It’s amazing how many “so-called experts” speakers there are out there that actually have no direct experience on the topic they speak on. For example, there are innovation speakers that speak on innovation but have never actually invented anything in their career. Today audience members are not just looking for powerful and engaging talks, they’re looking for a message from a messenger worth listening to. Just because a person wrote a book on a subject doesn’t mean that they’re actually living the message of their book. In the old days, audiences were okay with listening to researchers, today however they’re looking for Sherpas that actually live the experience in their work and the topics that they’re speaking on. This is also extremely important as it relates to your event reputation. If a potential attendee is looking at your event and sees theorists, they will question whether or not the event is right for them. We live in a time of hyper-complexity with new levels of demand on leaders and executives. They are coming to an event to listen to a speaker that can provide insights based on their own empirical experience rather than their theories and concepts. Also, as I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts it’s really important that you interview your speakers in a zoom environment to ask them tough questions that your audience would likely ask them to validate their true pedigree to speak on the subject.