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Toasting to Forever: A Guide to Delivering the Perfect Wedding Toast

Toasting to Forever: A Guide to Delivering the Perfect Wedding Toast 662 443 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

It’s Valentine’s Day, and we couldn’t resist posting about love … and speeches.

If you’ve been given the honor of delivering a wedding toast, don’t let the nerves set in – we’ve got your back. Here are some guidelines to create a memorable and heartwarming moment for the newlyweds.

Start Strong: Open with a captivating line or a heartwarming anecdote that sets the tone for your toast. Grab everyone’s attention from the get-go, and you’ll have them hooked.

Know Your Audience: Tailor your speech to the crowd. While a sprinkle of humor is usually a hit, be mindful of inside jokes that might leave some guests feeling left out. Your toast should resonate with everyone present.

Be Concise, Clear, and Congenial: Keep it short and sweet. Aim for a toast that lasts around 3-5 minutes. Be clear in your words, ensuring that everyone can follow your narrative. And, of course, radiate positivity and warmth throughout.

Incorporate a Personal Touch: Share personal stories that highlight the couple’s journey. Whether it’s a funny escapade or a heartwarming moment, these personal touches make your toast unique and relatable.

Express Gratitude: Take a moment to express gratitude for being part of the celebration. Thank the couple for letting you share in their joy and acknowledge the love and support surrounding them.

Raise Your Glass with Purpose: As you raise your glass, choose words that resonate with the occasion. A simple “Cheers to love, laughter, and a lifetime of happiness” can be both timeless and heartfelt.

Practice, Practice, Practice: Rehearse your toast with a trusted friend. Pay attention to your tone, pacing, and gestures. Practice makes perfect, and familiarity with your material will boost your confidence.

Handle the Mic with Care: Speak clearly and confidently. Hold the microphone about 4-6 inches from your mouth, and be mindful of your pace. A steady and audible delivery ensures that your words reach every corner of the room.

Choose a Graceful Closing: Wrap up your toast with a graceful conclusion. A heartfelt wish for the couple’s future or a poetic line can leave a lasting impression.

Relax and Enjoy: Finally, take a deep breath, relax, and savor the moment. This is your time to shine and celebrate the love that brought everyone together.

With these tips, you’re ready to deliver a wedding toast that will be remembered for all the right reasons. Here’s to love, laughter, and a lifetime of thoughtful toasts! Cheers!

 

Photo credit: Image by Canva

12 Essential Questions Speakers Should Ask Event Planners

12 Essential Questions Speakers Should Ask Event Planners 318 228 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

Are you gearing up to take the stage at an upcoming event? Whether you’re a seasoned speaker or new to the scene, thorough preparation is key to delivering a successful presentation. Central to this preparation is engaging with the event planner to gather vital details. Here’s a list of 12 essential questions every speaker should ask event planners:

  1. What are the event theme and presentation objectives? Understanding the core theme and objectives of the event enables you to tailor your content to resonate effectively with the audience and contribute meaningfully to the overarching goals.
  2. Who is the target audience, and what can you tell me about it? Insight into the demographic and psychographic profile of the audience (as needed) allows you to customize your message and delivery style to ensure maximum engagement and relevance.
  3. What is the expected duration of my presentation? Clarifying the allotted time for your presentation helps you structure your content appropriately, ensuring that you cover key points without exceeding time constraints.
  4. Who are the other speakers? Knowing the lineup of speakers enables you to complement their presentations seamlessly and avoid duplication of topics, fostering a cohesive event experience.
  5. What audiovisual equipment and support will be provided? Understanding the available AV equipment allows you to prepare and integrate visual aids effectively, ensuring a smooth and impactful presentation. Find out if a tech team member will be on hand to troubleshoot if necessary.
  6. Is there a preferred format for presentations (e.g., PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi)? Aligning your presentation format with the event’s preferences streamlines technical aspects and ensures compatibility with venue equipment.
  7. Are there specific topics or themes you’d like me to address? Incorporating suggested topics or themes demonstrates responsiveness to the event’s needs, enhancing the relevance and impact of your presentation.
  8. Will there be a Q&A session? Knowing whether a Q&A session is planned enables you to allocate time for audience interaction and prepare responses to potential inquiries.
  9. What should I expect in terms of compensation, travel and accommodation? Clarifying speaker fees, travel and accommodation arrangements ensures a smooth experience, minimizing challenges and allowing you to focus on your presentation. When you negotiate your booking, make note of special requests or needs, such as vegetarian meals, disability accommodations, and so on.
  10. What is the protocol for rehearsals or tech checks? Understanding rehearsal and sound check procedures helps you familiarize yourself with the venue and equipment, ensuring a polished performance on the day of the event.
  11. May I sell books, courses, or other merchandise? Requesting permission to sell merchandise such as books or courses allows you to capitalize on opportunities to engage with attendees beyond your presentation and generate additional revenue. Only plan to sell from the stage when you have written permission to do so.
  12. Should I plan for media interviews? When a topic is of popular interest or a speaker is especially well known, event planners will sometimes ask speakers to conduct media interviews, either before or after the presentation. Be sure you know the expectations, and prepare accordingly.

