Yay you! You have found the perfect speaker for your event! Now what? Now is the time to make sure the lines of communication are open and clear so that the speaker is on the same page and knows exactly what to expect. Make sure that awesome speaker can truly shine with these tips:
Customize: If your speaker is planning to customize their presentation to the attendees, ensure that they are in contact with an available and knowledgeable person that can help them attain the information they will need. The earlier the better, especially if they are preparing special slides and/or other materials.
Well Rested: Schedule the speaker to arrive the evening before their presentation. This will ensure that they are well rested, but also, in case of travel challenges, they have a better chance of getting to the event on time.
Rehearse: Also, if the speaker comes in the evening before, there may be time for rehearsal. Check things like volume, lighting, staging, etc. A rehearsal may also help to discover any unforeseen challenges that should be addressed before they are standing on stage and ready to go.
A/V: The speaker should send all A/V requirements well before the date of the event. Sending the presentation slides ahead of time is ideal so all is ready to go BEFORE they get up on stage. Ask the A/V Department to check that there are fresh batteries in microphones and such, as well as back up microphones just in case.
Room Set-Up: A big part of a good presentation is the ability of the speaker to connect with the audience. Make sure the audience is not sitting too far away from the speaker, or that there is something that separates the speaker from the audience, as this could create an automatic disconnect. The closer the audience is, the better the connection and engagement.
Do You Hear Me?: Talk to the venue ahead of time to ensure that there are no loud events scheduled right next door to your speaker room on the same day; a big cheering crowd or rousing concert will detract from the presentation. Another item to take into consideration is to allow the presentation to take place outside of meal times; it can be very distracting with servers serving food, cleaning tables, offering coffee and clanking silverware during the speaker’s presentation.
You expect your speaker to be prepared for your event, help them be their best by preparing for them as well!