The 5 Biggest Mistakes Indianapolis event Planners Make When Hiring a public speaker…And How To Avoid Them!”

It is very, very, very rare for a professional public speaker write this kind of report. Many other youth speakers, business speakers and school assembly presenters do NOT want you know this information. Please take the time to read it carefully. In fact, if you are – as I hope – very interested in making sure that your next event is successful, then I urge you to get comfortable, ask not to be disturbed, and STUDY this report – it IS that important! It reveals vital information that you NEED to know!

It’s shocking but true.

Every day, schools, youth organizations, colleges and businesses hire public speakers that they should not be hiring. Business Speakers, youth speakers and school assembly presentors often lie about their qualifications, charge you a LOTmore than they should, end up turning your important event into an embarrassment and put your reputation on the line by presenting sub-par performances.

Organizing a corporate event, school assembly and/or special event is a DIFFICULT and STRESSFUL job. There are so many details that must be attended to. But here is the undeniable truth:


       I realize that you might not believe that right now but think about it for a minute. When is the last time you remembered the lunch you had at a business team building event? Did the centerpieces make the event memorable and successful? When is the last time your students attended a school assembly did the bleachers make the presentation successful?

      Probably NO!

    The speaker and presentor is the “key” to a successful event, but here’s the problem…

       Hire the wrong person and your event will be a flop. Hire someone who offends members of your audience and it is your reputation on the line. Overpay for an speaker who delivers a sub-par performance and all eyes will be looking at you.

      In just a minute, I’m going to reveal what the 5 Biggest Mistakes are and how you can avoid them, but first let me answer a couple of questions that are probably on your mind:

Who Are You And Why Are You Revealing This Information?

       My name is The Magic Comic-Jamahl Keyes and I’m a professional public speaker. For the past 20 years my unique presentations consisting of magic, mindreading, motivation, comedy, and audience participation have helped event planners and administrations at companies including Ford Motor Company, AM General, Notre Dame University, Arkansas University, Cookies By Design, TV One, DECA and Alaska Chamber Of Commerce make their events unforgettable, successful and fun.

            I’m revealing information that the public speaker industry doesn’t want you to know for two main reasons:

REASON #1: If you end up hiring a lousy speaker, this closes the field not only to me but other competent professionals. Odds are, if the person you hire stinks, you’ll be very reluctant to hire a similar type of performer in the future.

 REASON #2: I HATE to see bad performers rip people off and make event planners look bad. It puts a back eye on my profession.

            Okay, now that you know who I am and why I’m doing this, let’s talk about the 5 Biggest Mistakes Event Planners Make When Hiring Public Speakers…And How To Avoid Them!



            Wow! This is a biggie.

            Of course, price isa factor when hiring a speaker. If you only have a $1,000 budget, you’re not going to be able to hire Oprah Winfrey to come and motivate your group! However, many event planners place too much emphasis on price and not enough emphasis on the overall impact the speaker will have on their event.

Is the highest priced performer always the best? Absolutely not! In fact, in a marketing course put out for entertainers, the author tells his readers to dramatically raise their fees because a lot of event planners equate the value of a performer by how much they charge. He says that it is all “perception”.

      Well, it certainly won’t be just “perception” if you hire someone who charges you thousands of dollars for a show that is, in reality, only worth a few hundred dollars and they “bomb”!

On the other hand, hiring the least expensive public speaker is not always the best way to go either.

Youth speakers and Business speakers are perceived as a dime a dozen- a commodity- by many event planners, and because of this they try to find the lowest priced presenter.

   The fact is that each presentor is unique and, like in any other profession, there are entertainers who are great, some who are good, some mediocre, and some who should never be allowed on stage!

            You need to base your decision on the speaker and presentor who will best fulfill your needs and help you to achieve your desired outcomes.

One way you can know whether a speaker is going to meet your needs is by whether or not he or she asks you what your needs are and what outcomes you want to achieve with your event. When you call them, do they just tell you how great their show is without finding out what you want and need?

           How would you feel if you went to a doctor because you weren’t feeling well and the doctor instantly prescribed some medicine without first finding out what was wrong with you? It’s the same with entertainers and speakers. They should find out what you want and need first and see if they have a program that can fulfill those needs.


   Many public speakers are so desperate for work that they will say anything to get hired. They will tell you that they do things that they don’t, won’t, or can’t do. We’ll be talking about how to spot out these phoneys and avoid ‘em like the plague in just a few minutes.

  Bottom line: Decide what your budget rangeis, check out a number of performers in that budget range, and choose the best person regardless of price. If your budget is so small that you cannot find an excellent performer, DO NOT HIRE ANYONE. It is far, far better to have no entertainer or speaker than it is to hire someone who is not good. Save your money and wait until you can afford someone who is outstanding.



            Testimonials are of the utmost importance when hiring any public speaker. In fact, they are of paramount importance. If a school assembly speaker or business speaker does not have a TON of great testimonials it means one of two things.

            First, the speaker is inexperienced and hasn’t worked professionally long enough to get testimonials. Second, the speaker isn’t very good and can’t getany testimonials from his customers. In either case, this is a performer you probably don’t want to hire.

            Yes, testimonials are critical. In fact, I have an arsenal that I use in my marketing. What people say about a performer is infinitely more important than what a performer says about himself or herself.

Bottom Line: You should put a lot weight on public speakers testimonials when making your decision. Just make sure you are dealing with someone who is honest and ethical.



            A public speakers testimonials are more important than their demo video, much more important. The problem with basing your decision solely on someone’s demo video is the fact that anyone can make themselves look good on video through editing and retake after retake.

            Quick, true story that will graphically illustrate this point:


            A local teacher’s association hired a hypnotist based on the great demo video he sent them. In the words of the event planner, “It was a disaster. He literally couldn’t hypnotize anyone. People started leaving the event. Other’s starting talking amongst themselves. And the hypnotist started yelling at all of us.”  Yikes!

            So what should you look out for in a demo video? If the video is over-produced and too slick, beware. The performer may be trying to hide behind special effects. The video should give you a feel for what the performer does, how he interacts with the audience, and what the audience response is. (The audience’s response to the performer is in reality more important than what the performer actually does.) Ideally, the video should consist of clips from more than one show.

            Bottom line:A demo video can be a useful tool in helping you decide whether a performer is right for you but it should only be one the factors that contributes to your decision.