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Tips for Event Planners: Trends in the Meetings Market

This year’s report on The Use of Professional and Industry Speakers in the Meetings Market, compiled by Tagoras & Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, shows some interesting trends to consider as you plan your next conference or event. Here are three thoughts to consider, based on the collected data from over 170  meeting and event planners across the United States:

Executive_Standup1. Hire a professional speaker. Nearly 85% of survey respondents said that their organization utilizes outside speakers.

A professional speaker brings your group their personal expertise, a fresh perspective, crafted materials, presentation excellence, and so much more. Working with a professional speakers bureau gives you access to quality resources, assistance in finding the best possible fit for your audience, and a level of expertise not guaranteed by word of mouth referrals.


2. Consider what “extra” content a speaker can provide for you. Sixty-six percent of event planners would like their plenary speaker to be involved beyond simply giving their keynote.

Ask us how our speakers can help extend their influence and maximizing the value of your event. From multi-media pieces throughout the meeting day to signed paraphernalia from our celebrities to break-out sessions or executive huddles, our roster of specializes speakers has much to offer.


3. Be open to names you haven’t heard before. Less than a third of survey respondents said that hiring a “big name” was extremely important to them.

Although a “big name” can be an initial draw, what matters at the end of the day is the quality of content that is delivered, and the fit of a speaker with your particular end goals. Consider new options and unfamiliar names – but always feel free to ask for a sample video of their work or to speak with them directly before making a decision.


To book a speaker  for your next event, or to ask any further questions, give us a call at 416-420-4525 or be in touch via our site.

Filed under: Event Planning Tips — Tags: , , — prospeakers.com @ 10:41 am
Find a Celebrity Spokesperson – Raise Awareness for Your Company, Product or Campaign

Q: What do the names Gail Vaz-Oxlade, Kathy Buckworth, Patrick Chan and Bif Naked have in common?

A: They’re all high-profile experts and celebrities who use their status to raise awareness for organizations or causes: spokespeople who can be utilized via personal appearances, print, radio, internet and television campaigns or media interviews.


Whether you’re looking to execute a public awareness campaign, attract media attention for a project, or gain valuable exposure for your company or product, finding the right spokesperson to convey your important message is crucial. The endorsement of the right person will draw credibility and attention to your cause.

Prospeakers.com can help you identify and secure the appropriate sports celebrity, entertainer, business expert or media personality to deliver key messages about your product and services. We maintain a detailed database of top talent and are ready to find you the best possible match.

Our recent spokespeople clientele include:

  • Huggies
  • BMO
  • Church & Dwight
  • McCain
  • Maple Leaf
  • Rogers
  • Loblaws
  • Campbells
  • and more…


Let us help you find the right spokesperson, handle all the details of locating and negotiating your celebrity endorsement, and craft expertly-negotiated contracts that offer you the most competitive prices and best-fitting talent for your specific needs.


Click here to be in touch with us, or give us a call anytime: 416-420-4525.


Filed under: Event Planning Tips,Spokespeople — Beth @ 1:49 pm
10 Steps to Finding the Right Speaker

Speaker selection is one of the most important elements in a successful event and can be a daunting task, as speakers are available in every fee range and specialty topic. Here are 10 steps to finding your best fit:

1 – Determine the Needs of Your Audience

  • Thorough knowledge of the needs of your group is essential.
    • Does your audience need to leave with specific or technical information?
    • Do you need someone to motivate the group to sell?
    • Does your group need more effective teamwork or better communication skills?
    • Are you looking for after-dinner entertainment with a message?

2 – Establish Your Date, Time and Budget

  • Start looking for a speaker as soon as the date for your meeting is set. Many speakers book engagements up to a year in advance.
  • Consider how much time you have to fill and where that time falls in your overall program. If your time slot is flexible, a professional speaker can often tell you the right amount of time for the job.
  • A professional can also make recommendations about the order of topics/speakers if one presentation will follow another. For example, you may not want to follow a humorist with a detailed educational program.
  • Factor in the fee you are willing or able to pay a speaker. Your search for a speaker can be narrowed or broadened based on your budget.

3 – Identify the Type of Speaker Who Will Best Match the Needs of Your Audience

  • A celebrity may be a big draw, but a well-known name does not guarantee a professional presentation. High prices don’t always mean high quality.
  • You might want to go with an expert within the company or field, but it’s a good idea to give him or her a preview to make sure the speaker has the presentation skills necessary to communicate effectively.
  • There are many areas of specialization within the speaking profession. Do you need a keynote speaker, a trainer, a facilitator, a consultant, a seminar leader, a humorist or all of these?

4 – Locate Your Resources

  • Personal referrals are a great way to narrow your search. Ask colleagues for recommendations.
  • Speakers bureaus locate and book speakers according to your specifications and needs. A bureau can locate speakers and quote fees. Many bureaus specialize in particular speakers such as celebrities, authors or athletes.

5 – Review Your Options and Interview Your Speaker Candidates

  • Professional speakers will become real partners in this process. Often, they will ask questions about the needs of your audience and tell you what they can accomplish for you. Ask your candidate for references and, if they are speaking in your area, ask if you can attend the program and observe them in action.
  • Make sure that potential speakers have addressed groups similar to yours. Talk with them about their experience. Ask for a biography, testimonials and videos of their presentations, preferably before a live audience. Find a speaker who will tailor her or his presentation to your group.
  • Ask the speakers if they belong to professional associations. Also ask what awards or certifications they have earned. The National Speakers Association confers the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, earned for extensive documented speaking experience and client satisfaction.

6 – Select Your Speaker

  • Hire a professional and you’ll hire an ally. Professional speakers understand that your reputation is riding on their performance. Their experience with hundreds of audiences can add to your peace of mind and to the success of the event.
  • When selecting your speaker, consider that you are not only paying for the time the speaker is on the platform but also for the hours spent researching, preparing and customizing the presentation. Some speakers may negotiate their fees when they are doing more than one program for you or when they are allowed to sell their products.

7 – Get It In Writing

  • You should have a letter of agreement or contract that clearly outlines the expectations of both you and your speaker. Things to consider:
    • Travel arrangements and transportation;
    • Accommodations and meals;
    • Fees, reimbursements and payment terms;
    • Whether you want the speaker to attend social events;
    • If the speaker may sell products and if so, how this will be handled;
    • An agreement on any audio- or videotaping of the presentation;
    • Cancellation policies;
    • Audio/visual requirements; and
    • Legal implications, if any, your contract may contain.

8 – Work with Your Speaker

  • Share information about your group or company. This will help the speaker become familiar with your organization while facilitating a customized presentation. Send your newsletter or anything that would include key people, buzz words or insider news and views.
  • Give the speaker a clear outline of what you expect. Be specific about the size and demographics of your audience. Let the speaker know in advance about other speakers on the program. This gives the speaker the opportunity to build on, and not duplicate, what the other speakers say.

9 – Set the Stage

  • Make sure the room is set up for optimum impact. Consider the number of chairs and how they are arranged. Also consider room temperature and lighting. Stay on schedule. Although a professional will be able to “make up” time or slow things down if needed, keeping your program on schedule will allow your audience to get the full impact of the programs that you have created for them.
  • Speakers should also be able to provide you with a good introduction to themselves and their topic. The introduction should be short, energizing and create positive expectations.

10 – Evaluate the Results

  • Have your audience complete evaluations of the speaker and her or his presentation. This will allow you to gauge your results and plan for future programs. Send copies of the evaluations to your speaker.

Article modified from content provided by National Speakers Association.

Filed under: Event Planning Tips — Tags: — Beth @ 3:54 pm