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One Chance to Make a GOOD First Impression

Feb 29, 2016 Back to Blogs


One Chance to make a GOOD First Impression: Three simple tips for lining up a guest speaker for your group or organization.

I recently painfully sat through a luncheon where the guest speaker lost the audience from the onset. I felt bad for the guest speaker because it wasn't necessarily all his fault. If the program's person or event organizers followed my simple three step plan when lining the guest speaker up for the event, this issue could have been avoided. You only have one chance to make a good impression on any guests that may be in attendance. If your guest speaker is not properly prepared, you could lose the interest of your guests and that might be the reason they don't join your organization or come back to your event.

Are you or someone you know in charge of lining up a speaker for your group or organization? I have found it helpful to keep a few things in mind.

  1. Ask the speaker how much time they need? If you have a certain time frame in mind it is good to make sure all parties know exactly how much time has been allotted. It's also a good idea to share what your group/organization would find most interesting from the speaker's topic.
  2. Advise the speaker that you will give them a 5 minute alert, a 3 minute alert, and a 1 minute alert so they can wrap it up in a timely manner.
  3. Get an agenda from the speaker at least a week ahead of the scheduled event. In this way you will know the speaker is prepared.

I have found that establishing a few guidelines with your guest speaker the event will appear much more polished and attendees will appreciate the event more than if you just let your guest speaker "wing it". When a guest speaker "wings it" they lose the audience which makes the whole event appear unorganized and/or boring. You will quickly find many attendees talking to each other, looking at their phones or worse yet, falling asleep.

As a frequent speaker to groups and organizations I find it extremely helpful when I know all the guidelines up front. I also do my homework on the group or organization so I can bring the most pertinent and helpful information to them.

Try these three easy tips the next time you find yourself lining up a guest speaker at your next event.


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