Avoid The Status Quo When Hiring A Speaker: David Lavin in the WSJ
As David Lavin says: "What really motivates people is a solution to a problem that they're having, not somebody yelling at an audience that, 'You can sell!'" The best speakers share ideas; they bring fresh perspectives to the table and entertain the crowd at the same time. "It's not just telling someone else to go out and do something," Lavin says. "[Speakers] are saying, 'Look what I'm doing. It's pretty cool. What are you doing?'"
That could mean inviting a well-respected psychology professor to teach your team about organizational communication and decision-making. You could hire a business consultant, sure, but a cognitive scientist can unlock key strategies that other speakers could not. Perhaps you want to strengthen the leadership in your organization. A successful CEO who has risen to the top of the charts will have some practical advice, undoubtedly. But having an artist or scientist might be just as useful. Those are the kind of suggestions Lavin makes to clients all the time, putting him right on-point with what companies are looking for in their speakers.
In the end, the most compelling speakers are those who can move your audience, teach them something new, and give them practical takeaways. They provide you with, in the words of Lavin, "one good idea that can pay for itself 'very, very quickly.'" From astrophysicists to underwater artists/nature conservationists, there are people with great ideas out there. Don't limit yourself to picking the status quo.