Don’t cancel that meeting — speakers and experts can present virtually

All of us at eSpeakers want to send our best wishes to all of you in the meetings industry during this challenging time. Due to the effects of the COVID-19 virus spreading throughout the world, we are seeing event organizers postponing their events, moving events online or canceling their events altogether. These are unprecedented times in this industry!

Use a live virtual presenter to avoid canceling a meeting

Many event organizers with events happening through July are postponing, but many are moving them online. The eSpeakers Marketplace has many presenters on a wide range of topics and fees who are qualified to present live, on-screen for your virtual audience using a tool like Zoom or WebEx. Check out the new filter on the search screen of the eSpeakers Marketplace.

SEE OUR CATALOG OF SPEAKERS WHO PRESENT VIRTUALLY »

Many of our speakers and entertainers already have experience presenting virtually. This search functionality is currently live, and ready to provide you with solutions.

Keep your team motivated…safely

We also see an opportunity to improve organization morale with some of the amazing motivators we have who can present virtually. New work-from-home policies and social distancing are challenging for many employees, creating a more fragmented workforce and straining company morale. Bringing in a talented motivator can do wonders.

SEE EXPERTS WHO MOTIVATE VIRTUALLY »

One additional suggestion we have for you: we’ve seen some organizers who are naturally hesitant to sign on future bookings gain security by incorporating “epidemics and pandemics” into their Force Majeure terms. You might consider that as an added safety net in your next contract.

We’ve faced hard times in the past as an industry, and we’ve battled through them together. Here’s to brighter weeks and months ahead.

Sincerely,

Joseph Heaps & Dave Reed 
eSpeakers and Blackwood Talent & Entertainment

Let The World Know You Can Present Virtually

All of us here at eSpeakers want to send our best wishes to all of you in the speaking industry during this challenging time. These are these unprecedented times in this industry, but there’s something you can do right now

When we see a challenge, we also see opportunity. Many companies are instituting work-from-home policies and social distancing. This new work environment is challenging for many employees, creating a more fragmented workforce and straining company morale.

We believe that you can help ease concerns and boost morale through virtual presentations. We see virtual events becoming extremely popular in the upcoming months.

How is eSpeakers Helping?

We have added “Virtual Presentation” to our search filter on eSpeakers Marketplace and other directories we power. This allows event organizers to find those experts who are able to present virtually using a tool like Zoom. 

We are currently promoting virtual presentations to event organizers around the world as an alternative to live events, and to help build company morale. This is live as you read this, and we are already seeing increased profile views for speakers doing virtual presentations.

How Can You Help?

If you are equipped and capable of presenting remotely using a tool like Zoom, you need to identify that capability in your eSpeakers profile. We’ll take care of the rest.

MARK YOUR PROFILE AS VIRTUAL READY

To be found in the “Virtual Presentation” search filter above, tag your presentation(s) with the “Webinar / Virtual Presentation” presentation type.

You can do this in two ways.

  • Login to eSpeakers and go to MY PROFILE. Then select PROGRAMS and then click edit next to the programs you can present virtually. Once you are in edit mode on your program, click the program type drop-down menu and select WEBINAR / LIVE PRESENTATION. Save your change and now that program will be found when an event organizer searches with the “Virtual Presentation” search filter. The only draw-back to this option is that when all the restrictions are lifted and you go back to your regular business, you may want that program listed under a different presentation type.
  • The other option (preferred) is to add a new program just for virtual presentations. You would add Virtual presentation as the program title, and you would write something like this in the program description. “I can present any of my programs virtually. My office setting is professional and I have high-quality equipment to broadcast my virtual presentation.” You wouldn’t have to make any changes to your existing programs with this option.

If you are ready now to present remotely, take 2 minutes to identify yourself that way on your eSpeakers profile so that you’ll come up when event organizers filter for that.

We have one additional suggestion we have for you: incorporate “epidemics and pandemics” into your Force Majeure terms in cases where a client is hesitant to sign off.  

We’ve faced hard times like this in the past as an industry, and we’ve battled through them together. Here’s to brighter weeks and months ahead. 

Sincerely,

Joseph Heaps & Dave Reed

eSpeakers


45 Event Industry Terms That Every Planner Should Know

The event industry is growing fast. That’s great for planners! But can make it hard to keep up with all the new industry terms and trends that are constantly popping up all over the internet and social media.

With new trends come lots of new industry terms and lingo to go with them! Add to that the tried and true terminology that every experienced planner knows, and someone new to the field can be left scrambling to keep themselves informed.

