6 Things To Look For When Hiring A Finance Speaker

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When hiring a speaker, you’re looking for someone who weaves together information and storytelling in a way that’s actionable. Though many mistakenly think finance speakers have to be bland or boring, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, when hiring a finance speaker, you want to find someone who wows your audience members. 

Not every finance speaker is the right fit for every event. It’s important to understand your audience, your event needs, and your expectations. While it might make sense to splurge on high-profile speakers, it’s all about the real value you share with your audience. This means tapping into your speaker’s unique perspective, and letting your audience’s needs be your true guide.

Thanks to the rise of the internet, it’s easy for anyone to call themselves a so-called expert in their field. With more “gurus” online than ever before, you want to cut through the noise to find people who really resonate with your brand. This is especially true in finance where trends change quickly. You need to know what to look for so you can cut through the noise when it matters the most. 

Are you hiring a finance speaker? If so, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll identify six things to look for when hiring a finance speaker. If you want to create an event your audience will rave about, you need to have the right strategy for hiring speakers. 

Past Speaking Experience In Finance-Related Industries

First, you want your finance speakers to have past speaking experience. This should be in finance industries and also finance-related industries, like tech, mortgages, or anything else aligned with your brand. It’s not enough to take the speaker’s word for it. Anyone can paint themselves as a trusted thought leader online. 

In reality, actions speak louder than words. Have they done any past speaking events that resonate with your audience? More importantly, can you ask for references? Reaching out to these references yourself is the best way to get unfiltered thoughts and recommendations.

Ask for references, then reach out to them yourself to get past clients’ unfiltered thoughts and recommendations. 

This is known as word-of-mouth marketing, and it’s highly efficient. A reported 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family over advertisements. While a social media post, well-designed website, or ad is a great first step, this shouldn’t be your only step. You want to confirm that your prospective finance speaker doesn’t just talk the talk. They walk the walk. 

Real-life examples of past speaking experiences:

  • They’ve spoken for similar events or brands in the past.
  • The speaker has given a speech to your audience before. 
  • The speaker is recommended by a trusted leader or colleague in your industry.
  • You receive high-level praise from previous event managers they’ve worked with.
  • The speaker is a known industry leader in your space. 

You can see how big-name events and brands utilize past speaking experiences when promoting their upcoming speakers. An example of this is South by Southwest (SXSW). This Austin-based conference is a hub for startups from around the world, and they pride themselves in seeking the most up-and-coming speakers for their panels and keynotes. By highlighting the past experience of these speakers, they generate excitement for their upcoming session. 

Social Proof From Other Financial Organizations

Next, it’s also important to make sure your speakers have valuable social proof. What is social proof? This is the psychological and social phenomenon where people copy the behavior of others. In other words, it’s a form of social influence. As a marketing tool, it’s unbelievably powerful. There are six main types of social proof:

  • Expert: When an expert in your space recommends an individual or service, this is social proof. 
  • Celebrity: Also known as a celebrity endorsement, this carries a lot of weight. 
  • User: If a current user or client recommends your product or expertise, this motivates others. The most common type of user social proof is online reviews. 
  • Wisdom of the crowd: If a large group of people endorses an individual, others will as well. For instance, if you have a lot of followers on social media, you’re evoking the wisdom of crowd social proof. 
  • Wisdom of your friends: As explained above, we trust the recommendations of our friends and family over those we don’t know. If you see your friends or colleagues recommend someone, you’ll trust this recommendation more. 
  • Certification: Finally, if someone has a stamp of approval from an authoritative figure, university, or industry program, this is also a way to build trust. 

Generally, the more visible someone is online or in-person, the better. While you don’t necessarily need to hire the biggest name you can find, social proof does matter. When your event is backed by those who leverage social proof, this spreads to your organization or brand as well. Your finance speakers help promote the event, follow up with audience members, and build excitement. 

In other words, you can think of your finance speakers as partners in your success. They should be your biggest superfans, helping you create an event that wows your audience. Not only do they know how to build their own audiences, but they use that audience to build long-term trust. 

Credibility In Finance-Related Industries

Another important thing to look for when hiring a finance speaker is credibility. This is especially true in finance-related industries. You can look for certifications or professional experience, as well as speaking experience. It’s sometimes hard to find someone who balances both speaking and finance skills. These are two separate things, but you need both to become a successful financial speaker. 

The world of finance is a large place. There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all. Consider your event goals, as well as the perspective of your audience. What do they want to know? What type of finance speaker would they benefit from? Some of the most common sectors in finance include:

  • Banking
  • Financial advisory
  • Wealth management
  • Insurance
  • Mutual funds
  • Mortgage and underwriting

Ideally, this finance speaker will have experience working within the finance space. Whether they got their start in commercial banking or at an insurance company, they should know their stuff. Alternatively, they know how to apply outside knowledge within a finance space. From financial marketing to technology, there are a lot of overlapping services and expertise areas. 

