Brad speaking on stage

Many of my clients seek mediocrity when it comes to booking a keynote speaker.  What!?  I know…it’s crazy.  Let me explain.

Meeting planners have a lot at stake when they select a keynote speaker.  If their speaker bombs it affects more than the unhappy audience.  They have to explain why they picked such a turkey.  No planner want’s to answer the question, “What made you think this lousy speaker would be a good choice”?

Enter mediocrity.  It sounds crazy, but I’m convinced that my clients first want to do no harm with their speaker choice.  If the keynote speaker is good enough to get reasonable evaluations, and nobody has any major issues with the speaker it’s a win.  If the general reaction from the speaker is, “Yeah, he was ok,” then the planner won’t get into trouble.

But note the irony:  success here is a speaker who comes in with marginal evaluations.  Not amazing..but not bad.  We are miles away from a home run you’ll-never-top-it performance.