By posing these critical questions to event planners, you can establish clear expectations, tailor your presentation effectively, and ensure a seamless experience for both yourself and the organizers. Effective communication and collaboration with event planners lay the groundwork for a memorable and impactful presentation that resonates with the audience and achieves the event’s objectives.

 

Photo credit: Image by Canva

If You Like It, Put a Citation on It

If You Like It, Put a Citation on It 656 412 I Need A Speaker

Yes, we’re channeling Beyoncé. We can’t stress enough that if you like the information or graphic you’re using, cite it!

Several years ago, I was in the audience for a presentation that seemed to tick all the right boxes. The speaker had a great topic, wonderful examples, and lots of energy. What he didn’t have was cited sources. There was one graph in particular that caught attendees’ eyes, and someone raised a hand to ask where the speaker located it. The speaker shrugged and said, “I have no idea. I found it on Google.” Ugh. Had the speaker cited the source, it would have saved him from the ultimate oops moment (not to mention potential violation of copyright law).

Here’s the deal – citing sources isn’t just a scholarly thing; it’s your secret weapon to credibility. Think of it as the superhero cape for your presentation. When you drop names, websites, or books that inspired your brilliance, you’re not just showing off your research skills. You’re saying, “Hey, I’m not pulling this out of thin air – there’s some serious brainpower backing me up!”

And guess what? Your audience will love you for it! It’s a nod to transparency and shows you respect the creators who put in the hard work. So, the next time you’re prepping for that epic speech, channel your inner citation champion.

 

Photo credit: Image by Canva

Speaker Fees: Why “It Depends” Makes Sense

Speaker Fees: Why “It Depends” Makes Sense 668 441 I Need A Speaker

Our team spends hours in conversation with speakers and event planners each week. A topic that comes up frequently is speaker fees. While we understand event planners’ need to find suitable speakers within their budgets, we also understand why speakers need more information before quoting a fee for a specific event.

Speakers need answers to several questions: How much prep and travel time would be involved? How much customization is requested? Will I be allowed to sell courses, books, consulting services, or merchandise? Will I be asked to participate in a media interview? Will the event planner cover travel? How many people will be in attendance?

Many speakers will tell you that they quote a full fee (whatever that amount is) for a corporate event, and they may reduce that fee for non-profit organizations, their alma mater, or a cause which they personally support. They’ll also be up front about their level of experience and current demand.

All of these factors should be considered when setting a fee. Thanks to the event planners who provide as much detail as possible when booking talent for an event. Armed with this knowledge, will the speaker agree to the proposed terms? It depends.

 

Photo credit: Image by Canva

In Appreciation of Event Planners Who Outline Speaker Benefits

In Appreciation of Event Planners Who Outline Speaker Benefits 639 431 I Need A Speaker

When it comes to communication between event planners and speakers, some frankly do it better than others. Recently, we reviewed communication from an event planner who clearly outlines what is expected of speakers and what speakers can expect in return. The list went well beyond the discussion of speaker fees.

We loved it. Why? Because parties on both sides would have a clear set of expectations that would eliminate confusion or, in some cases, resentment. It was refreshing to see how this was handled.

