Doing All The Right Things At A Speaking Event

Do you think you are accomplishing everything on site when speaking at an event? How does one really know? You don't. You learn new things along the way that people like to have either from other speakers or discover them yourself from your own experiences. I can tell you as a speaker manager, I've heard feedback from oodles of meeting planners, bureau agents, speakers that have done or "haven't done" things a certain way and I will share with you a few of them here:

  • When arriving in the host city, call or text the point of contact and let them know you've arrived in town. This gives them peace of mind.
  • If it's helpful for you and the delivery of your speech, attend any pre-event networking event the night before. Meet some of the attendees and let them know you are the keynote speaker. Most likely you will glean some relevant information that may be worth putting in your speech. The meeting planners always appreciate seeing you there too!
  • On the day of your speech, arrive early so that you have plenty of time to do your AV check and get the lay of the land. Go out of your way to meet the AV crew as they are an important piece in your speech delivery, the running of your equipment and material, and you need their assistance especially if you find yourself in a pinch. In addition, they will usually do you a favor by helping you with your own equipment, grabbing that "special shot" or whatever it may be. They are hard workers and often times don't get the credit they deserve.
  • After your speech is over, if you are the only and/or last speaker, try to save some time to stick around for a few minutes to shake hands and greet people. People will be giving you kudos and most likely want to speak with you about future opportunities. Be sure to gather a card especially from those that you know are interested in a future gig. These are hot leads! If it's appropriate, perhaps get a video testimonial with your phone. All of these things should be in the back of your head for when "the timing is right." Videos, photos, etc. all should be pushed out to social media and then saved in the resource vault for future marketing.
  • Make a final walk-around and thank all of the meeting planners involved in hiring you, the AV folks one more time, and anyone else relevant to the event. Ask the main point of contact if there is anything else that she/he needs from you and if you can help them with anything (do they need you to follow up with them on paperwork, help she/he by saying goodbye to anyone?) Trust me, this makes a difference.
  • Last, but not least, if the event was booked by a speaker bureau, be sure to call the bureau agent (or if it's after hours, send an email) and let them know how it went!
  • Send these gathered items back to your "trusty manager" or follow back up when timing allows.
  • The following day - send a thank you note to the client and bureau agent for the wonderful opportunity.

Happy Speaking!

Charlotte Raybourn