• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

keynote

Five Ways to Prevent Speakers from Exceeding Their Allotted Time

Five Ways to Prevent Speakers from Exceeding Their Allotted Time 934 868 I Need A Speaker

By Jeannine Luby, Marketing Communications Consultant

Few things cause event planners as much stress as speakers who exceed their allotted time. An organizer of an all-day civic training was once heard saying, “Oh, I didn’t know Sue was going to share her whole story. We’re already way behind schedule.”

An event organizer should never be surprised by how long a speaker is going or by the content of the presentation. Naturally organizers don’t need to be familiar with the entire presentation, but there should also not be any big surprises.

Five Ways to Prevent Speakers from Exceeding Their Allotted Time

  1. Provide a clear duration, along with details about how the speaker will be notified when their time is almost up. Don’t be vague by saying things like, “You have about 45 – 60 minutes,” or “Go as long as you like.”
  2. Use visual cues like a timer that you place in the speaker’s line of sight.
  3. Employ audio cues, just as celebrity awards events do. Begin music to “play them off the stage.”
  4. Ensure someone is responsible for keeping speakers on track.
  5. Plan breaks to absorb potential over-runs and allow for flexibility.

If the above do not work, consider taking the following more active interventions:

  • Flicker the lights.
  • Wave from the back of the room.
  • Step on stage with a microphone to announce that your speaker has 30 seconds to finish their final point to honor everyone’s time by keeping to the planned agenda.

Most speakers will understand your desire to satisfy your audience with the best possible event.  If you allow one speaker to run long, the entire schedule will be pushed back. That leads to dilemmas like shortening the break time or removing it altogether or asking the next speaker to shorten their presentation.  Both options seem unfair and take value away from your audience.

That’s all the time we have for today … please join us again!

 

Photo source: Canva

The Right Speakers Help Fulfill Your Conference Promise

The Right Speakers Help Fulfill Your Conference Promise 710 370 I Need A Speaker

By Jeannine Luby, Marketing Communications Consultant

If you’re new to planning a conference and unsure what will satisfy your audience, take time to learn about them.  Tap into journalist energy by asking and answering these questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

  • Who is your audience? Is your event for a group of professionals who all do the same job, i.e., engineers, nurses, or teachers? Is your audience a bit broader, covering a particular industry? For example, healthcare can include everyone from nurses to hospital administrators, to claims and billing professionals to physician office managers and beyond.  Is your audience broader yet, encompassing individuals or organizations dedicated to the liberal arts or to nonprofit organizations?
  • What are the shared pain points of the audience? What do they need support with?
  • What is the draw of your event that will make it worthy of their time and their financial investment?
  • How will you deliver on your promises?

One way to deliver a valuable conference, training or other event, is to hire the most effective and appropriate speakers, so do your homework. Find out as much about your audience and their needs as possible before planning your event.

Once You Have a Clear Picture, Reach Out to the Experts

When you determine what purpose and function your event will fulfill, ensure that you have qualified speakers who can deliver—within your budget. Seek the expertise of I Need A Speaker to help you curate a gallery of qualified speakers and experts who will not only meet your audience’s needs, but who will deliver in an engaging way.

Once you’ve selected your speakers, clarity is essential. Be clear when communicating your expectations.  If hospital leadership says they have dire staffing issues with nurses exiting their profession and they need an effective strategy with incentives to keep them, communicate that to the speakers you contract. Discuss the purpose of the event in detail and what role each speaker plays in it.

Be sure that each of your speakers addresses a different pain point and brings a unique perspective to the stage. Your audience members do not benefit from hearing the same presentation over and over—with minor tweaks or different personal examples—like they’re stuck in the movie “Groundhog Day.”

This article published in February 2019 on Forbes.com offers additional insight on choosing the right speakers to help you make your event a real blockbuster.

 

 

Photo source: Canva

    Privacy Preferences

    When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

    Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking code.
    Click to enable/disable Google Fonts.
    Click to enable/disable Google Maps.
    Click to enable/disable video embeds.
    Our website uses cookies, mainly from 3rd party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.