With so much competition in this field and so much new technology and standards of practice coming into play, it’s vitally important to sound professional and relevant. Especially when you’re pitching to new clients and meeting with colleagues.

With all this in mind, we’ve come up with a list of all the planning industry terms you should know to sound as professional and knowledgeable as you can. We know how challenging planning can be, and having these terms at your fingertips will help you feel confident at your next meeting or networking event.

Event industry terms that every planner should know: 

Airwalls

These are portable panels that are used to divide up large meeting rooms or halls into smaller areas.

Aspect Ratio

A screen’s width in proportion to its height. This might seem like A/V stuff, but it’s important for a planner to know what a screen’s aspect ratio is. If the aspect ratio doesn’t match the speaker’s media, the picture won’t show properly. 

Attrition Rate

This is important to planners as often an “attrition clause” is included in rental contracts for space or hotel rooms. The attrition rate is calculated by dividing the number of no-shows with the number of registrants of the event.

Back of house

The operations of an event that occur behind-the-scenes.

B2B

Business to Business.

B2C

Business to Consumer/Customer

Blackout Dates

During high-traffic times such as holidays or during large events, venues and hotels can employ blackout dates. This means certain rates, space or tickets are unavailable for a set period of time.

Breakdown / Load Out / Strike

Breaking down and packing up equipment and all other aspects of the event.

Cancellation Clause

In a contract, the cancellation clause outlines the terms and conditions that allow a company to terminate their agreement. 

Change Order

A document a planner provides to a venue or vendor that outlines any changes to an existing agreement or order.

Colloquium

An informal meeting or seminar.

Comp Rooms

Extra spaces or rooms provided free of charge by a venue if a planner books a larger group of rooms.

Conference Pack

A package of materials containing information about the conference, such as schedules, venue details, and maps. Many conferences now offer event apps as well as or instead of conference packs. Also often include gifts and freebies, because of this are often referred to as “swag bags”.

Consumer Show

Usually part of a B2C event; products, packages, and other deals are offered to consumers exclusively at a consumer show.

Critical Time Plan/Critical Path

It’s the play-by-play of the day. This document details the tasks of the event when they must be completed and by whom. 

Day Delegate Rate (DDR)

A venue’s rate, calculated by the number of attendees per day at full capacity. This cost can include equipment use, meals, and refreshments, among other things.

Early Bird Registration

Tickets purchased early for an event are often offered at a reduced cost.

Emcee/MC

Master of Ceremonies. This is the individual, often someone high-profile or a professional speaker, who presides over the whole event. Essentially the “face” of the event.

EMS (Event Management Software)

A range of software products that a planner uses to manage their events and conferences. These can be sold in packages or curated personally by each planner.

Force majeure clause

One of the biggest concerns of event planners and one of the industry terms that you shouldn’t forget! This clause is written into most contracts and states that a vendor is not responsible if the unforeseen happens.

Occasionally a speaker will have to cancel last minute for personal, travel or health reasons. If this happens to you eSpeakers marketplace has you covered. Our experienced team and deep pool of top-level speakers will have you back on track in no time. Contact us to get started!

Green Room

A private room for event VIPs and other guests and speakers to use for relaxing or entertaining their own guests.

Honorarium   

Payment given to a speaker or participant who is working on an official volunteer basis.

Hybrid event

An event that combines a live audience with a virtual audience.

I & D 

Installation and dismantle. In reference to a person or persons who will be performing this function.

Incentive Travel

A new way for employers to motivate staff, and an indicator of evolving event industry trends. Employers offer their team travel packages as performance incentives.

Keynote

The keynote address generally occurs at the very start, to set the stage and get the audience pumped up and excited about the event. A keynote speaker is often a well-known person in a certain field relevant to the event. They double as advertising and a draw to the event.

Lavalier

A microphone typically used by speakers on stage who are moving about freely. They are wireless and attach to the clothing of the wearer.

Load-In

The period before the event dedicated to hauling in and installation/set up of the equipment and items involved with the event.

Master Account

This is an account, often set up by the planner or host, to which all costs for a specified group will be charged.

M.O.D 

Manager on duty.

No-show

A no-show is anyone, including attendees, speakers, and delegates, who do not arrive at the event without informing the organizers beforehand.

Plenary

A meeting at a conference attended by all the attendees.

Plus Plus (++)

Seen as ++ on the planner’s orders. Symbolizes the levels of gratuities and taxes that are being charged by a vendor.

