This Event Producer Shares What Makes A Memorable Speaker

Meet Seemaa Sadik – a talented young events producer with an infectious smile. 

Seemaa practically saved my career. When I started my business I had trouble getting clients. I was so disheartened that I was on the verge of giving up. 

Then something magical happened. Seemaa gave me a call after I had left a lost pitch. She asked if I was interested in speaking at Management Event’s CMO Conference in Kuala Lumpur. 

I thought surely she had the wrong number. But it turns out she was looking for me and for some reason she had enough faith in me to invite me to speak to the region’s top CMOs. 

Now I’ve spoken at a lot of events! And I can honestly say that Seemaa was by far one of the most organized, positive and professional producers I’ve ever worked with. 

She ran the event with military precision and still kept a smile despite some minor hiccups. So given her experience working with the top speakers from around the world, I asked her to share some tips for inspiring speakers and really found out…what makes a great speaker? 

1. How do you choose the right speakers for your events?

Personally, the most exciting stage of organising the conference for me is selecting and inviting the right speakers because this will determine the-end result of the conference.  Good speaker line up equals to a well accomplished conference

The first step in producing a conference is the research done with industry members and planning the conference agenda. Throughout the production cycle I follow a forward-thinking process which is to brainstorm with the industry members or the past delegates. Taking a delegate-centred approach could never go wrong as the event is curated for them.  What’s better than getting a referral from another industry expert?

2. What do you think makes a great speaker? Quality of content, delivery or something else?

I think the two are interrelated; if the quality of the content is good, the delegates might end up losing the most important points if not delivered well.   In today’s business there’s an abundance of “speakers” and “coaches” yet we can’t expect a speaker to “have it all” from background, personality and skills to engage an audience.  I think it’s best if we separate the roles and purpose of each speaker so each presentation/slot would focus on delivering just that.  For example, depending on which event I am producing, I try to get a great mix of the type of speakers available to give a 360 experience to attendees. The different types include:  The expert – an Industry professional who understands the specific nuances of the industry and is usually technical presentation to give the delegates the knowledge and information that they have come to the event to seek. The story teller – a speaker who could give the wow factor and delegates could relate to and listen to master story telling. The Influencer – a speaker who deliver valuable and inspirational speech and presentation around the theme yet could actively engage with the audience. Sometimes, it’s good to add the “Curveball” a speaker who is irrelevant to the audience and the topic yet they’re still a perfect fit in providing fresh ideas and perspectives

3. Who is the most memorable speaker you’ve heard? Why do you think you still remember them?

One advantage of being a conference producer is I get to listen to many inspiring speakers. I must have heard numerous presentations and speeches that have left an impact on me.

The most recent one was the presentation by Nicholas Skytland, talent and technology strategist from NASA.  I think his presentation was both inspirational in terms of content and delivery, he took us to his world about life and future of work in space and in earth in a very simplified version. He also added some sentimental part when he showed us the future from the perspective of a seven-year-old which was his son. Which I found very inspiring.

4. Why did you choose me as a speaker? And what was your experience like working with me?

You know you’ve chosen the right speaker when besides they being the subject matter expert, they are also passionate about what they do and love sharing it with their peers in the industry. I saw through your work just how passionate and excited you are about helping people and companies build better brands.

Working with you pre event and on site was perfect and uplifting for me because you understood just perfectly how events are executed and the processes involved leading up to it (Unlike what most people think that events just magically happen on their own). We both had the same aim to provide the best in terms of experience and quality for the attendees and you ensured in delivering just that. Of course I wasn’t’ wrong when all the attendees rated you as the top speaker because you made sure they understood the practical steps to help them improve their content and build their brands. Also, on a personal level I love how not only great you are at building brands but also your ability in building relationships amongst your network which is something valuable.

I really look forward to working with you again!


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