Making the Most of Public Speakers For Your Event
After Paul Cook organised his showpiece event, the Planet Planit Speakers’ Showcase, we asked him to pass on his top tips for using speakers at an event.
Speakers are an integral part of events. They have the ability to really add to the event or detract from it. The best way to work with speakers is to communicate effectively. Apart from e mail just pick up the phone and really talk through what you both need to achieve a successful outcome.
Here are some pointers to help you:
Briefing is Essential
You need to provide a very clear brief to the speaker. Without it you are both doomed to fail.
You need to state what you want to achieve from the event. If you don’t know then you need to take some time considering the objectives before contacting your speaker.
When it comes to the audience the speaker will ask; who is in your audience, what is the age profile, is it a corporate audience, is it an audience of small business owners, is the audience one that has English as a first language, are there any issue that should not be spoken about, is there a theme for the event?
As you can see they are fairly simple questions but absolutely necessary for a speaker to do a great job for you.
Time is up
Discuss how long you need the speaker for. The speaker will provide further insight to you here of what will work and what will not. You may have to re-consider the programme design (in extreme) but use the speaker to help you.
All professional speakers will always work to your time. They will not over run.
Ensure at the outset that you set expectations for the contract between you and the speaker. This is crucial for you both to be comfortable with the arrangement.
Think about what you can offer the speaker (some basics below):
- Speaking Fee
- Travel expenses
- Hotel accommodation
- Other expenses
Here you may well have to negotiate but be sure that you are both comfortable with the arrangement.
Before the Day
Everything takes time to prepare so make sure you let your speaker know when you need information back:
Let the Speaker Know:
- When you need their presentation by
- In what format you need it
- What time they need to arrive for sound checks on the day
- How to get to the venue
- Establish the protocol for selling products/signing books of the speaker.
- If you are arranging for the speaker to do a book signing then make sure there is a space set up and that the speaker commits to being there.
On the Day
Make sure you are clear on who is introducing the speaker
Ascertain how the speaker wishes to be introduced.
When the speaker has finished, either move to Questions or thanks.
It’s All Over
The speaker spoke, the evaluation forms were completed, the equipment all worked perfectly and your delegates were very happy. It sounds like a great result so now would be time to feedback your comments/observations to the speaker and evaluate what worked and what didn’t so that you can continue to improve for the next time round.
Communication between you and the speaker is key. There is a common goal for you both to deliver a great performance as then everyone benefits. So do work together and do not see each other (whether speaker or planner) as some kind of alien race. After all we are all human.