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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

How to Write a Compelling Presentation Title

How to Write a Compelling Presentation Title 668 375 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

Your presentation title serves as the initial point of engagement for your audience, setting the tone for what lies ahead. Let us explore strategic methodologies to ensure your titles captivate, intrigue, and ultimately inspire audience engagement.

Audience Analysis: Prior to drafting your title, think about your audience demographics, interests, and expectations, and tailor your title to resonate. For instance, for a presentation targeting corporate leaders, consider a title like “Navigating Digital Disruption: Strategies for C-Suite Executives”.

Clarity and Brevity: Opt for clarity and brevity in your title, encapsulating the essence of your presentation. Avoid ambiguity or verbosity that may obscure your message. A clear and concise title like “Mastering Data Analytics: Unlocking Business Insights” effectively communicates the subject matter.

Evoke Curiosity: Infuse your title with elements of intrigue and curiosity to capture the interest of your audience. Choose words that hint at the promise of valuable insights or solutions. Inspire curiosity with a title like “The Hidden Power of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership”.

Highlight Value Proposition: Showcase the benefits or solutions offered by your presentation within the title itself. Encourage audience attendance with titles like “Revolutionizing Customer Experience: Innovative Strategies for Growth,” which emphasizes tangible benefits.

Creativity and Originality: Embrace creativity and originality to differentiate your title from others and leave a memorable impression. Incorporate metaphorical language, wordplay, or striking imagery to captivate attention. For instance, a creatively crafted title such as “The Art of Storytelling: Painting Pictures with Words” adds a distinct flair to your presentation.

Choose Power Words: Integrate power words—dynamic, emotionally resonant terms that evoke strong reactions—into your title to enhance impact. Employ words such as “empower,” “transform,” or “inspire” to convey dynamism and urgency. For instance, a title like “Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: Strategies for Success” conveys a sense of empowerment and motivation.

Revise Until You’re Pleased: Experiment with variations and solicit feedback from peers. Continuously refine your title until it effectively encapsulates the essence of your presentation. For example, refine a title like “Unleashing Creativity in the Workplace: Strategies for Innovation” based on feedback to ensure maximum resonance.

Align with Content: Ensure alignment between your title and the substantive content of your presentation to foster audience trust and credibility. Misalignment may lead to disengagement and disillusionment among attendees. Validate the accuracy and relevance of your title in representing the presentation’s content. For instance, ensure that a title like “The Future of Sustainable Technologies” accurately reflects the thematic focus of your presentation.

SEO Considerations: If your presentation will be shared online, consider incorporating relevant keywords into your title to enhance search engine visibility. Optimize your title for SEO to facilitate audience discovery and accessibility. For instance, incorporate keywords such as “innovation,” “leadership,” or “best practices” to improve online searchability.

Encourage Action: Conclude your title with a compelling call to action or invitation to engage with the presentation. Motivate attendees to register, participate in discussions, or share insights to foster active audience involvement. For instance, conclude a title like “Navigating Change: Strategies for Adapting in a Dynamic Landscape” with an invitation to join a post-presentation networking session to further explore strategies for adaptation.

Armed with these strategic principles, you have the tools you need to craft presentation titles that resonate with your audience, elicit curiosity, and encourage meaningful engagement.

 

 

Photo credit: Image by Canva

Don’t Make This Rookie Mistake

Don’t Make This Rookie Mistake 318 312 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

One common mistake that new speakers often make is neglecting the importance of pacing and pausing during their speech. Many inexperienced speakers tend to rush through their content without allowing for natural pauses. This can make it difficult for the audience to follow the message and can diminish the overall impact of the speech.

Effective pacing and well-timed pauses allow the audience to absorb information, emphasize key points, and create a more engaging delivery. It’s important for speakers to practice and be mindful of their pace, incorporating intentional pauses to let ideas sink in and to create a more dynamic and captivating presentation.

 

Photo credit: Image by Canva

Five Things to Do the Night Before Your Presentation

Five Things to Do the Night Before Your Presentation 670 441 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

Here are five things speakers should consider doing the night before a presentation to ensure they are well-prepared and confident:

  1. Review and Practice: Go through your presentation one last time to ensure you are familiar with the content. Practice your delivery, paying attention to your tone, pace, and body language.
  2. Check Technology: Ensure that all the technical aspects of your presentation are in order. Test your slides, audio, and any other multimedia elements. Charge your devices and have backup plans in case of technical issues.
  3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep: A well-rested mind is crucial for effective communication. Aim for a full night’s sleep to ensure you are alert and focused during your presentation.
  4. Prepare Materials: Organize and pack any materials you’ll need for the presentation, such as handouts, business cards, or props. Having everything ready in advance will help you avoid last-minute stress.
  5. Relax and Visualize Success: Take some time to relax and visualize yourself delivering a successful presentation. Positive visualization can boost your confidence and help calm any nerves.

Remember, preparation is key, and these steps can contribute to a successful and confident presentation.

 

 

 

Photo credit: Image by Canva

Situations Change. Deposits Shouldn’t.