The event planner required that speakers would:

  • Present proof of performance, so the planner could book with confidence
  • Adhere to assigned conference sessions without requesting changes
  • Meet all conference deadlines as listed in the communication
  • Avoid making substantial changes to presentation content, format, audio-visual needs, room set-up, or other specifications
  • Refrain from using the speaking opportunity to sell books, courses, merchandise, etc. if not otherwise agreed
  • Give permission for the event planner to audio and/or video record the speakers’ sessions (there is more legalese to this, but you get the general idea)
  • Share only positive or neutral opinions on the conference, its attendees, and its content
  • Be available for promotional opportunities and media interviews, if requested.

In return, speakers at this particular conference could expect:

  • Complimentary conference registration to all events except pre-conference workshops and add-on events
  • Travel expenses to include round-trip economy class far; ground transportation to and from the airport to the conference center/hotel; hotel stay the night prior to the speaker’s presentation and the night of the presentation; cost of speaker’s meals on travel days and day of presentation
  • Professional exposure on the event website and marketing materials
  • An evaluation report with session ratings and feedback after the conference.

Setting expectations early will make the relationship and the event much smoother.

As a speaker or event planner, what additional expectations might you set?

 

Photo credit: Image by Canva

You asked, we answered – agency rate available now

You asked, we answered – agency rate available now 2560 1700 I Need A Speaker

Owners and managers of advertising and public relations agencies have asked, “Hey! We represent a lot of people! Do you have agency rates?”

Now we do! Want to know more? E-mail us at info@ineedaspeaker.com for details.

Fundraising collaboration with Rotary District 7410 underway

Fundraising collaboration with Rotary District 7410 underway 918 310 I Need A Speaker

We’re so happy to be working with Rotary District 7410 (North East Pennsylvania) to increase visibility for the organization, assist with recruiting members, and help raise funds for polio eradication!

Does your group desire greater visibility and fund development for grants, training, scholarship, community outreach, or corporate social responsibility initiatives? Talk to us about a collaboration! Here’s how it works:

  1. Agree to promote I Need A Speaker within your organization.
  2. Members and contacts of your organization join for a special promotional rate of $247* (regular annual fee is $349).
  3. For each person who completes a paid speaker registration with I Need A Speaker using your unique promo code, we’ll give your organization a promotional fee of $50!
  4. Event organizers can search the directory free and contact speakers directly, eliminating costs typically associated with traditional speakers’ bureaus.

There is absolutely no risk! If no one from your group registers, promoting I Need A Speaker won’t cost you a penny. When speakers join using the specific code we provide, everyone benefits! Consider this: if 100 of your members/contacts joined, your organization would net $5,000. If 250 of your members/contacts joined, you would receive a check for $12,500!

E-mail us at info@ineedaspeaker.com for more details. Know someone who would be interested? Pass this along!

Our most-requested topics for speaker events

Our most-requested topics for speaker events 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

The team at I Need A Speaker is on a mission to connect speakers with audiences to share information and to amplify voices of marginalized groups.

We are proud to work with you to build a directory of credible, engaging speakers and assist event planners with developing events.

Currently, we have users in five countries, and we are excited by the potential to make a positive difference on a global level.

As we move into 2021, our most-requested topics were:

  • diversity and inclusion
  • event planning in a COVID-19 world
  • marketing
  • social media management.

What topics would you like to present or hear about in 2021? E-mail us at info@ineedaspeaker.com to let us know, and we’ll include information about that topic in an upcoming newsletter.

Academics, enhance your faculty activity report with speaker events

Academics, enhance your faculty activity report with speaker events 2560 1708 I Need A Speaker

Higher education faculty are tasked with documenting their teaching, scholarship, and service activities in an annual report.

If you’re in academia, you know that your faculty activity report is instrumental in determining rank and tenure decisions.

One way to enhance your activity report is to book yourself for more speaking events or assist in planning some.

Use our directory to promote yourself, increasing visibility for yourself and your college or university. Or use the I Need A Speaker directory to locate speakers on topics of interest to your audiences.

Zombies are for horror movies

Zombies are for horror movies 1707 2560 I Need A Speaker

What do zombies have to do with public speaking?

A zombie is my nickname for a speech that is resurrected over and over again, without changes. Using a zombie speech is the easiest way to ensure a dull, generic presentation with dated material.

Fight the zombies and bring life into your presentation by reviewing, customizing, and updating each time you speak on that topic. If you don’t, your audience may soon resemble zombies themselves.

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