Four Steps to Making Your Event Speak

SpeakersDynamic, thoughtful, engaging speakers make for a great event. Beyond that single event, they contribute to your brand as one that can pull in great "talent"  - making your events worth attending time after time. So, how do you attract dynamic speakers and how do you cultivate all speakers so they give their best to your audience? Here's just a few ideas: [Tweet "4 ideas on attracting dynamic speakers and making your event speak to the audience. #GovEventsBlog"]

  • Focus in on one thing - encourage speakers to pick one clear topic and develop their presentation so that everything feeds back to that. Presentations should include three supporting sections that feed back to the "one thing." Those sections should include stories, real life scenarios that make the theory being discussed real. Don't over do the use of statistics but one or two really meaningful or surprising numbers or research findings per section will keep the audience engaged and further set the stage for the main point. Use TED talks as an example of how conference presentations should be crafted.

  • Educate them on the audience - make sure speakers (especially keynoters) are well-briefed on who is in the audience and what their interests are. [Tweet "Make sure speakers and keynoters are well-briefed on who is in the audience. #GovEventsBlog"] Walk the speaker through a "day in the life" of an audience member so they have a sense for the challenges and goals of the folks in the room. This will help them craft not just an inspirational, but applicable talk.
  • The ten minute rule - studies have shown that human attention wanes after 10 minutes (maybe that's why TV commercials are typically placed every 10 minutes). Make sure your speakers craft their talks in a way that create natural breaks about every ten minutes. This could be by inserting Q&A throughout the presentation, moving onto different sections of the presentation after about 10 minutes, or inserting an engaging story every 10 minutes to break-up the sharing of facts.
  • Engage beyond the stage - give speakers an opportunity to interact beyond their presentation. This could include hosting book signings for speakers currently promoting a new title, creating smaller Q&A sessions at a separate time during the event, and/or getting them involved in the social media conversation happening around the event.

We'd love to hear some of your thoughts. What techniques have you used to help speakers fulfill their potential and exceed attendee expectations?

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