Situations Change. Deposits Shouldn’t. 670 449 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

Today I was talking with Sybil Stewart, a speaker, advocate, and TEDx organizer. We were discussing how important it is for speakers to charge a non-refundable deposit when being booked.

Experienced event planners and speakers, we know that situations change. Speaker rosters shift. Budgets shrink. Attendance may not be what was anticipated. And speaking engagements might be canceled as a result. We understand.

We also understand that the speaker had blocked off time which may not be scheduled with another client. In the worst case scenario, the speaker may have already completed the prep work.

As this is a relationship business, it’s important for both parties (speakers and planners) to feel comfortable and valued throughout the process.

Requesting a deposit will recover some of the income speakers may lose if an event is canceled or changed. The benefits go both ways. After a speaker is booked with a non-refundable deposit, that speaker is committed, even if another planner reaches out with a bigger budget. Win-win.

 

 

Photo credit: Image by Canva

Sometimes You’re Better off with More Than One

Sometimes You’re Better off with More Than One 650 508 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

It’s true. Sometimes you’re better off with more than one. And it’s not just bowling pins, days off, or dollar bills.

There are times when event planners request one presentation when the audience might benefit more with two or three. Specifically, I’m thinking about anything that benefits from a follow-up session.

For example, a speaker is asked to address an employee audience about burnout mitigation. The employees might benefit from one presentation, but it would be so much more effective if the speaker offered techniques to handle stress, then checked in six weeks later. Or a personal finance expert talks to a group about setting up an emergency savings account. He or she could meet with the group a month later to hold people accountable, track progress, and move on to the next lesson. Another example is change management. One talk won’t guide an organization through a change, but four or six might help greatly.

These additional sessions work best in corporate and organizational/group settings. The speaker can capture a baseline status and return to the same participants to track progress.

Speakers and event planners, give thoughtful consideration when planning presentations with long-term lessons or behavioral shifts. You might have significantly greater impact with more than one.

 

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Know the Destination Before the Journey Begins

Know the Destination Before the Journey Begins 672 445 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

Several weeks ago, I was contacted by an HR representative and asked to deliver a workshop on employee communications for her team. I asked what she would like me to cover. She said, “Just communications. Whatever you think should be included.”

It’s not uncommon that someone requests an expert to sit on a panel presentation, facilitate a meeting, or deliver a speech – yet not know what goal is in mind. I asked the HR representative for more details. Is there a problem? Has something changed recently in your organization? Are you facing specific challenges? Is this related to tech or generational communication? Do your problems have to do with clarity in business communication?

She had to think for a while and was still unsure. I suggested that we do a survey and figure out what the real issues are, and with that information, we can work together to solve them. Employees were very honest in the survey. As a result, we were able to begin the workshop with a review of areas for improvement, then work toward a plan to achieve the team’s goals.

Whether you’re a speaker or an event planner, give thought to your event. Ask yourself what you really hope to achieve. For example, instead of saying you’d like a wellness day for employees, you may want to focus on mitigating burnout. Or instead of requesting a speaker on finance, specify that you’re hoping to help attendees learn more about retirement options in particular.

Every journey starts with the destination. Clarify your goals, and the trip will be much easier.

 

Photo credit: Image by Canva

Discover the Light Bulbs and Dim Spaces

Discover the Light Bulbs and Dim Spaces 2200 1529 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

I was talking with Mandolen Mull, PhD last week, and we talked about audience members’ frequent reluctance to ask questions.

I told her that, during previous presentations, I’ve often handed out index cards and golf pencils. I would collect and shuffle the cards for anonymity’s sake before reading the questions aloud.

She said, “I do something similar! I had cards printed with a light bulb on one side and an image of a darkened room on the other side.” I asked participants what their a-ha moments were, and where they were left in the dark.

This kind of feedback makes great workshops or presentations better and better. Great idea!

 

Photo credit: Image by Pexels

When Audiences Want More, Deliver!

When Audiences Want More, Deliver! 662 445 I Need A Speaker

During a coffee meetup with a new connection, I heard a great compliment about one of the speakers on our directory.

My coffee companion told me how impactful the speaker’s presentation was. “I could have listened to her all day,” she mused. “And when her talk ended, I was craving more.”

I explained that, depending on their contract/agreement with the event planner, speakers may not be able to sell from the stage. That means they are not permitted to sell courses, books, merchandise, or other commercial items.

So what can speakers do to give eager participants more? First, it’s important to check with the event planner to ensure policies aren’t violated. Second, ask the planner what is acceptable. Here are some ideas:

  • Invite participants to contact you with follow-up questions.
  • Offer something free for participants that is relevant to your talk. It may be a link to a longer talk that you’ve posted online. It may be a downloadable journal. It may be a list of resources to learn more.
  • Use a handout with more information.
  • On your closing slide, tell participants where you will appear next.
  • Mingle with the audience before and after your presentation to give them the opportunity to ask questions.
  • If you have a podcast or YouTube channel, include that on your narrative bio and final slide.
  • Announce an informal meetup with you immediately after the event concludes.

It’s important to engage with participants and answer their questions, and it’s also important to respect the policies of the event where you’re speaking. Ask what your options are, and be creative!

 

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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

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