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7 Questions to Ask Every Speaker Before Hiring Them

Updated: Jan 7

If you hire speakers for professional development, assemblies, guest presenters, workshops, trainings, etc- here are 7 questions you should ask to ensure you are getting a quality, professional, and thorough learning experience.

1. What is your booking process?

An organized professional will have a booking process that they can immediately share. These details will include each step of the buying process and it’s timeline. 

If you’re working with me: I invite you to a call, gather information about your needs, shoot over a proposal and contract. Then show up for your event(s).

2. Do you provide learning outcomes for your keynote/program/trainings?

If an individual does not have this in writing, it is likely that their message/program/training will be “winged.”

If you are ok with that, skip this question. If you want to Ensure your participants walk away with a clear, actionable, and measurable learning experience, this question can not be skipped.

If you’re working with me: All keynote/program/trainings include the learning outcomes for each program. You never have to guess or blindly trust what I am “planning to say/do.” 

3. What industry accolades or awards have you received for your work?

Accolades and awards can tell a narrative about a person’s commitment to their work. Recognition also means an organization or entity values the work of the individual.

If you’re working with me: I’ve received a host of awards. My favorite award received is Youth Speaker of the Year (SpeakerCon, 2019). The nominees in my category were ALL phenomenal. I did NOT expect to win. The moment was validating and super special. 

4. How will you support us in marketing our event? 

The initial response to this really should be a question redirected to the event organizer. The individual should ask you (the event organizer) how they can best support the marketing of the event.

If you’re working with me: My graphic designer can create a branded event promo graphic and/or create a short promo video talking about the event at no additional charge. We will also blast the information via email and social media.

Here’s an example of the National Society Black Engineers (NSBE) Annual Convention graphic created by my team.

5. Are you able to support us in quantifying the impact of your service?

Whew this is goood! First of all, only a professional speaker will have an answer for this. The answer is data collection. You want someone who can provide an evaluation of the learning experience so that you can justify the expense of the service. 

If you’re working with me:  All keynotes, trainings, and workshops include a post-event survey. The data is summarized and sent to the event contact within 48 hours of the event. I also offer pre-event data collection (an add-on).

6. How do you keep the audience engaged?

Being entertaining is a start but supplemental activities + being entertaining is a hotspot. Listen to how the individual describes the movement of the audience and the instruments that will be used to support engagement. 

If you’re working with me: All content facilitation includes an integration of at least one activity (they vary based on the topic). Some activities require participants to move their bodies, engage in group dialogue, interact with a digital tool, send a mass text, sing a song, etc.  You just never know what you’ll get 😬.

7. Do you have additional learning materials to support your teaching?


Additional learning materials can be handouts, guides, assessments, books, workbooks, learning modules, videos, etc. 

If you’re working with me: I have all of the above. I’m an avid learner and I teach others to frequently practice the skills and habits they desire to embody. This means that I also actively create resources for those I serve to continue learning beyond our time together. 

Your educators, students, staff, and/or colleagues deserve quality learning experiences.

They can have that when presenters/speakers are well-vetted. 

Soo...🗣Ask questions!

If you want to chat more about working together, shoot me a reply and let's get something on the calendar. 

Linnita Hosten (@linnitahosten) /

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