Post Event Report

A detailed document that lists all the particulars of an event after it is over. It includes the total number of attendees, profits made, incidents, no-shows, etc.

Post Event Feedback

An opportunity for attendees and other participants to offer suggestions, notes, and advice around the event, both positive and negative.

Pre-con

Pre-convention meeting.

Pro Forma Invoice

An invoice that a service provider issues prior to delivery.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

In the early planning stages, a meeting organizer will send out RFPs to potential service and product providers, including all the particulars of the event. This allows vendors to submit proposals to fit those needs.

Rider

Speakers will often have stipulations about specific backstage requests in regards to refreshments and other particulars. 

Shell Scheme

A system in which exhibitors showcase their products or services.

SMERF 

Acronym for: Social, Military, Educational, Religious, and Fraternal.

Space only

If an exhibitor opts to rent only a blank space on the exhibition floor.

Traffic Flow

The flow of participants through the convention space as they move between different rooms and areas of the event. 

Workshop, seminar, breakout, concurrent sessions

Sessions that occur concurrently with the main events and sessions.

Venue

Where your event is held. It can be anything from a hotel to a community center to a large conference center. 

We hope these industry terms will help you to be the most well-informed, professional events planner you can be, and to kill it in your next pitch meeting!

Good luck!

At espeakers we handle the most important part of any event planning—the people on stage. We learn about your event, its audience and your ideal outcomes, and make it our goal to make your experience with us an easy, seamless one. Contact us to get started.

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What’s Your Plan B? What to Do If Your Keynote Speaker Canceled Last Minute

So you’ve spent months and months planning an event. It’s the biggest ever, you’ve pulled out all the stops and covered all your bases. You’ve planned for every single possible contingency. Especially the biggest one. Your keynote speaker canceled at the last minute.

A nightmare, right? You’ve printed all the programs and posters with that person’s face all over them. Attendees have bought tickets with the promise of hearing an awesome keynote speech from this particular speaker. And the—admittedly, rare—unthinkable has happened. One of the worst things that could happen, really.

But! 

Being the professional planner that you are, you’re prepared with your Plan B, right?

I hope so! 

Here is a list of some Plan Bs for when your keynote speaker cancels at the last minute (I know it seems unlikely, but it does happen!).

Five Plan B tips for when your keynote speaker cancels last minute.

1. Crowdsource your crowd for a networking opportunity. 

Be upfront with your audience that your keynote speaker canceled, then turn that negative into a positive. Turn the empty time slot into an opportunity to have a group think tank. Have some talking points ready, ask your attendees to form groups and discuss the points on a timer with a buzzer. Invite them to reform new groups every time the buzzer rings and assign a new talking point. The points can be anything from current social issues to favorite kitchen hacks. Keep things moving at a fast pace and your audience will be laughing and forming new connections in no time. When time is up, have audience members share their favorite thoughts from the session for a larger group discussion. This lively interaction will quickly distract your audience from the missing keynote.

Corporate event planning has its own unique challenges…for some useful advice check out this post: Ten tips to make your corporate event unforgettable!

2. Appoint another guest as your substitute.

Many larger events feature many talented people. Well before the event, approach one of them and ask if they would like to be your substitute keynote speaker. Most speakers will jump at that opportunity. You will have to compensate them for their additional responsibility, but as your keynote will have forfeited their compensation, (unless their contract states otherwise) you will have space in your budget. If this happens, you can advertise their original session as an extension of their keynote.

3. Mine your past speakers.

Your past speakers can be a great resource in a pinch because you already have a positive working relationship with them; they trust you and you trust them. If your keynote speaker cancels, run through your list of past speakers and call any who are in your area and might be able to help you out with a last-minute favor. They already know that you’re good for your word, so will be more likely to stick their neck out for you. 

4. Create a panel session.

Choose five or six big players from your audience or list of other presenters. Have a strong moderator appointed, and line your panel up in chairs on the stage for a group discussion around a current topic that is pertinent to the industry. Field questions from the audience and keep the discussion moving and interesting.

5. Work with a speakers bureau.

When your speaker cancels last minute, your best Plan B is to have a speakers bureau in your back pocket ready to be dispatched. As professionals who have years of experience in the industry, a speakers bureau has countless speakers at their fingertips and the ability to pull in favors to get you a great backup speaker fast. A speakers bureau does all the legwork and paperwork for you so all you have to do is make the call and wait for your speaker to arrive.

