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Real Talk: Are Keynote Speakers Worth It?

Are keynote speakers worth the expense?

Let’s be real.

Getting a keynote speaker to come in and give a talk is such a hassle. Getting the right person, paying for transportation, meals, and their speaker fee, and coordinating the actual event – it’s no minor commitment. Above all, how do you know that the person is going to be able to really connect with your audience?

Honestly, why bother? After all this, the cost of having a lousy keynote is pretty high, the worst consequence being that you look bad in front of your audience, your clients, and your boss.

Should you hire a keynote?

The reality is that keynote speakers aren’t right for every organization. But when you do find the right one, they can be pretty amazing.

Here’s what they can do for you, that you can’t do on your own as a company:

  • Great companies know that whoever has the best talent is going to win. Like anything else that you invest in, talent requires constant upkeep to stay fresh.
  • Great speakers are tasked with one thing: getting their audience to do something that they have not been willing or able to do thus far.

But how do you make sure you can make this happen and get the ROI on your keynote that you want?

Making It Worth It

While you may think that the success of the talk depends on what the speaker does that day, the performance of the talk has a great deal more to do with how the speaker is selected.

For a listen of questions you should ask when you interview a keynote speaker, read “How to Select a Speaker Who Will Rock an Event” here.

In the meantime, here’s the summary. A good keynote should:

  • be prepared to handle technical difficulties that inevitably emerge during the course of the talk without losing connection to the audience
  • anticipate objections and use them as a foundation for driving home the point and increasing the audience’s motivation
  • prepare for the talk by researching the audience and finding out what they really want to know about
  • start and end the talk with a bang
  • situate the Q&A in the beginning and throughout rather than at the end of the talk (when nobody is listening)

Great Keynote Examples

Please see below for examples of some of the talks that I give. You’ll notice these are highly interactive and full of stunts and special effects.

The Cool Way to Talk About Insurance

There’s nothing that makes people want to run the other way faster than a financial advisor trying to sell them insurance. In this joint presentation, Sara Grillo, CFA, and Barry Flagg, CFP® will break the pattern by teaching advisors how to communicate with higher integrity, transparency, and clarity when they speak about insurance.

Advisors will learn:

  • The questions you should ask people that brings to light the truth about the last, largest, most-neglected, and worst-performing asset on their balance sheets
  • How to talk about the numbers that matter – how including certain metrics can lead to higher insights about the true costs and performance of people’s life insurance policies.
  • How to use Prudent Investor principles to eliminate the competition still using misleading, inappropriate, and unreliable policy reviews
  • How to get more referrals by clearly associating your brand with the “clients’ best interests” movement

This talk will include:

  • Live role play and participation from the audience in a game of “sell me this insurance policy”
  • Periodic 35 second dance breaks to avoid monotony
  • Special effects such as Barry Flagg lighting a life insurance illustration on fire because that’s certainly a higher and better use of them than for product selection (Optional)

Getting That First Meeting with a Female Prospect

The fact that women are the gender of the future for advisors to focus on is well documented. There’s been a great deal of commentary from industry thought leaders about what women want and don’t want in an advisor.

What remains unaddressed, however, is the roadmap to the sale: the practical steps advisors can take and what they need to do in order to get in front of more qualified female clients. This talk will propose 5 specific marketing strategies for advisors to follow to get the first meeting with female clients.

Intended audience: female and male advisors of all types, broker/dealer, hybrid, RIA firm, independent, wirehouse, etc.

Pick from a choice of these special effects:

  • chocolate fountain with choice of fruit, Biscotti, or Amaretto biscuits
  • shower of $100 dollar confetti
  • fireworks display

Jumping Onboard with New Ways to Get Paid in 2019

Financial advisor compensation is changing and there are now more ways to get paid as an advisor than ever before. Learn what your advisors need to do in order to open up a world of possibility for creating multiple stream of recurring revenue in ways that the industry has not yet adopted, and the technologies that are powering them.

This talk may include features such as:

  • lighting a brochure on fire to signal the end of old advisor practice techniques
  • strobe lights
  • karoake game

How to Talk to COIs Without Sounding Tacky

Attorneys and accountants are some of the best possible referral sources for financial advisors, but very few are able to crack the code. This talk will cover how to crack in and get past the boundaries these COIs are putting up, why they are disconnecting from your marketing pitch, and how to communicate in a way that connects, empathizes, and allows them to see you as a valuable resources that can improve their business profitability rather than another advisor looking for a handout.

Workshop: The Toolkit for Building a Brand that is not a #FinancialCliche

The ability to differentiate yourself as a financial advisor matters now more than ever. Yet most advisor branding is a constant stream of jargon, cliché, and sameness.

In this three hour workshop, advisors will learn:

  • What qualifies as a valid brand vs. an invalid brand
  • How to design a LinkedIn page that expresses your brand and attracts attention
  • How to explain what you do without sounding like a cliché
  • 6 phrases not to use when you talk about what you do
  • Email and out of office messaging with style and personality
  • How style of dress, personal grooming, office design, and pets can be used to reflect your brand
  • Blogging, podcasting, and other content strategies that should be done in a cliché-free fashion, and how to achieve this

This presentation is highly interactive and includes quiz sessions involving volunteers from the audience. Chocolate and prizes are awarded for correct answers and calisthenics are required for incorrect answers. Humor is also highly utilized in delivery of this workshop.

Sara’s Upshot

If you’d like to talk more about how my keynote speaking can be made to be worth it for your organization, please contact me here.

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