Best Guest Speakers South Africa: 7 Keys to Smooth Running Conferences

While the best guest speakers in South Africa fulfil motivational, educational and/or entertainment roles, it’s important to make sure you hire the correct communicator or entertainer for the job.

Video trailer of a motivational guest speaker.

How the Best Guest Speakers in South Africa Empower Smooth Running Conferences

  1. Matchmake between your event objectives and expectations.
  2. Add dynamite keynote speeches to the agenda.
  3. Act as top MC’s.
  4. Showcase premium quality entertainment.
  5. Exemplify superior communication talent.
  6. Uphold professionalism and overall impression.
  7. Accommodate consultations and customisations.

The assignments of guest speakers in South Africa are many and varied. Of course, a thorough understanding of your objectives is required to make sure you get the right person for the conference or event.

The emphasis here lies in the word “guest”. Your selection of a guest speaker needs to emphasise that they are separate, different from your organisation. The best guest speakers in South Africa are there in their capacity amongst others as experts, role models or entertainers.

1. Best Guest Speakers in South Africa: Matchmake Between Your Objectives & Expectations

In a nutshell, guest speakers are a useful tool to be employed at corporate events. Like most tools, however, it is in the wielding that great results are obtained. When you are thinking about hiring the best guest speakers in South Africa for any regional occasions or overseas conferences, make sure you first have a thorough understanding of all the factors involved.

Keep in mind the audience make-up, your objectives of the event as a whole and what effect you hope to achieve by employing someone from the outside. These factors will combine to assist your selection and make the conference successful.

You will also save yourself plenty of time and effort by clarifying these issues in advance. Presented with a thorough briefing of this nature, a good booking or management agency will easily be able to recommend the best guest speakers in South Africa that can deliver on your objectives.

Don’t get carried away by big names and fancy ideas and remain committed to actual deliverables for your function and you will more likely achieve the desired effect.

2. Best Guest Speakers in South Africa: Add Dynamite Keynote Speeches

Top of the list is usually the keynote speakers. They would be the headline act, so to speak, of your conference and address an issue of great importance, unique interest or particular expertise. Therefore, they form the focus of an event and all activity might lead up to them. 

Ideal keynote speeches can include motivational speakers, economists, celebrities, top athletes and captains of industry.

The idea is to present someone with plenty of credibility and power that will make a lasting impression making your event desirable and memorable.

Your keynote guest speaker might be there to enlighten and motivate, but they also need to educate and entertain. Always look out for the visual aspect that the best guest speakers in South Africa should bring with them. As has been observed before, messages are always more readily received when accompanied by images and visual stimuli as well as audio.

And a really good presentation goes a long way to holding attention with an audience that may or may not be totally receptive to an outsider. In short, your guest speaker needs to be entertaining, informative and skilled, but mostly, needs to put on a show that will hold attention while imparting an important message to the audience.

Some of the easily recognisable traits of top guest speakers in South Africa are confidence, strong voices and the kind of accessibility that allows an audience to relate to them quickly and easily.

An expert in their field does not necessarily make a great guest speaker on that subject, as it is not so much the knowledge that they can impart which is important, as the ability to impart it.

It’s not unusual for the best guest speaker in a field to not necessarily be the biggest player or the most successful business person in that field. Rather it is their ability to transmit their knowledge that creates the demand for their talks.

As someone hiring the best guest speakers in South Africa, this needs to be taken into consideration when deciding on who you might need and to what end you hope to employ them.

3. Best Guest Speakers in South Africa: Act as Top MC’s

In another role, you might require an MC or “master of ceremonies” (also spelt “emcee”).

This is an individual who’s skilled in the smooth running and introducing a series of guest speakers and conference arrangements within a programme.

A great MC can often mean the difference between a smooth and efficiently transitioned programme or an embarrassingly bumpy and disjointed affair.

One clear example would be that of presenters not being kept on time and the agenda falling apart.

Masters of ceremonies or emcees makes no real presentation in their own right. They are able to introduce and conclude sections of the programme, picking up on what’s said and done and making off the cuff remarks to move the programme along in an upbeat fashion.

In some cases, the MC fulfil a more extensive role, also being a presenter. This is a speaker able to literally present the programme of events according to a script.

The list of permutations and roles of the best guest speakers in South Africa is a long and convoluted one. In essence as a client in need of a guest speaker, it is up to you to define the role that needs filling and shop for likely candidates to fulfil those functions.

Generally humorous and efficient, skilled MC’s are much in demand in order to give a high gloss of professionalism to events.

Some of the best guest speakers in South Africa also double-up as MC’s, sometimes at the same conference.

4. Showcase Premium Quality Entertainment

Depending on the nature of your event, you may well need a guest speaker in South Africa purely as entertainment.

In this case, you may be looking at a comedian or a celebrity that can relate anecdotal tales about life, business, politics, life on the red carpet etc.

But entertainment can take many forms and its best to make sure you have a firm idea of what is appropriate for your theme and audience for the event before selecting an entertainer.

5. Exemplify Superior Communication Talent

No matter their speciality, or indeed the audience vocation, the best guest speakers in South Africa are clear, understandable and approachable.

While in many cases, the objective of hosting them is part of a process of modifying behaviour or actions, this needs to be more subliminal or overt.

Motivational speakers, as an example, are essentially there to effect a change in the mindset of their audience, resulting hopefully in a change of behaviour.

However, you cannot set this up as a massive overt objective, or your audience will become resistant to the idea, no matter how skilled your booked communicator.

6. Uphold Professionalism & Overall Impression

No matter their intended function at the conference, the best guest speakers in South Africa are professional, appropriately dressed and highly competent. They are a reflection on the host and the organiser. As such, they need to be chosen with extreme care and deliver on several levels. However, the trick is to not surrender the overall quality of your conference to a guest speaker.

Your selection is of paramount importance, but if they are the only thing that’s of good quality and exhibits any levels of professionalism, all that will be remembered is them, and not you the host, coordinator or event itself. You might even stand in the glare of a very unfavourable contrast.

Don’t allow your conference and objectives to be overshadowed by anything than the overall excellence of the event as a whole.

Make sure the event is memorable.

The best guest speakers in South Africa may feature as highlights, but definitely not the only point of focus.

Go the extra mile in terms of location, décor and the programme itself, even on a shoestring budget. Creativity can create wonders.

The reaction and feedback of attendees will be the final word of whether or not the conference was a success.

Make sure all the detail is planned for and looked after, not only the selection of guests.

7. Best Guest Speakers in South Africa: Accommodate Consultations and Customisations

An important consideration to take into account is the willingness and availability of the guest speaker for a consultation and customisation of messages.

While many of the best guest speakers in South Africa will present the same presentation over and over, they pride themselves in their ability to tailor their general presentation to your own unique needs.

A good consultation well in advance of your event will give them enough time to research and prepare aspects of their talks that speak directly to your audience.

Lastly, remember that your guest speaker is just that: a guest. They should be treated as such, with hospitality, civility and planning. They should also not be put in the position where it appears that they are the most important thing going on and that your company or event is secondary to them.

Spend some time getting to know the names and specialities of the best guest speakers in South Africa available to you. No matter the situation, they can round off a good event by turning it into an excellent one.

External communicators or entertainers can be just about anyone that applies their trade in this field, depending on the nature of the event you are hosting and the intended effect or result of having a speaker. In fact, when you are thinking about inviting a guest to speak at a function, you could even consider your own staff!