A great first step is to understand exactly what your audience is looking for. Not sure what they want? Ask them yourself! From social media polls to anonymous surveys, don’t make assumptions about the type of finance speaker your audience is looking for. It might be as simple as asking them yourself. When you find someone with credibility that aligns with their needs, you’ve found the right fit. 

Evidence Of Their Own Financial Knowledge

Similarly, your finance speaker should practice what they preach. This should go without saying, but you don’t want to hire a finance speaker who is barely scraping by themselves. For example, if their business is about to file bankruptcy, this perhaps isn’t the right fit. The dreaded fake entrepreneur can paint a convincing image of themselves, hiding the shambles of their real situation beneath the surface. 

While you aren’t likely to get a complete glimpse into a company or speaker’s financial status, you can learn from clues. If you pay attention, it’s easy to see if a speaker is legit or simply covering up for a lack of real knowledge. 

  • Search: A quick internet search will help you learn key things about any news stories, court cases, and so on. 
  • Projects: Is the speaker involved in any new projects? If so, odds are they’re active and trustworthy in their space. 
  • Content: It’s common for speakers to create their own content around their topics, especially in the finance space. Checking this is a great insight into their financial knowledge and expertise. In other words, do they know what they’re talking about?
  • Accredited: There are many certifications and accreditations needed to give certain types of financial advice. For instance, there are security licenses for selling investment products. 

Is this someone you would personally trust to give you financial advice? If you’re not sure of the answer, this might not be the best fit. A proven track record of personal and professional success sells itself. While it’s normal to make mistakes, the right finance speaker learned from their past to guide others towards a brighter future. 

Alignment With Your Messaging & Goals

Next, your speaker needs to align with your key messaging and goals. If they don’t align with the goals and tone of your event, your audience won’t listen. More importantly, they won’t remember anything during the presentation. It’s already hard enough to capture the audience’s attention.

Famous businessman Phil Crosby once said, “No one can remember more than three points.” He’s absolutely right, and this is something to keep in mind when choosing your finance speaker. If you’ve ever wondered why TED Talks are around 18 minutes long? This is the optimal attention span, and it connects with the audience more than a long-winded speech ever could. 

Experienced speakers adjust their topics and messaging to suit the specific audience. Speeches are far from one-size-fits-all. Your speaker represents your brand on stage. They’re a partner in your success. As an extension of your brand, you want to be working towards the same goals. Consider the audiences they’ve spoken to in their past and their experience. If it feels like the right fit for your brand, you’re on the right track. 

For example, consider the speakers chosen by Consensus 2022. Run by CoinDesk, this is the ultimate conference for those interested in cryptocurrency, blockchain, and fintech. They know that the leaders and experts attending their event want to hear from pros in this space, and they find speakers who align clearly with these goals. With speakers like Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX and Liz Young of SoFi, they’ve done their research to attract talent that matches their audience’s goals. 

Consistent & Clear Communication

Lastly, the best speakers understand the value of consistent and clear communication. This means being well-organized, easy to reach, and engaged with the entire process. The right finance speaker has speaking materials ready to go, and they’re available to help when needed. 

Again, your speakers are event partners. They’re an extension of your brand. That means they’re a part of the event promotion before, during, and after the engagement. They should be engaged throughout the entire experience. Some ways to include them throughout the audience journey include:

  • Share social copy and graphics for your speaker to promote on social media.
  • Cover other talks or features your speakers are taking part in before your event.
  • Create mini keynote videos to share on your website, social, and so on before the event.
  • Encourage your speakers to share any of their books, freebies, or extras amongst your audience.
  • Invite your speakers to contribute to your emails, newsletters, blog, or so on.
  • Add a q&a session or a book signing after the speech for another engagement opportunity.

Finally, don’t be afraid to follow up with your finance speakers after the event. Talk to them about their experience, what you did well, and what you can improve. This not only builds a strong relationship with your speakers, but it encourages them to work with you again. At the very least, you’ll gain insight into the full event experience. 

You’re Ready to Hire Your Finance Speaker

Ultimately, doing your research pays off when it comes to finding the right finance speaker. In this space especially, you want to make sure your speaker really knows what they’re doing. This means more than just sharing expertise. Your ideal finance speaker needs to know how to entertain while balancing the right amount of charisma. When your speakers are excited about your event and your goals, this affects the energy of your audience as well. 
With over a decade of experience, I know what it means to give a presentation that breaks through the noise. I’ve appeared in front of audiences for WeWork, American Express, and the United Nations, to name a few of my superfans. Want to learn more about whether my expertise is the right fit for your event? Let’s schedule a time to chat!

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