🚀 The Event Playbook: Proven strategies to level up your next event!

🚀 The Event Playbook:
Proven strategies to level up your next event!

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How Do You Pick the Best DEI Speaker for the Job?

Discover the precise criteria for identifying gifted DEI speakers - from assessing credentials to gauging audience engagement - that transform events into vulnerable spaces where truths transform minds and stir progress.

In our 20+ years of organizing events and EDI initiatives, we’ve directly witnessed that electric moment when a gifted speaker first connects with the room.

Facts start to tell. Stories start to sell. Minds open. Hearts stir. Hands reach towards wallets to write checks funding new inclusion programs (yes, it's happened!).

When that perfect speaker takes the virtual or in-person stage, a palpable ripple of anticipation goes through the crowd.

Audience members lean forward, ready to soak up fresh insights from an authority figure uniquely qualified to catalyze personal reflection and organizational progress on these weighty topics.

The unfortunate flip side though?

We’ve also endured long-winded speakers who lose the audience instantly by failing to demonstrate relevant expertise, customization or clear calls to action.

Crickets while attendees glance at their watches and discreetly scan emails under the table instead of tuning in.

Needless to say, big opportunities lost.

Use this comprehensive guide to land the perfect DEI speaker – your treasure map for discovering that leader who finally unlocks true culture change.

Let’s dig into exact qualifying criteria and booking strategies guaranteed to avoid lackluster hires and achieve presentation gold.

Your just rewards await!

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One Event. Two Experiences.

Skillfully engage both your in-person and online attendees through our cutting-edge hybrid event production services.

What to Look for in a Top Keynote on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Finding the right diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) speaker to deliver a powerhouse keynote presentation at your upcoming event is kind of like going on a quest to discover hidden treasure.

You need a guide with the right credentials, experience and flair for storytelling to lead audiences on a journey towards real culture change.

Evaluating Speaker Credentials and Experience

When beginning your keynote search, the very first qualification to analyze should be each speaker’s direct background in diversity and inclusion work.

Some key facets to look for include:

  1. Relevant Educational History: Opt for speakers holding advanced degrees that concentrated specifically on diversity studies, equity research, inclusion sciences or related fields. PhD graduates and current professors indicate deep subject matter expertise.
  2. DEI-Focused Positions Held: Target speakers who have been appointed to head diversity offices, lead ERGs (employee resource groups) or spearhead major corporate DEI initiatives. This hands-on leadership experience is invaluable.
  3. Industry Certifications Attained: Certain credentials like becoming a Certified Diversity Professional verify a speaker’s qualifications and mastery of best practices to further promote equal opportunity.
  4. Lived Diversity Experiences: Marginalized speakers from underrepresented groups who have directly experienced discrimination or inequity often provide uniquely compelling and emotionally resonate perspectives.

Vetting proven expertise upfront gives you confidence you have selected a speaker fully qualified to deliver research-backed insights and tangible recommendations – not just lofty ideas.

Get “The Event Success Playbook”

Our proven event planning playbook has step-by-step strategies to increase qualified leads 25%+, grow revenue, and boost engagement.

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Assessing Speaking Style and Audience Engagement Capability

In addition to specialized DEI insights, an exceptional keynote speaker must also hold strong presentation abilities and skill in resonating with audiences.

Carefully evaluate:

  • Speaking Reviews and Feedback: Consistently high ratings and glowing audience feedback related to inspiration, connection and sparking change signify top caliber speaking skills.
  • Delivery Approach and Tone: Look for dynamic yet compassionate speakers who balance hard truths with empathy, hope and clear calls-to-action people can realistically achieve. Overly sensitive or extremely academic tones tend to lose crowds.
  • Customized Messaging: The best speakers will request information on your audience demographics, culture and DEI pain points in order to tailor their content accordingly with relevant examples and solutions.
  • Interactive, Engaging Elements: Opt for speakers well-versed in discussion prompts, anonymous polling questions, breakout sessions and other participative features that bring concepts to life versus just lecturing passively.

