I always, always recommend planners meet with executives well before starting a search for a speaker to determine those two crucial elements. Bringing internal executives into the process early gets everyone on the same page and avoids wasting time going in the wrong direction.
I also recommend speakers get executive input in writing – which forces executives to really think about input they are providing and gives planners a meaningful starting point.
Speakers bureaus stay abreast of experts, trendsetters, newsmakers, authors and other professionals who can add value as a speaker. Bureaus understand these speakers’ strengths and styles, and should be able to strategically help planners (or anyone else) find appropriate speakers within all budget ranges.
Bureaus save time and frustration by narrowing down the seemingly infinite world of professional speakers to a short list of appropriate and qualified choices. From there, bureaus can provide easy access to videos, brochures, books and other materials to help planners make their final selection.
Additionally, they can coordinate direct communication between planners and the speakers they hire. This is crucial for the speaker to best prepare for an event.
Bureaus are generally paid by the speaker, and typically do not charge anything additional. Some bureaus do sometimes charge their own fees when providing services such as extensive research or strategic planning for companies or organizations.
And, if the executive firmly states that a speaker will make or break a meeting, it becomes top priority for everyone to bring in the best speaker available to you.