Pampering Your Speaker

By Mike McKinley
Copyright © 2008 by Mike McKinley. All Rights Protected.

Speakers are kind of a strange group of people who drop into your meeting, do their presentation, grab their bag and off they go. There are some little things that meeting planners can do to help the speaker feel like “part of the family” and increase value to the meeting and the participants.

Picking up the speaker at the airport.
It is the first friendly face that the speaker sees and one can have a wonderful conversation with the person if they are an attendee at the conference. The attendee also feels good about having a chance to visit first-hand with the speaker.

Inviting the speaker to be part of social events.
These might be receptions, banquets, golf outings, tours or other functions that are scheduled. It is a great way to gain insight into the group. I’ve gone bowling, sang karaoke, competed in lasso roping, ridden go-carts, dressed up as the Wizard of Oz, and several other fun things. The speaker gets to know the audience better and the audience enjoys the speaker participation. This is also an opportunity to gather more information to personalize the presentation to better represent your organization.

Making time for your speaker on-site.
There are always last minute details or A-V questions that need to be addressed. It’s good to inform the speaker about things that have happened at the meeting prior to their presentation so they may include that information in their presentation or to prevent them from being blind-sided.

Food in the sleeping room.
It is a classy touch to have a small basket of fruit for the speaker during the time they are on-site. It is especially nice if the speaker comes in late from a day of travel and has something waiting for them.

Meeting Planner cell phone numbers on-site.
Speakers need to have one or two people that they can call in case there are changes in travel plans, they are lost while driving, or if they are in need of some last minute information.

Every speaker has different needs based on their presentation and style. It is important to ask the presenter exactly what they need for their presentation regarding A-V, staging, lighting, tables, water, and details of their introduction. Presenters will love it if you are willing to partner with them on some of the things that make them comfortable and able to do a bang-up job as a guest speaker.

Michael McKinley, CSP, CPAE, is a speaker that presents hard-hitting content delivered in a fun way. His topics deal with customer service and motivation.

Copyright © 2007 Mike McKinley. All Rights Protected.

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Dynamic Pathways, Inc. All Rights Protected.