The success of the speaker at corporate events depends on the time spent coordinating with your team and working with a guest speaker before the event. With each speaker having their own process, it is important that you get to know the speaker’s approach to preparing the content of the presentation and to manage expectations for your organization and the speaker.
Creating a checklist for the speaker and your team that outlines the process, preferences and expectations can be an important step to make sure that you do not miss any critical steps. The more the speaker knows about the event, audience, venue, technology, and your expectations the better. The more the organization knows about the speaker, their content, presentation style and technology preferences the more effective the presentation will be.
WHO SHOULD BE WORKING WITH THE SPEAKER?
Each team member has their own responsibilities therefore it is important to designate at least one team member to work with the speaker. This person should have experience in the events industry, have a deep understanding of the leaders of the organizations’ aspirations for attendees and the speaker and have strong skills in being detailed to coordinate with all stakeholders. The speaker coordinator can often share insights, ideas, and processes to their team members on behalf of the team members which often keeps a simple but strong and efficient line of communication.
If you do have two colleagues responsible to coordinate with the speaker it is important for them both to have clear roles for specific tasks with the speaker that do not overlap. For example, one team member could be the main point of contact for the speaker regarding content and the other could be responsible to manage the speaker’s travel to the event. Having more than one team member assigned to manage all the logistics and content with the speaker risks the possibility of miscommunicating a singular message or can create a situation where the speaker is being told two different things regarding the same manner.
HOW DO I PREPARE THE SPEAKER FOR THE EVENT?
It is important for the leaders and organizers to have a meeting or two beforehand to outline what you hope to achieve through the speaker at the event. During this internal in person or virtual meeting, you and the team will be able to outline any important meeting dates, important dates for deliverables for the speaker. It is recommended to make an agenda for the remainder of the planning, discuss your session requirements, topic themes you hope to have addressed, A/V availability or virtual software platform, and if possible, have a prepared agenda for the daily agenda/conference program along with important contact information for representatives that will be coordinating with the speaker before the event.
If you have a bilingual requirement or if you require the speaker to submit slides for translation or for accessibility purposes, it is also important to make notes on when you will require the speaker to submit their slide deck, or any other conditions set to meet the session requirements before the event takes place. Speakers will require to communicate with representatives involved in the promotion of the event, as well as main contacts involved in the production and delivery of the event for A/V rehearsals and virtual test runs. Speakers also usually like to know who will be speaking before or after them, as well as the person who will be introducing them to the audience. During these meetings, you can also assign clear roles and responsibilities for your team members and go over each detail and request for the speaker. You can also mitigate risks, produce backup plans and discuss any information that you need to be clarified by the speaker bureau or their speaker.
WILL I BE ABLE TO CONNECT OR COMMUNICATE WITH THE SPEAKER DIRECTLY PRIOR TO MY EVENT?
Most of our speakers are available to speak with you directly prior to you choosing them as your speaker as well as after they have been selected for the event. Speakers Bureau Canada connects you to arrange a conference call or video conference call directly between the speaker and your team. When connecting you with a speaker, we always ensure that all the information about your event is communicated to help prepare the speaker by outlining major points of discussion for the call and to best prepare the speaker for their presentation and for your event. We call this a “content creative discovery call” “creative call” or “discovery call.” All terms mean the same thing as the primary purpose of the call is to go over the event details, logistics and the content of the presentation to ensure that there is alignment before, during and at the event.
WHAT IS A DISCOVERY CALL OR CREATIVE CALL? WHAT SHOULD WE DISCUSS AND HOW DO I PREPARE FOR THE CALL?
Having a video conference discovery call with the speaker to do a content overview is something we always feel is one of the most important stages in working with the speaker leading up to the event. Some may even do a face to face in person meeting, however in most cases we organize a virtual meeting between the speaker and your team. The guest speakers and motivational speakers we work with, will always want to connect with organizers and event planning teams at an early stage to participate in the creative process for planning the event and discuss the event details and confirm the focus for their presentation.
During the call, a good speaker will understand each organizations process leading up to the event to go over content and set meeting times to discuss content or to meet the technical requirements for the session. Great speakers will not only align their process with the organizations but will also create value for the organization by providing insights, innovative ideas, and areas to focus on within each stage of planning and delivering the event. Great professional speakers will also provide strategy and insights on how to best promote the event and how to motivate and engage the attendees to the content of what they will be learning through the speaker’s presentation.
WILL THE SPEAKER TAILOR OR CUSTOMIZE THEIR PRESENTATION FOR OUR EVENT AND AUDIENCE?
Professional motivational speakers and keynote speakers from the Speakers Bureau of Canada will always research the audience, the event theme, and the desired learning outcomes of the session before the event takes place. Through their unique insights and professional approach to each event, the speaker will be able to include key messaging that blends the organizational needs of the audience with the speakers’ areas of expertise within each topic theme identified for the session. This approach enables the speaker to customize their presentation according to the needs of the organization and audience.
Our motivational keynote speakers work closely with clients to go over the content, and each customized presentation includes carefully selected content with practical insights that educate and motivate the audience to implement right after the event. Good speakers will be able to understand the program and the needs of the audience, and by using a professional approach to each event, they are able to deliver presentations that resonate with each audience member and their profession. Great speakers know who they are addressing, and adapt their presentation so that it is relevant, timely and relates to the organization and their everyday work experiences.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE SPEAKER CANNOT MAKE IT TO THE ENGAGEMENT OR IF THE SPEAKER CANCELLS THEIR APPEARANCE?
The speaker has cancelled…what should I do? Cancellations happen however they are quite uncommon when working with a professional speaker, especially if they are represented by a speakers bureau. Cancellations occur in less than one percent of our bookings and the only excusable reasons for cancellations are unexpected illness, family emergencies or unavoidable weather with travel delays.
Working with a Canadian speaker bureau like Speakers Canada is one of the best ways to limit the risk in planning an event with a speaker, as if the speaker cancels the event, our bureau agents and talent will all work closely with you to find an active replacement. There is an agreeance between speakers bureaus and their speakers to collaborate with one another to work under the same conditions set within the contract for the cancelled speaker, and to provide a speaker that is equal to greater value than the original speaker booked. Another good strategy is finding a good local speaker who will not be subject to travel conditions to make it to the location.
We consider ourselves an active partner and contributor to the success of your event and in rare instances that a cancellation occurs, we jump into action for an “all hands-on deck” situation where we call upon all our resources and network of speakers to make alternative arrangements to fill your program and find an adequate replacement speaker. We are available to you and your team at all hours and will work to resolve the situation efficiently and effectively with the success of the event and the speakers session at the forefront of our work.