• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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?

 

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Register by Jan 31 for Training and Branding Event in Feb 2024

Register by Jan 31 for Training and Branding Event in Feb 2024 545 431 I Need A Speaker

When our team promotes speakers on the I Need A Speaker directory, the first thing an event planner will say is, “Send me their speaker sheet and sizzle reel.” (If you’re not sure what those are, see our blog post from Jan 1, 2024.)

We know that many speakers have a phenomenal stage presence and a compelling message, but without that proof, buyers may be hesitant. To better position speakers to be booked, we’re pleased to offer a two-day, in-person, cohort-designed training and branding event. Our first event is scheduled for February 8-9, 2024 in Scranton, PA.

Why Invest in Public Speaking Training?

Leadership Enhancement: Empower yourself or your corporate leaders to deliver powerful messages that inspire and influence audiences.
Brand Representation: Ensure that your public-facing representatives embody your brand’s values with clarity, charisma, and confidence.
Increased Visibility: Stand out in your industry as your company spokespersons address audiences at meetings, public events, and conferences.

Package Includes:

  • Electronic press kit (EPK)
  • Logo
  • Hair and makeup services (prior to video recording)
  • Professional headshots
  • Sizzle reel
  • Video evaluation
  • Inclusion in I Need A Speaker marketing reel
  • News release for first speaking event

Program Details:

Cohorts Begin: February 2024

Group Size: Limit of 10 paid participants per cohort, plus one scholarship recipient.

Nationwide Expansion: After their debut event in Pennsylvania, our programs will be offered in various U.S. cities throughout 2024. Stay tuned for dates near you!

Corporate Opportunities: Corporations have the opportunity to elevate their leaders and public-facing personnel with this program. Consider sponsoring participants from your organization, and witness the positive impact on your brand’s image and success. Corporate training is also offered at a discount for groups of 10-12 individuals from the same company. Training takes place on or off site.

To learn more, register for the February cohort, or book corporate training, e-mail info@ineedaspeaker.com. 

 

 

Photo credit: Image by Canva

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