy to tell their audience about the event. They should not feel as if they have to do much outside of sending information to their lists that you’ve already created for them.
Once you identify and create a list of speakers, packaging the information together for them is the most important thing you can do. Next, you want to send the invites in waves. Stick to the time limits set in the invite, and if speakers say no, or do not respond, have a plan for following up or moving on to the next person on the list.