I’ve been working on something a little different than what I’m used to lately in my career, and that decision took me to expanding my skills to education and speaker selection and management. This is my first time doing this, but there is this satisfaction that I feel when I search for educational and motivational speakers because it gives me a sense of purpose, like I’m helping so how.
In fact, since I’m no expert in this area, I signed up for some webinars through the ASAE to help me understand this better. It was one webinar a day for four days and each talked about a different area of the speaker selection and management. After watching this it kind of opened my mind a little, because I always tend to think about the big picture and not pay attention to what I need to do in between for it to be successful.
Some of the speakers kind of repeated themselves, but you always have to take away the best of any conference or webinar, analyze it and apply it to your circumstances.
Anyways, back to speaker selection and management. These are the main takeaways:
- First and foremost, we should always look for and provide educational sessions that align with the association/organization/business/theme of the conference.
- Try thinking outside of the box and provide sessions that you know will benefit the attendee, even if they may not think so because they are probably thinking of the same sessions that are given every year. Think diverse speakers, topics and event set-up of the session (panel, classroom style, cocktail style, talk show, etc.)
- What are the topics that are trending right now in you industry?
- Watch out for those proposals that look good in writing, but once they get on the stage it sounds more like a sales pitch
- Give attendee demographics, association/org/ business/conference objectives, room set-up, theme of the conference and other speaker’s topics so that they prepare well and everything ties together nicely.
- Sometimes most of our speakers are professionals and experts in our industry, but that doesn’t make them professional speakers, so provide some tips on how to be a better speaker so that they can prepare for it
- Researching speakers is crucial from the minute you receive their proposal. Look out at how they present and the topics they speak about to make sure it aligns with the conference’s theme
- It’s the big day! make sure you communicate with the speakers prior to this day to coordinate who, where and what time he/she will be meeting someone from the team to lead him/her to the right place and to help them throughout the event
- A few days after the conference share feedback with the speakers so they know how they did and where they should improve