6 Speaker Selection Tips for Your Next Meeting
Apr 02, 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

SpeakerA recent survey, by Tagoras and Velvet Chainsaw Consulting of 250 respondents from 170 organizations, shed new light on how speakers can be be more relevant to attendees by providing them with current content. In addition, they suggest other ideas to help associations coach and evaluate their speakers. Below are their 6 tips along with my input on how interactive technology tool rentals can help achieve these goals. 

Tip #1: Sponsors Fund Speakers

87% of the respondents seek sponsors sometimes to underwrite the cost of professional speakers, sessions, or content tracks at their meetings. The consultants expect that response to go from sometimes to frequently.

Technology Tool Translation: Rent iPads and computer kiosks to secure more sponsors and provide them with more options to resonate their message with the attendee. Through the use of video, photographs, logo, and color, sponsors have the opportunity to viewed throughout the day. 

Tip #2: Evaluate Every Presenter

68% of the respondents ask for evaluations of each speaker. Sessions should evaluate the speaker's knowledge, delivery, and whether or not the attendee learned anything new.

Technology Tool Translation: By using a wireless Audience Response System, event organizers can gather information about the speaker's effectiveness right after the session is over. Audience response is easy, fast, and anonymous. 

Tip #3: Current Content is Required

62% close the Call For Papers (CFP) 8 or more months before the meeting, making it hard to argue the presenter's content is current. The consultants suggest filling some of the slots within a 6 month timeframe, but leaving others open for more timely, relevant topics closer to the meeting start date. 

Technology Tool Translation: Implementing tools like crowdsourcing for agenda structure via an online community, developing a Twitter hashtag for suggestions, and/or leaving sessions open to be developed by attendees at the conference, can make the meeting more relevent to the attendee. 

Tip #4: Coach Every Speaker

53% of those surveyed provide training to their speakers for better presentations by helping them prepare content that is up-to-the-minute and includes audience participation. Each presenter needs to focus on the 3 to 5 things they want the learner to recall. 

Technology Tool Translation: Giving each speaker a PowerPoint slide to include 3 to 5 takeaways at the end of the presentation should help with learner outcomes. Encouraging attendees to tweet their questions directly to the speaker can provide interactivity. Making certain the presenter is not giving the attendee information overload is another key. Follow the 2 minute slide rule: if the session is 45 minutes, the presenter can only have 22 slides. 

Tip #5: Learning Should be Measured

42% of the respondents measured whether learning occured. The consultants make a great point that long-term retention and application of that knowledge is the purpose of the meeting. 

Technology Tool Translation: Audience Response rental units can measure the attendee's knowledge pre- and post-session with immediate results. Speakers will know whether or not their message was heard and understood. 

Tip #6: Big Names Mean Little

33% of those surveyed believed that a big-name speaker was very or extremely important in attracting attendees.

Technology Tool Translation: This is great news because it can free up thousands of dollars for much needed technology solutions such as, Wi-Fi network arrays, iPads, and kiosk rentals. 

AV Event Solutions can provide your next meeting with state-of-the-art technology tools, such as, iPads, kiosks, Powerpoint presentation equipment, and Wi-Fi network arrays to make your meeting speaker spectacular! Give them a call today!

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