Working With Your Speaker

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It’s worth your while to connect well—and early on—with the speaker you’ve chosen for your event.

Consider making a deeper and more powerful connection with him or her. View each speaker as part of a meaningful partnership with your group. You’ll maximize the experience for all involved before, during, and following your meeting.

Integrate these points into your event procedures:

Communication, Communication, Communication

Communication is paramount! Consider your speaker as part of your team; assign a point person to greet him, show him the meeting room beforehand, etc. Invite him to attend additional functions if his time allows.

Prepare a master checklist of details to communicate to your speaker. After the booking is confirmed, connect personally (NOTE: some celebrities will limit contact). Go over specifics: meeting objectives, about your company or organization, details about your audience, logistical and A/V requirements, and, most importantly, the purpose of and expectations for his presentation. Schedule a conference call closer in to discuss desired content.

If he or she sends a pre-program questionnaire, fill it out. It sets him up to do an excellent job; he isn’t operating in a vacuum.

Online Meeting Consideration

If the meeting is online, communicate details related to A/V and technical setup: the platform, type of virtual meeting (live, streaming, pre-recorded, etc.), audience size and locations, if multiple ones, and time and length desired. Arrange direct contact if possible between the production staff and speaker, copying you on communications.

Tell the speaker if an emcee or host will be present, how Q&A or other tech issues will be handled. Make sure the speaker is comfortable with delivering virtually, and has an adequate studio set up.

Partner to Promote the Session

Your speaker is a goldmine of helpful promotional information. Tap that resource; use it pre- and post-meeting. Request brief recordings from him to advertise his session, reinforce his messaging, and to thank the organizers. Post sample video clips (with permission) and recaps on social media. Ask him to share a post-meeting handout or message.

Create touchpoints for clear communication and you’ll create a warm collaboration and seamless outcome.

Andrea H. Gold is a Prevue 2020 Influencer, President and co-founder, Gold Stars Speakers Bureau, providing speakers for 31 years and author of The Business of Successful Speaking.

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