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Learn From the Masters: How to Slot Speakers for Your Next Corporate Retreat...

You've got that big off-site coming up and either have budget or no budget for speakers.  It really doesn't matter, because your goal is the same - bring outside speakers in who will be interesting to the attendees.

Repeat after me:

-It doesn't matter if your attendees learn anything as long as they are entertained.

Let's say it again:

-It doesn't matter if your attendees learn anything as long as they are entertained.

Got it?  Great.  Of course, you'd love them to learn something while they are entertained, but it's not mandatory. Here's your formula for corporate retreat/conference keynote success:

(Ms + Na + Df = Meeting/Conference Success)

Here's your key of what you need to go find to meet your goal of entertaining your attendees:

Ms = Motivational speaker.  You know the type.  Guy is stuck and has the choice of being eaten by wolves or chewing his arm off.  Or you could go with a pilot if that's your thing.  Low budget?  No problem, go find the local equivalent of the guy from the Pursuit of Happiness.  You're looking for Wow factor here, with a tug to the heart.

Na = News Anchor of some type.  They're almost always more attractive than average people and they get credit for being well informed, even if they simply read the teleprompter.  You can go CNN of Fox News if you have budget, or if expenses is all you can provide, your local Ron Burgundy is probably available. He's got great hair and a informed take on Obamacare.  Sort of.  Did I mention these people look great?

Df = Disruptive force.  You need a s***-stirrer for this speaking slot. Someone who's going to make 20% of the crowd love them and 20% of the crowd absolutely hate them.  This is the person who's not afraid to tell you what's going on in your industry or the outside world and entertain why they do it.  They'll take chances and mix it up.  

That's it.  If you have a budget for your conference or retreat, these personas are available at a wide range of price points.  If you have no budget, local versions are generally available, although the polish factor goes down significantly if you have to look local.  But the formula still works.

Me? I'm the Df option when people bring me in, and it's a fun role to have.  Good luck lining up the talent.  I hope your retreat goes great!


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