We are always looking for new speakers/presenters for all of our Catalyst events, whether in Atlanta, LA, Dallas, or even online. I wanted to give a bit of perspective on how we find new speakers. If you think you might be one of those, or know someone who is, here are a few tips:
1. Be a Powerful and engaging Communicator. Great communicators get moved to the top of the list.
2. Have an amazing story. Inspirational, courageous, tear-jerking, changing the world type stuff. True Catalysts. These also get moved to the top of the list. This one is not as easy to create or work on for you.
3. Content is king. Great content always wins. Especially content that inspires, and moves leaders towards action and application. There are lots of great communicators, but not all of them have great content. Start here. Develop great content first.
4. Be a Catalyst. Closely related to #2. We love finding the leaders who are out making a difference, and actually living out what God has called them to do. They are practitioners. They're not trying to build a platform so they can speak and write books one day. They are just out having an impact and influencing those around them. Inspirational practitioners is what I call these leaders.
5. We start with friends and "Catalyst family" first. If we are friends, that helps alot. Seriously. We feel like Catalyst is a big family, and we rarely invite speakers in without first having a friendship with them and getting to know who they really are.
6. Not all authors should be speakers. Just because you've written a book, doesn't mean you can communicate. Books give you credibility, but only as a content creator, not as a communicator. I know lots of authors who've sold millions of books and are total sleepers when asked to speak.
7. If you contact me and tell me how great YOU are, you get moved to the bottom of the list. Believe me, I (we) know who you are. We spend thousands of hours a year looking for the new voices, researching, asking around, watching videos, reading the blogs, getting feedback from leaders all over the world, etc.
8. If you contact any of our team after you've contacted me, especially my assistant Michelle, and tell HER as well how great YOU are, you get moved off the list. Feel free to contact us and recommend others you may know, but please don't recommend yourself.
Just to give perspective, I currently have a list of around 500 names who are potential speakers/communicators/interviews at upcoming Catalyst events in 2011-2014!