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Hiring a Speaker for your Chapter? Here’s How you Maximize Them

When thinking on education for your chapter, you’re the first to know that hiring an industry speaker to share their expertise truly is an investment for your organization. If all goes well and they bring relevant, timely content to the table, that can add significant value to the association. In order to ensure that you’re getting the most out of this event, here are some best practices for working with event industry speakers.

Set them up for success

Even the most seasoned speaker needs some guidance when preparing a presentation! First things first, you’ll want to cover the desired topic at length in advance – this way there’s no confusion, and you can outline your expectations clearly. Make sure you ask for a topic description and takeaways as well.

This is also the time to address any concerns you may have about the relevance of the content to your audience; give your speaker enough notice and see if there’s room for adjustments. If possible, consider creating a one-sheet that allows you to expand on those that will be attending. The more specific, the better chance that the experience will be customized for guests.

Collaborate on tech requirements

A/V can really make or break a presentation, so always ask for your speaker’s tech needs well before the event. Most professional speakers will typically have a master one-sheet that lists all of their must-haves, but there are a few things you can do to make this process seamless and cover every base.

Sit down and have a conversation on who will be providing what – generally, they will bring their own laptop, but you’ll want to set up a mic for them and organize the room in a layout that will make the most sense for a large group of attendees. Make sure there are proper adapters if the speaker will be using a Mac, as well. It could also be helpful to ask for the presentation a week ahead of time, that way you can prep for a run-through if needed.

Craft an itinerary

Send along the projected timeline beforehand, including any additional events that you think would be beneficial for the speaker to attend. For example, it could be great to hold a VIP reception for members only, or for a small additional fee.

Regardless of the schedule you have in mind, be sure to clear it with your guest in time for them to book their appropriate travel and accommodations. This is perfect for them to engage early or one-on-one with attendees, and you’ll both reap the benefits from some extra networking.

Following these steps will not only ensure that your next guest speaker event will go off without a hitch, but you’ll also be able to position your chapter or organization as a leader in industry education!

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.

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Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.

One Reply to “Hiring a Speaker for your Chapter? Here’s How you Maximize Them”

  1. Grace says:

    One of the greatest ways to maximize what the speaker offers in a multinational event is by having translation services. People often fail to hire translators, but there are new ways to do that. I have recently tried out this new app called Interactio and I was thoroughly impressed with it. It’s an app that enables remote interpreting. What it does is that it eliminates the use of traditional interpretation equipment. Instead, people receive the interpretation to their devices. I’d say it’s the most cost-effective way to manage the interpretation process and maximize the use of event speakers. You can read more about here, if you are interested: https://interactio.io/event-agency

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