As #eventprofs and #meetingprofs know, the success of any event or meeting depends largely on the planning, including chosen speakers.
Keynote, breakout and guest speakers help set the tone of an event. Their content, the way they deliver it, and how they interact with attendees can make an event or meeting memorable – both positively and negatively.
Maximize the impact of your event and meeting speakers with these tips and tricks:
1. Define the overall expectations.
Let’s think about a speaker’s life for a moment. Imagine how difficult it is to walk into a room (whether virtually or in-person) filled with hundreds or thousands of people and begin talking. Without any context or knowledge about the overall event or meeting goals, the audience and their needs, or the desired tone, an already difficult task becomes near impossible.
Planners help speakers maximize their impact and connection with the audience by clearly defining what the speaker is expected to bring to the event, and how their participation supports the overall program goals.
For example, is the goal for the speaker to inform and educate attendees, deliver practical ideas to use in their work, inspire them through storytelling, or entertain them with funny stories?
Taking the time during the planning process to align speakers with expectations ensures their session connects with attendees from the beginning to the end.
2. Share promotion tools with speakers.
Once speakers officially agree to participate and are on board with the overall goals and expectations, boost their impact by getting the word out that they’re speaking.
Speakers have different, and often larger, social spheres than some organizations or events. Asking them to post on Twitter or share the event on LinkedIn extends the event reach to new audiences.
And while many speakers automatically post and tweet about their upcoming talks, the impact is maximized when all speakers have promotional support and tools to pull from, such as:
- Sample social posts that include the event hashtag
- Themed event graphics to post on their website, include in social posts or add to their email signature
- Free tickets or special registration discounts or offers to extend to followers
- Brochures or flyers, or event-branded swag
3. Provide presentation previews.
Another way to raise speaker impact and showcase their expertise is by providing glimpses of what they’ll share during the event.
Give attendees a taste of what’s to come by:
- Including popular blog posts or articles authored by the speaker in event registration or marketing emails
- Hosting a pre-event webinar or podcast with the speaker sharing a few key highlights from their presentation
- Asking speakers to record a video explaining what their presentation will cover and posting it to the event website
- Assigning pre-work homework for attendees to complete before coming to the event
4. Use event tech to facilitate interactivity and engagement.
Providing an interactive event platform, like Evenium ConnexMe, simplifies the process for speakers to add Q&A, polls, and other interactivity to any presentation – and boosts their impact too.
The impact is maximized when speakers are trained on the event tech before the event. Not only does this eliminate any last-minute, on-site stress trying to figure out how to incorporate the tech, but it often stimulates speakers to find unique, creative ways to add interactivity throughout their session.
5. Remind about speaking best practices.
Professional speakers have spent years honing their presentation skills so there isn’t typically a need to share best practices with this group.
However, if an event includes internal speakers or others who don’t speak regularly, planners can help boost the impact for these speakers by offering coaching or simple reminders about what works on-stage and with large groups.
For example, provide a simple DOs and DON’Ts checklist that covers essentials like:
- DO keep the presentation moving
- DON’T read slides
- DON’T get sidetracked and go off on a tangent that can be addressed one-on-one
- DO interact with attendees and ask for feedback throughout
Planners who provide speakers with expectations, promotional tools and event tech that facilitates engagement maximizes speaker impact and creates engaged attendees – and ultimately helps to achieve the overall event goals and cement the value in attending an event or meeting.
If you’re ready to add more impact to speaker’s presentations, schedule a demo to learn how Evenium ConnexMe makes it simple to add interactivity and engagement to any event whether virtual, hybrid or in person. .