As he begins his virtual talks, futurist and keynote speaker Brian Fanzo asks the online audience to vote on what color hat he should wear. Giving the online audience a chance to choose what they’ll be seeing on top of his head for the rest of the talk makes “a conversational connection,” the futurist and keynote speaker said in a recent LinkedIn post.
Fanzo has built his reputation as a keynote speaker on high-energy and interactive stage presentations. He said in the LinkedIn article that he’s reinvented his approach for a digital audience by implementing other (non-sartorial) elements, such as changing perspective or introducing an interactive element every eight minutes, using five different camera angles in his home office, and forgoing slides — which forces audiences to split their attention between the speaker and a PowerPoint — and instead using custom broadcast overlays and/or Prezi video graphics. He also alternates between standing and sitting — ”depending,” he said, “on the emotional connection I want to make with my audience.”
To encourage questions, he lets the audience know that whatever he doesn’t have a chance to answer in the Q&A or chat box at the end of his session, he will address in a personalized video sent to all attendees after the event.
Just as virtual presentations require an entirely different approach than in-person talks, selecting and signing a virtual speaker requires that planners consider a variety of factors that are not part of the process of acquiring an in-person keynote speaker. When working with a speakers bureau, it’s important to come prepared with answers to these three questions, John Truran, senior vice president of Keppler Speakers, told TSNN.
- How many appearances will the speaker be making throughout the length of the event?
- What kind of format with the presentation be — a highly customized message or more of a fireside chat?
- What type of production quality do you want the speaker to incorporate?
And as hybrid events continue to evolve — for instance, speakers who are broadcast from remote locations to an in-person audience and online audience and who must interact with both — event organizers need to consider all kinds of scenarios in their speaker selection and contracts. PCMA has created a complimentary tool that covers all the bases —a downloadable speaker agreement template that can be filled out with your speaker’s and organization’s information or incorporated in your existing template.
Because, while speakers like Fanzo have had to reinvent the way they present to online audiences, you shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to contracting with them for your next event.
Michelle Russell is editor in chief of Convene.