5 Things Event Organisers love about Speakers
By Erik Vermeulen
After spending 15 years on the global conference speaking circuit I’ve shared the platform with a variety of awesome speakers, bad speakers, arrogant speakers, and then some.
There are 3 things that I believe are important for a speaker to know – their topic is one, but I only rate it 3rd. The first is to know the audience, and the second, to know what makes the Event Organiser and guys paying your bill happy.
Here’s some advice to fellow speakers on how I keep Event Organisers happy. If you’re looking to book speakers, why not ask them if they are prepared to deliver on these 5 aspects.
Event organisers love working with speakers who:
1) Understand the event’s community
Get to know your audience ahead of the event. Spend some time with them (online or in person), and make sure you’re current with the most relevant topics of discussion or debate. This will also help if you choose to have a Question and Answer session. Find out who the other speakers are, and publicly reach out to them. This will help build momentum and comraderie in advance of the event, itself.
2) Promote the event
A speaker’s own following or readership is great source of potential attendees for a conference. Organizers are aware of this and will notice when you actively promote the event to your community. Get the word out on your blog, shared calendars, message boards and social networks.
3) Are dependable
Organizers will choose speakers who show up on time, have all their materials, are prepared for AV mishaps, and can adapt to last minute changes. Your reputation matters. Many speakers don’t realize it, but conference organizers of different events compare notes and talk amongst themselves to share their experiences working with speakers, on and off the stage.
4) Expect the unexpected
When it comes to professional events, Murphy’s Law prevails. Don’t assume there will be a dependable Internet connection. If you plan on presenting a “live demo”, make sure you have backup screenshots handy in case the Internet connection isn’t as speedy or stable as you need.
5) Participate in the event
Don’t just fly in, speak, and fly out. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, the event is your customer, and the audience is your extended community. Be approachable and make time to engage with attendees in the halls, in other sessions, at lunch. Be willing to do an impromptu podcast, and be a good sport about having your picture taken with attendees. It will be worth your time, you’ll meet interesting people and you just might learn something