Have you ever sat in the back of the room listening to the high-priced speaker you booked and at the same time, observe your audience glancing at their watches, checking their smartphones, and start coughing or yawning? Do you see the energy just sap out of the room? And then, do you get mad at yourself that you didn't vet your speaker well enough?
Here's a reality checkpoint: Perhaps the reason your speaker wasn't effective is partly your fault. "What?!?" you say. "How can that be?" When event meeting services organizations don't prep and communicate to their presenter's their expectations, many times the speaker falls flat.
Here are 5 things you can do to make sure your speakers shine in front of your attendees.
Make sure the speaker knows your audience wants and needs.
The more information you share with your presenter, the better prepared they will be to meet your attendees' needs. Give them information about the demographics, knowledge level and familiarity of the topic as well as audience interest levels.
Give them great tips on how to use PowerPoint and then review their slides.
It may sound like micro-managing, but you know your attendees better than anyone. You know what will fly and what won't. Today's PowerPoint need to visual with very few bullet points on each slide. Less is more.
You are paying the speaker big bucks and they are gaining access to potential clients down the road. Review and make them rework the slides to the liking of your attendees.
Less speaking, more audience interaction.
If the speaker is allotted 50 minutes, tell them they can have a maximum of 25 slides for the program. This works to the benefit of planners in three ways: 1) With 25 slides or less, the presenter will stay focused on the topic 2) there will be no skipping or rushing of information and 3) the attendees will have plenty of time for interaction and discussion.
Make it part of your contract, that the speaker needs to be onsite at least 90-minutes before their talk.
Many presenters like to waltz into the meeting room 10 or 15 minutes before their talk and "just go with the flow." However, some of the reasons attendees lose focus on the presenter is because the microphone goes in and out, the PowerPoint presentation equipment freezes, or their laptop is not compatible with the LCD projector. But, if the presenter arrived 90 minutes early and tests everything with the AV technician, rehearses their presentation, and has a chance to network with some of the attendees the presentation can go off without a hitch.
Determine if your speaker has an interactive style.
Hopefully, you saw your presenter in person or on video before you hired them for your event. Check to see if they did the following things. Did they:
– Ask the attendees interesting and thought-provoking questions during the presentation?
– Stay focused on what is happening and adapt appropriately?
– Have good eye contact with many audience members?
– Use humor appropriately?
If you don't see these items within their presentation, you may want to pass on this individual.
AV Event Solutions is a California event equipment supplier that can provide you with LCD projector and screen rentals, laptop rentals, iPad rental, and other interactive technology tool rentals that can make your speakers shine! Give them a call and ask to speak to one of their experienced Account Executives for more information!