Online events

5 tips for choosing the right presenter

A good moderator leads your participants enthusiastically through the whole evening. Find the right presenter with these 5 tips.

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The evolution of the digital event in recent years has been astounding. While before 2020 even grandma's knitting webinar still passed for an "event", the effort and production has become more and more professional. The same is true for the demands on the moderator of a virtual event.

If you're already part of a virtual event, you're probably aware of the importance of good moderation. The difference between enthusiastic participants and a rapidly dwindling number of attendees that would do credit to a New Year's Eve countdown.

To help you choose the right presenter for your event - whether virtual or on-site - I have created this simple guide. In my many years of experience as a presenter and keynote speaker, I've had the privilege of advising event organizers on how to answer this question time and time again. The following 5 questions are critical to ensuring your audience leaves your event with a WOW feeling.

1. what do you want to achieve with your event?

Be clear about the goal of your event.  

  • What is the desired outcome of the event? For what reason is it taking place?
  • What is your personal goal for the event?
  • What feeling do you want your audience to leave with at the end of the event?
  • Is there a specific call to action for guests?

A launch party for the latest smartphone has different requirements for a moderator than an employee party. Likewise, the goal of a trade fair is different from that of a training congress or change management measures.

2. who is your audience?

The second question you need to clarify: who is this event for?

The better you know your guests, the more likely you can tailor the event to them.... Entertainment and moderation included. Above all, ask yourself why these people are coming to your event and what emotional involvement is involved? Are the participants there voluntarily or is the event obligatory?

All these questions make it easier for you to get a feel for your guests. Just as if you were receiving guests at your home. There you usually also know who is coming to visit you.

Moderator speaks in front of audience

3. what is the basic structure of your event?

After you have defined the goal of the event and the target group, we now come to the content of the event. Create a basic structure of how you envision your event - ideally also with an initial schedule.

Most exciting for the moderator selection are your elements included in the basic structure, such as.  

  • Will there be a panel discussion?
  • Are people honored?
  • Do I want to sell something or possibly auction it off?
  • Do you want to conduct a longer interview with a prominent personality?
  • Does everything take place in German or are parts of the event also held in other languages?

The more precise your picture of the target group and the process is, the more the search profile of your desired moderator will develop. If you get stuck on some questions: a good moderator will help you with his experience and will be happy to give you advice and support.

4. what does the ideal presenter for your event need to bring to the table?

What is important to you? Now you can put all your wishes for your moderator into the requirements profile. Since many companies start with the budget first before asking for moderator prices, I still want to encourage you to write a list of requirements first and only finally include the criterion of price.

One thing is clear: the moderator must fit your event. Charisma, stage presence and a good voice are basic requirements. What other values and qualities that suit your guests should your event moderator bring with him?

Moderator inspires audience

Would you rather be young and dynamic or experienced and confident? One gentleman, one lady, or a double act as a moderator duo? A double moderation often brings its own dynamic, which breathes even more life into the event.

A word about presenter familiarity, which is often seen as a quality seal of approval: just because a presenter or anchor can talk to a camera in a TV studio doesn't mean they can entertain an audience. Make sure they have the event experience you want. And sure... Name recognition can be a plus for your PR exploitation of the event.

Let's move on to the budget planning for the moderation: a basic idea of your budget is good. Nevertheless, give yourself some leeway to be able to engage your desired moderator and rather save on positions where it is not so noticeable... if the moderation does not fit, it will have an immediate negative impact on the feeling of your guests and distance you from achieving your event goal.

5. where to find the right presenter?

Equipped with your requirements profile for your ideal moderator, you embark on your search. You have several options for this.

Talk to colleagues and people around you about who might fit this profile. This could be a presenter that someone on your team has already worked with, or a presenter you've experienced at an event. Alternatively, recommendations are often very valuable... it is always surprising what excellent tips can come from your environment.

Another option: ask Google. There are plenty of independent moderators who have an online presence. Agencies that provide moderators for events are also helpful and can already filter out candidates who meet your requirements.  

Finally a gift

To go along with this article, you can download my "Presenter Scout" checklist of 5 things every event manager should know to find the ideal presenter for free.  

About the author

Ronny Leber is an enthusiastic presenter and keynote speaker. In his career to date, he has been able to inspire more than 5 million people live on 5 continents and entertain his audience live in front of TV screens in over 1,500 hours. His speeches are a firework of inspiration: a colorful experience with lots of inspiring bangs. You can learn more about the captivating motivator at www.ronnyleber.com.

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