There is a lot to think about when planning an event, and your speakers are arguably the most important part. Ready to start taking the guesswork and legwork out of booking a speaker and leave the particulars to the professionals? Don’t hesitate to contact us to get started.  

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9 Frequent Public Speaking Mistakes to Stop Doing Right Away

There are a few public speaking mistakes that surprisingly, a large number of people make but which affect their presentations. There are small and big mistakes that can make you appear unprofessional, lose your audience, and ruin your presentation. We’ve picked the nine worst public speaking crimes so you can work on them and make sure you’re not guilty of these offenses. Let’s dive in.

1. Reading from the Screen

This isn’t a read-along class. It’s not story time either when you read a chapter to your audience. Unfortunately, time and time again, presenters will start their presentation by reading from slides and then follow up with an explanation. Even worse, they will simply stick to the slide deck and read it word for word. Your audience isn’t children, so don’t treat them as such.

2. Chewing Gum on Stage

Maybe you like chewing gum because it relaxes you. Unfortunately, it’s something that audience members tend to find incredibly irritating and may even cause them to leave. When you’re sitting in an audience, seeing the person on stage chewing gum is annoying and unprofessional. If that’s your habit, stop this immediately. 

3. Speaking in Jargon

Your presentation is not the time to show your intelligence and understanding of the field. The fact that you’re on stage proves that. So, avoid using jargon or technical terms that can lose or confuse your audience. Instead, share insights and information in a way that people can understand. Your audience wants to be inspired and motivated, not learn some new words. All you’ll do is confuse them and get them to tune out. 

4. Unprepared

When you’re unprepared, that’s when you end up falling back on unprofessional words like “um, uh, er.” You have to do your presentation completely prepared for anything, so you don’t rely on words like that. Practice your speech a lot, and in different ways, so you don’t end up robotic and memorized. Practice your pauses as well and be comfortable with them. If you use certain words too much, your audience will get distracted and lose focus. 

5. Speaking Too Fast or Slow

You’ll want to pay a lot of attention to how quickly or slowly you’re speaking. While you might not be thinking about the speed of your speech, your audience will certainly notice it. If you speak too quickly, they won’t be able to keep up and will tune out. On the other hand, if you speak too slowly, you might be putting your audience members to sleep. Instead, focus on your enunciation, and get a lot of practice in front of loved ones who can give you feedback. If you don’t want to do that, try recording yourself and listening back to improve. 

6. No Core Message

When you don’t have a core message, or it’s not clear, that’s the easiest way to lose your audience. A big issue is when the speaker is too busy promoting himself or herself or just speaking about something that has nothing to do with the purpose of the presentation. The audience doesn’t want to know about the speaker; they want the message and to feel inspired. The audience will most likely know all about you if they’re attending your speech. All of your speech should be somehow connected to the message.

7. Going Too Long 

You want to be sure to finish your presentation at the right time. Your audience probably has plans and places to be, so you want to make sure that you finish the presentation when it’s supposed to. Or else, they will start fidgeting and looking at their watches. Be sure to start on time always, and you should know how long each section of your speech should take. That way, you can always know how much time you have left for other sections. The more you prepare and rehearse, the more you can keep track of your time and whether you’re on pace.

8. Think About Clothes

First impressions matter, and it’s what your audience will remember. You will be observed and judged as soon as you get on stage from your body language to your clothes and confidence. Think a lot about what you’ll wear and make sure it’s comfortable, so you’re not constantly fidgeting with your clothes during your speech. The audience doesn’t want to be sidetracked from the message by your wardrobe malfunctions. 

9. Leaving Your Phone On

The worst thing that could happen is for your phone to go off during your speech, or someone’s phone in the audience. Remember to put yours on silent before you start, and ask your audience members to do the same before your speech. Better yet, don’t even bring yours up with you.

Aimee Laurence, an editor for Academized.com and Essay Service, shares her thoughts on public speaking and presentation tips. She enjoys helping people become better public speakers, even people who are introverts and dislike standing on a stage. In her spare time, Aimee is a tutor for Essayroo Sydney.

7 Tips to Save Money When You’re Planning an Event

Event planning has always been a tough industry. And now with our ever more competitive economy and smaller and smaller budgets, planning an event is more challenging than ever. 

Gone are the days of sky’s the limit budgets. Now, clients are expecting their planners to pull off the same events they always have but at greatly reduced budgets. 

Everyone is trying to save money. And if you want to succeed in today’s planning industry, this means you, too.

Here are seven helpful ways that you can trim costs off of your next event.

