Have you ever needed a webinar speaker but not sure where to look? The great thing about a webinar is that your speakers and experts can be anywhere in the world, even Colorado.
That’s why this caught my attention: Colorado State University (my alma mater) just launched a Speakers Bureau, allowing you to tap into the expertise of CSU’s community of scholars and professionals. Currently, more than 200 faculty members are participating, covering a wide variety of topics—environment, business, arts, media and more.
“As one of our country’s best research universities, our faculty at Colorado State are creating cutting-edge knowledge every day,” said Vice President of External Relations Tom Milligan. “Through this speakers bureau, we’ve created one more way for CSU to bring world-class information and knowledge to the people of Colorado.”
Here’s a link to check out the CSU’s Speakers Bureau website and browse the experts.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
Selecting a good webinar speaker can be a nerve-racking challenge. You are putting a lot of time, energy and money into creating a webinar, and a webinar speaker that falls flat can bring the whole event down. Likewise, a great presenter can elevate a topic and drive better results. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a speaker:
Energetic: Because the audience can’t see the speaker or their body language, your presenter needs to be energetic. They audience should feel their enthusiasm and want to learn more. One trick for sharing energy is voice inflection (check out this oldie but goodie for more tips: Is Your Webinar Meh?).
Engaging Content: The presenter should know who to present content in an engaging way. A slide deck filled with charts and numbers typically doesn’t engage the audience. A great speaker can present figures in a way that tells a story. A good slide deck helps too (see: How to Make Your PPT Have More Impact)
Expertise: Typically being an expert in the topic makes it easier to be energetic and have engaging content. Seek out people who really know their stuff.
WHERE TO LOOK
Finding a great speaker for your webinar may not be too hard. Depending on your topic and goals consider the following:
1. Customers – they know your product and have experienced great results.
2. Partners – get exposure to their networks and leverage their industry knowledge.
3. Prospects – they can speak to industry trends and challenges (who knows, maybe you’ll close the deal too).
4. Industry associations – did we mention the importance of expertise?
5. Speakers bureau – see above!
6. Employees – when it comes to product demos, these folks can speak passionately. Consider including engineers, customer care and others.
7. Tradeshows & Industry events – if they are good enough to present at an industry event, they are probably good enough for a webinar too.
8. Authors & Analysts – these folks may come with a price tag, but they often draw a crowd.
9. TED Talks – there are hundreds of TED Talks events a year. And, you know these folks know how to engage (tip: check out the folks that presented at smaller locations or at universities).
What are you tips for finding a great webinar speaker?