5 simple ways to find your next webinar guest speaker

If you have yet to produce webinars with guest speakers, you should start now.

Some of the reasons why we advocate using a speaker for webinar programs are:

  1. Expanding your reach – this is best leveraged for chat-style webinars.
  2. Increasing credibility – this is important to producing Thought Leadership webinars.
  3. Adding a different point of view – bring a new set of eyes to your topic and produce meaningful insights that may be different from your own.

Now we know why it’s great to host webinars with a guest speaker. But how exactly do you find one?

Finding someone to join your program doesn’t happen in just a week. This will require months of planning leading up to your event.

Follow our guide to learn the steps you need to take in order to find your next speaker.

First, let’s take a look at the qualities of a good speaker.

Looking for a Well-Known Speaker, or an Expert?

Trick question. The answer is, both!

This goes back to our point made earlier about expanding your reach. A well-known speaker will most likely have a huge following that you can tap into. However, if they are not an expert of your niche, then they won’t have many insights to offer.

Once this is made evident to your viewers, you can expect a lot of webinar drop-offs.

Focus your efforts on locating someone (or a group of individuals) who is well-versed in your industry and topic with a good follower count.

Are They a Good Presenter?

Being an expert with a large audience aren’t the only qualities that make a good speaker.

Bring someone onto your program that feels comfortable being recorded. Someone who is good at storytelling. For tips on how to tell a good story, watch our Better Webinar series on The Art of Storytelling with Ron Tite.

No one wants to be lectured by someone with a monotone voice. You want to find someone who is animated and engaging. The type of presenter that leaves webinar attendees wanting to learn more.

How do you know if someone is considered a good presenter?

Simple, start watching some of their existing work with webinars and video. Take a look at their social media and analyze how they interact with their audience.

Are they providing meaningful and valuable content? Is your prospective speaker engaging with their followers? Are they putting out original content, or at least giving useful insights based on existing content?

These are key indicators that can tell you a lot about how they’ll present themselves during your webinar event.

Now that we have a good idea on the qualities of a good webinar guest speaker, let’s dive into how to find one.

How do I Find my Guest Speaker?

1. Look within your own network.

Start within your own circle.

Who do you know? Who are the people that your inner circle knows? Does someone on your team know a person who fits your criteria and would be willing to sit in on one of your webinars? Perfect! It never hurts to ask around.

If you’re not having success in your networking circle, branch out.

Look at your second and third connections. Start reaching out to people that your network knows. Email these connections within your wider circle by introducing yourself and explain why you want them as a guest speaker on your webinar. They may be honoured and happy to help.

Also, it helps to add the benefits of co-hosting one of your events. Generally, increased exposure is a mutual benefit for both parties.

2. Leverage social media.

LinkedIn is a great tool for finding professionals in the B2B sphere. Notify your followers that you’re looking for a speaker who is interested in your topic.

Utilize polls on Facebook. A quick Google search will net you several experts related to your field. Create a poll on Facebook and see who your followers are most excited to see on your webinar program.

These are also a great way to gain insights on Thought Leaders that your followers look up to.

3. Check out analysts & partners.

Here at The Streaming Network, we use a research analyst team called Demand Metric. They do a phenomenal job helping us create lead magnets based on the needs of our target audience.

If you use a research analytical organization for your business, reach out to their team for someone who is willing to sit down for a webinar. A topic of interest can be going in-depth into statistics related to your industry.

You’ll also be partnered with services that are associated with your product. This goes back to looking into your own network. You have a shared interest that you can use to discuss at length about during your webinar program.

4. Look into conference events.

Look at conference events you’ve attended and will attend. Search for the speakers in attendance. If they are someone who draws in crowds and has a lot to say, they are probably a great choice as a speaker to your event.

Additionally, start looking into Ted Talks. They are a great way to find new speakers as you already can tell how well they are at presenting their topic and themselves.

5. Podcasts, Webinars and Slideshares.

Search for existing content relevant to your topic. Take note of who is speaking at these events.

Struggling to find video-style content with presenters?

Look into Slideshares on topics similar to your own. Found an interesting topic? Reach out to the author. See if they are interested in joining your program.

Let’s Recap

Finding a guest speaker is not a task you can complete in under a week. It takes months in planning. Here are 5 simple ways to find your next webinar speaker.

  1. Look within your own network – start with who you know.
  2. Leverage social media – LinkedIn is a great way to meet B2B professionals.
  3. Check out analysts and partners – who do you already work with that is familiar with your industry?
  4. Look into conference events – get ideas on well-known speakers who draw in crowds.
  5. Podcasts, webinars and Slideshares – look at what other experts on your industry are doing.

Now that you have these steps in your arsenal, you are well on your way to finding a list of speakers. Selecting the right ones that align with your webinar program will require some organization. Download our Presenter Evaluation Tool to simplify the process and choose the right speaker for each of your events.

Matthew Ley

Matthew Ley

Matt Ley is the current President and co-founder of The Streaming Network. Starting his career in virtual events in 2007, Matt is an industry veteran that is passionate about helping customers stand out in their industry with compelling virtual events that people want to attend. The driving ambition for Matt is that virtual events are not a utility for information distribution but an opportunity for firms to create a competitive advantage. Matt is an accomplished speaker, moderator and a sought-after thought leader.

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