7 Tips to Save Money When You’re Planning an Event

1. Know your budget.

This one seems simple but when you’re planning an event it is vitally important to know your budget. 

A million little costs you didn’t anticipate can pile up mighty fast and blow your budget before you know it, especially if you never had a handle on your budget in the first place.

So the first thing you need to do if you want to save money is to know your budget inside and out. No gray areas and no wiggle room. Before you start, solidify and confirm the final budget with your client. 

2. Use a sponsor.

Or better yet, sponsors. 

Our unforgiving economy means everyone is looking for ways to save money. So get out there and find them. There are many companies that would love to gain some exposure through sponsorship of your event. Sponsors can provide everything from banners to swag to free transportation. Take a look around.

New companies looking for exposure are perfect candidates for sponsorship. Approach some that are in fields related to your event and strike up a deal. This can potentially save a lot of money for your event.

3. Be selective with venues.

Think suburban! Don’t just go for the standard (and potentially expensive) conference halls and hotels in the center of town. When booking venues, you can save money just by thinking outside of the box and outside of the city limits, too. 

Next time you’re planning an event, instead of booking smack dab in the city center, think about booking slightly outside of town, in a suburb ideally reached by local transit. Or, book more creative (cheaper) venues such as local theaters, galleries, and smaller hotels. Even trendy “pop-up” restaurants and venues can be created for an event.

4. Think big? No, think small! 

There are so many amazing start-up companies out there that are chomping at the bit to get out there, get some experience, and get some exposure. So when you’re planning an event, from the transportation to the catering to the recycling, instead of defaulting to the big names, take a closer look at what the local entrepreneurs are offering. 

If you approach these vendors with an open mind and a willingness to negotiate, you can secure some great services for your event at great prices, and support small businesses as well. Not to mention the new relationships and alliances you will be forming. 

Planning an event? Browse eSpeakers’ comprehensive speaker directory, and reach out to us to get started getting the perfect speaker on your keynote stage!

5. Nothing is free…but social media is.

Save huge on your marketing budget by using free social media to its full effect. There are some amazing things being done with marketing on social media platforms these days, get online and look at some other events to see what they have done and to get inspiration. 

You can also use social media platforms in-event to get your attendees interacting with each other. Twitter is a great free platform to get people talking. Create a hashtag for your event and get posting.

If you can, dedicate a staff member or volunteer to be in charge of your social media campaigns. It will be worth it when you see the buzz and attention a little social media activity can create.

6. Trim food costs.

There are all kinds of ways to save money on your food budget. 

Going with a buffet instead of a sit-down table service is a great way to reduce costs, as is offering a simple drinks menu instead of a full bar, which can get very expensive.

Save money by eliminating afternoon sandwiches or cheese platters and keep it simpler and healthier with fruit and vegetable trays. 

Another option is finding a local caterer or restaurant that will offer a reduced rate in exchange for a high profile at your event.

7. Hire a speaker’s bureau.

Last but not least, hiring a speaker’s bureau is a great way to save money when you’re planning an event. 

A speaker’s bureau can eliminate all of the time-consuming legwork involved in securing a great speaker, and they have the experience and connections to negotiate the best deal possible for you. 

Consider eSpeakers when you’re planning your next event. 

Contact us to get started finding the perfect speakers who will make your events unforgettable!

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5 Nuggets Of Advice For The Novice Professional Speaker

Written by Dana Brownlee as a Forbes Contributor

In my previous post, “Tired Of Speaking For Free? Here’s How To Get Paid To Speak,” I tackled the thorny issue of how to secure paid speaking engagements, but getting paid engagements presumes the speaker is worth the big bucks and not all are. Easily commanding five figures per talk, the best speakers have taken their craft to the next level. Here are a few nuggets of advice for novice professional speakers seeking to do just that.

Tip #1 – Distinguish yourself through content focus or speaking style/approach

Given the low barriers to entry for the speaking profession, virtually everyone seems to think they’re professional speaker material and half of those may decide to give it a whirl. With so much competition out there it’s imperative to distinguish yourself – set yourself apart from the pack either through your content focus or delivery style/approach. To clarify, simply being engaging and dynamic isn’t a distinguishing quality. That’s expected for a top-notch speaker, but if you happen to incorporate an instrumental piece into your presentation, for example, that’s different (and memorable).

