Why Would A Keynote Speaker Be Nervous To Talk To A New Client? The Client-Speaker Relationship

Tim O'Shea Keynote Speakers

You may be surprised to hear this from me, but sometimes, when a client contacts me the first time they are interested in hiring me as one of their keynote speakers, I feel a little nervous.

You’d think it would be the other way around, wouldn’t it? 

Shouldn’t a client be nervous about talking to a speaker for the first time? 

I certainly think so. In fact, if you’re a client looking for keynote speakers for an event, and you’re a sensible person, I think you should be afraid. Be very, very *afraid.*

Because I’ve heard horror stories. And many times, I’ve had to come clean up the blood after hearing those horror stories. (It’s a darn good thing I’ve trained with law enforcement professionals.)

Why would a keynote speaker be nervous about talking to a client?

So this gets to why I am sometimes nervous to talk to a potentially new client:

I have been a well-established professional in the highly-competitive (and that’s putting it mildly) industry of business motivational speakers for over 15 years. And one thing which makes me raise a “Roger Moore one-eyebrow” is when someone comes to my website and contacts me, requesting more information.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate it when they do. I want people to contact me about being a keynote speaker for their event.

But even when they do, I have reason to be nervous. Because I have no idea if they…

– know, by definition, “what is a keynote speaker”;

– are clear on what it is they want their keynote speakers to address their meeting;

– understand what I do as a business keynote speaker;

– have ever worked with any keynote speakers before.

And without knowing any of these things in advance, I’m going into the conversation blind. And for that matter, so is the client.

It’s an important investment.

Deciding to invest quite a bit of money on keynote speakers for your convention, conference, or meeting without really understanding what you’re getting can be a problem…on both sides. 

It’s a problem for my clients because they don’t always know…

– how much of their budget will be needed

– what message they want conveyed

– the amount of work and energy the keynote speaker puts into working with that client

And it can be a problem for myself as well (just to be clear, I’m Tim O’Shea, The Agent Of Change). Because I want to work with clients who understand the value of…

– knowing what their audience will be receptive to

– having the right message delivered the right way

– getting the right keynote speaker for their group and their event

I like to ask clients what their purpose is for wanting to have a keynote speaker, or indeed any kind of business motivational speaker, at their meeting. Usually, this involves a dialogue in which I help guide clients on the difference between what they think they want versus what they really need.

Have you done your research on keynote speakers?

I have found that clients who have done their research ahead of time prior to contacting me are able to resolve these issues more quickly when they…

– know what message is going to best resonate with their group

– have an understanding of what I do, and are on board with it

– trust my experience as a professional keynote speaker, and therefore my expertise

Is the same true for you? Have you ever contacted several keynote speakers in a rush, thinking they were perfect, who ended up not being the right fit?

Maybe you…

– didn’t get a chance to watch their videos

– skipped reading some pages on their website

– weren’t fully clear on what the speaker does or how they do it

When this happens, it’s usually because clients are looking for a “quick fix.” They want to get their keynote speakers booked for their conference, and get it over and done with.

This is why it’s important to take the time to look into what the keynote speakers you are interested in actually do. Why it’s important to watch their videos. To read their website content. To understand what their message is, and how they deliver it. 

It’s an important decision.

This is an important decision. So avoid the fast route.

Take your time. Get to know what the speaker does first. Then compare it with what you are looking for in a keynote for your conference or general session. See if it’s a match. Once you’ve got that, then you can make the next move…reach out and make contact.

It will alleviate that nervousness. On both our sides.

Happy hunting!

~ Tim O’Shea

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