Does your association or chamber of commerce host events on a fairly regular basis where speakers are needed? 

Maybe it’s for your annual conference. 
Or a monthly luncheon. 
Or a webinar. 
Or all of the above! 

Either way, you likely ask that interested parties submit a speaker application form, and you likely ask for the standard info: session title and description, intended audience, previous speaking experience, etc. 

But to help you get just a little more info – that will help you choose speakers who’ll REALLY be a hit – consider adding these two questions to your speaker application form:

1. What credentials do you have related to the presentation topic?

Usually, speaker application forms have a section for the interested party’s current job title. And that may indicate their experience with the topic…or it may not. Or, it may not accurately represent ALL of their experience. 

For that reason, we recommend asking them to list any credentials they may have related to the presentation topic. Now it’s important to note here that credentials could be many things: a degree, a certification, an award, a life experience, etc. 

What makes them qualified to speak on this topic?

You may get some insights that a simple job title wouldn’t give you!

2. How long will you be present before and after your talk?

This question depends a little bit on the type of event you’re planning, but if it’s an event that involves components other than just the speaker’s presentation, it’s worth asking how long they plan to be around before and after they speak. 

Some speakers will have to leave immediately, and that’s okay. But let’s say you’re hosting a two-day conference. If you can get a speaker who’s open and willing to attend other sessions and activities (an evening reception, for example), then that just creates a better experience for your attendees. And overall, a better, more engaging experience for speakers too!

For more tips on creating a top-notch experience for your attendees – regardless of what type of event your planning – check out our free guide below. In it, you’ll find tips for event promotion, onsite engagement, post-event follow-up, and more!