Good Reads You Might Have Missed: Working With Speakers

Whether the speakers at your events are first-timers or old pros, it’s a good idea to think about both how to select them and how to prepare them for your audience.

Associations have lots of events each year, and events have lots of speakers to manage. Some are old hands at the speaker circuit; others are existing members who have decided to step on the stage for the first time.

And both may find themselves having to deal with an additional layer they may not have in the past: a webcam and virtual event setup for a virtual or hybrid audience.

So, how can you get them ready? Check out these entries from the ASAE and Associations Now archives:

Help Virtual Presenters Shine With a Speaker Instruction Manual. With virtual events on the rise, it’s becoming more important than ever to prepare speakers ahead of time, especially as the setting may be new to them—which makes an instruction manual an effective tool. In the piece, Kiki L’Italien, CEO and founder of Amplified Growth, explained a few strategies for building such a manual. “What I’ve noticed is that speakers need a lot more help,” L’Italien says. “They’re actually asking more questions: ‘Is it OK if I do this?’ ‘How does this mic sound?’”

‌First-Time Speakers: How to Better Prepare Them. But what about speakers who are new to the stage? This piece offers ideas that help ensure that someone who is getting in front of an audience knows what’s what. “It’s unlikely that first-time speakers can ever be over-prepared, so arm them with all the information they need on practical matters like how slides should be formatted or what they should name their session,” Associations Now Editor-in-Chief Samantha Whitehorne writes.

How to Choose the Right Keynote Speaker. This 2018 piece by executive trainer and speaker bureau operator Steve Markman breaks down the myths of speaker selection, as well as what associations should expect when assessing the market. “At the end of the day, your primary objective should be to hire memorable keynote speakers who will give you a good return on your investment,” he writes.

Leveraging Referrals to Find Speakers. Is the secret to finding a great speaker a good referral and recommendation initiative? Cindy Simpson, CAE, former chief business development officer at the Association for Women in Science, breaks down considerations for setting up your content selection committees for success in finding speakers—including at the American Society of Addiction Medicine, which has integrated referrals into its program. “By following established policies, the process of identifying speakers and content through referrals and recommendations will go much more smoothly for volunteers and staff alike,” she writes.

Why Speaker Preparation Is a Must. This listicle offers options for getting speakers ready for an event, including webinars, mentoring strategies, and online toolkits. “Ahead of your conference, it’s a great idea to get all your speakers together online or over the phone and provide them with some event details,” the piece states.



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Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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