My friend and fellow professional speaker, Scott McKain, sent me an email that included the following interesting commentary:
” Just home from a major meeting…I asked the meeting professional to name the speakers they booked for the past couple of years, and she informed me, “We had industry experts, not professional speakers.” So, I naturally had to follow-up with, “Why did you have one for this year’s meeting?”
Her great response: “Industry experts are boring. We realized our registrations were down, not just because of the economy — but, who wants to make the effort to attend a boring meeting? Professional speakers bring more than content. I guess I took for granted HOW much more.”
Reminds me of something my friend Ted Steinberg used to say when asked what it would cost for his services: “You mean if you hire me or if you don’t hire me?”
As a professional speaker who makes a difference, I encourage any of you out there who are thinking about who should speak at your upcoming conference to remember there is a difference between a professional speaker and an industry expert. Both can often do what the other person does, but not necessarily. My recommendation: Hire an expert who speaks professionally.