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In today’s dynamic competitive landscape, effective communication isn’t just a skill—it’s a strategic advantage. Companies are increasingly recognizing the value of cultivating internal expertise and thought leadership through a dedicated speakers bureau. This initiative not only amplifies the organization’s voice but also enriches industry discourse and fosters a culture of knowledge sharing. If you’re considering establishing a speakers bureau for your company (or evaluating your current program), here are some essential steps:

  1. Define Your Objectives: Begin by clarifying why your company needs a speakers bureau approach to leveraging its leaders and experts. Are you aiming to enhance brand visibility, share industry insights, or empower employee development? Understanding your goals will shape the structure and focus of your program.
  2. Identify Potential Speakers: While your top leaders will be an obvious choice, look deeper within your organization for individuals who possess expertise, passion and the ability to articulate their knowledge effectively. These could be executives, subject matter experts or even emerging leaders or luminaries eager to share their insights.
  3. Establish Selection Criteria: Develop criteria to evaluate potential speakers based on their expertise, speaking ability, and alignment with your company’s values and messaging. Attend or view video of a meeting or presentation the potential speaker has led.
  4. Provide Training and Support: Even seasoned professionals may benefit from training in public speaking, presentation design and storytelling. Offer workshops or coaching sessions to help speakers refine their skills and tailor their messages effectively.
  5. Create a Speaker Profile Database: Maintain a centralized database or platform where potential audiences can learn about each speaker’s expertise, topics and availability. This makes it easier for event organizers or internal teams to identify suitable speakers for specific opportunities.
  6. Promote Internally and Externally: Raise awareness about your speakers bureau within the company through internal communications channels. Externally, maintain a calendar of industry conferences, webinars and other relevant events and leverage your speakers’ expertise to secure speaking engagements as conference planners set their agendas.
  7. Measure Impact and Refine: Track the success of your speakers bureau through metrics such as speaking engagements secured, audience feedback and impact on brand visibility and business development. Use this data to refine your program and adjust strategies.
  8. Support Innovation and Experimentation: The days of the 90-minute keynote have largely passed. Audiences crave more interactive experiences. Make sure your speakers are up to the task by encouraging them to explore innovative formats and topics that push the boundaries of traditional presentations. Whether through interactive workshops, panel discussions or multimedia presentations, embracing diverse approaches keeps the speakers bureau dynamic and engaging.

The benefits of a strategic and organized approach to leveraging your company’s leaders and experts through external speaking engagements and conferences really has no limit. You might already be receiving invitations to speak and reacting to those opportunities. Or maybe you already maintain a calendar of events where your company has a presence or invests in sponsorship. But are you clear on where your company needs to speak? From our work with global corporations, top consulting firms and individual thought leaders, we can confidently say that following these eight steps can help ensure you get the most out of a proactive push to have your company on the stages and platforms that matter most.

The Keys to a Robust Corporate Speakers Bureau was last modified: July 8th, 2024 by Ned Ward