Influencer Bert Decker wisely stated, “Facts tell, stories sell.

Master storytellers and facilitative speakers have the greatest success in moving hearts, minds and feet towards demonstrated allyship and advancement.

Easy starting packages • Advanced options • Proven results

Confirming Speaker Availability for Your Event

After identifying well-qualified speakers with outstanding presentation abilities, the next vital step is to confirm their availability to commit to your specific event.

Be thoughtful regarding:

  • Existing Speaking Commitments: Double check the speaker does not already have non-negotiable engagements on the day of your program which could prevent attendance.
  • Location Limitations: If requiring an in-person presentation, scan for speakers able to travel to your meeting destination during the precise timeframe.
  • Response Times to Inquiries: Prioritize booking speakers who promptly reply to information requests and logistical questions as it conveys strong interest and reliability.
  • Cost and Fee Flexibility: Speaker fees understandably range dramatically according to demand and credentials. Clearly define your budget upfront when requesting quotes but remain open to flexibility if needed to land your preferred top choice speaker.

Pinning down event logistics early on markedly minimizes the risk of resorting to last minute speaker substitutions or cancellations.

Crafting an Impactful Speaker Request

When reaching out to potential speakers, how you structure your request markably sways the likelihood of securing a booking.

Follow these best practices for compelling speaker requests:

Introduce Your Organization & Event

Provide background including your company, industry, the event name, date, location, projected attendance and overarching goals.

This context is crucial for enabling the speaker to assess fit.

Articulate Your Needs & Objectives

Be specific about why you are prioritizing a presentation on this topic and what you hope attendees will take away including mindsets, behaviors or actions.

Also share any preferences on presentation length, format or speaking timeslots.

Spotlight Logistics Details

Supply critical event and speaking role logistics like timeframe, session type, target audience demographics, use of multi-media, availability for prep meetings, technical requirements and the speaker compensation range.

Close with Next Steps

In wrapping up, express eagerness for a response if interested and openness to jumping on a call to provide further information.

If your event is further out, define by when you hope to have a speaker confirmed.

Following this structured outreach framework demonstrates professionalism, helps the speaker gauge appropriateness and compels timely responses – ultimately maximizing your odds of securing your preferred speaker.

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Questions to Ask When Interviewing Speakers

Once a speaker expresses interest, requesting an exploratory call or virtual meeting enables asking targeted questions to further assess fit.
Key questions include:

  • How do you customize presentations for different audiences and needs?
  • What interactive elements have you found most effective for driving introspection and sparking motivation?
  • What results and feedback have you gotten from past DEI speaking engagements?
  • Would you describe your speaking style more as informative, persuasive or facilitating?
  • What are some emerging DEI insights you find especially insightful lately?
  • What feedback do people tend to give on the most impactful aspects of your presentations?

Their responses will reveal content depth, communication approach, past reception and ability to align with your goals.

If responses resonate, move forward confidently with booking details.

In Closing

Securing a seasoned, engaging DEI speaker equipped to inspire awareness, vulnerability and commitment in your audience is foundational for catalyzing true culture change.

By weighing credentials, presentation mastery and availability in your search process, you can feel assured selecting the best speaker to drive your event - and your organization - forward.

Schedule Your Free Strategy Session Now

Don’t leave your next conference to chance.

Meet with our team of battle-tested experts who have helped brands worldwide slay event giants and achieve up to 7X higher attendance and 3X more revenue.

In your custom strategy session, we’ll explore your unique goals, brainstorm big ideas, and reveal insider tips to help you craft an unforgettable event experience.

Schedule your FREE strategy session ($500 value) and discover how we can level up your gathering into a rave-worthy phenomenon that opens minds, wins hearts, and boosts business.

We & Goliath

We & Goliath is an award-winning, top 100 worldwide event agency known for increasing conference attendance by 7X and profits by 3X through beautifully designed virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. Since 1999, their team of innovative strategists and creative designers has worked with global enterprises, SMBs, non-profits, and other organizations to engage audiences and exceed expectations.

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