Typically, speakers distinguish themselves with their content focus. As a social media thought leader and speaker, Carlos Gil touts the importance of developing a unique pitch for conference organizers or other potential clients. “It’s best to research what already exists in the market and create something that feels original,” insists Gil. As an example, years ago when he pitched himself for a speaking slot at a major industry conference, he intentionally avoided pitching talks on more prevalent social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn and instead opted to focus his talk on Snapchat (lesser known at the time) because he wanted to distinguish himself in a crowded field of social media experts. VP Technology, eSpeakers Dave Reed adds, “Avoid the temptation to speak on “anything” just because you’re good on stage and you can. Speakers who choose a very narrow lane for their brand tend to get successful faster. Pick a specific problem you solve and become the known go-to person for that.”

Another way to distinguish yourself is through delivery style or approach. For me, this has been one of my most distinguishing qualities. Typically, when I get rave reviews from organizers or participants, they comment first on the energy in the room and next about the practical nature of my content and recommendations. One of my personal pet peeves is those presentations where you feel lathered up during the presentation, but when you get back to your desk, you don’t have actionable tips you can use to enhance your situation. As a result, I’ve adopted an approach that focuses on providing really practical, easy to implement techniques and tips. What does that look like? If I’m advising them on how to manage rambling discussion in a meeting, I don’t just suggest a technique. I also hold up the time tracker, show them how it works during the talk and tell them where they can buy it. They love it, and it makes my talks a bit different from others’.Today In: Leadership

Tip #2 – Make sure you’re a true expert who has done it, not just read about it

There is no substitution for speaking from first-hand experience – period, hard stop! Unfortunately, too many speakers are skilled orators and tempted to speak on topics that aren’t truly their area of expertise, and audiences can tell. Anyone can rattle off bullet points on a slide. What makes a speaker truly compelling is their personal stories, examples, and anecdotes. Audiences relate to a speaker through similar experiences, and they can tell if you’re just a chapter ahead of them in the book. They want to hear from people who are true experts on their topic. This doesn’t mean you have to have all the answers — of course not. For most complicated issues there is no single answer or single way to view the issue so they’re not expecting perfection, but they do want someone with deep expertise having done the work themselves.

Even more disturbing is how often people approach me who are interested in speaking for a living but have a deer in headlights look when I ask about their topic or area of expertise. While style and speaking ability are certainly important, the best speakers are drawn to the profession because they have something truly compelling to say! If you aren’t bursting at the seams with something truly compelling to share with a group, you’re probably not ready for professional speaking.

Tip #3 – Focus your message on their problem, not your expertise

Yes, you need to be an expert, but don’t lead with that. The only reason I started writing articles and giving presentations on managing difficult bosses was that the #1 question I’d get at the end of my talks (irrespective of the topic) was something along the lines of, “But, how do I use this technique if my boss is the one who is the problem?” It was clear to me that managing difficult bosses was a pain point for most of my audiences, so I immediately started developing content focused in that area (based on my own personal experiences and later my own research). So while it’s great to be an authority in an area, it’s important that the message clearly focuses on their problem, their issue, their challenge. Then, the speaker’s expertise can swoop in to solve that problem. Developing case study scenarios that illuminate the problem can be an effective tactic for making sure you’re leading with their problem. The shift in focus from a speaker expertise perspective to an audience’s problem perspective can easily mean the difference between having them sitting on the edge of their seats or playing Candy Crush on their phones while making a grocery list during your talk.

Tip #4 – Customize your talks as much as possible

Most speakers have a handful of talks that they offer as their standard presentations and that’s perfectly fine, but it’s also important to take the time to understand each specific audience and tailor the message to best connect with them. Certified Speaking Professional and past president of the National Speakers Association Lenora Billings-Harris insists, “Clients want you to treat them as though they are the most important. Focusing on the engagement by interviewing the client more than once, conducting research on the organization and then tailoring that information to the audience show you made the time to learn their needs.” While it’s tempting to simply regurgitate the same talk to vastly different audiences, doing so can be very risky. In a worst-case scenario, audiences will sense that you’re out of touch with them and turn on you. Years ago I attended a dinner meeting for a project management organization, and the speaker clearly knew very little about the discipline of project management. As a result, he made some flippant comments that were somewhat offensive to the audience. I could literally feel the room turn on him in that moment. For the rest of the talk, the tension in the room was palpable. I’m sure he regretted not doing his homework on the ride home.

The good news is that tailoring a talk doesn’t require becoming an expert in every industry, company or organization. It is important though to familiarize yourself enough so that you’re speaking their language so to speak and using relevant references and terminology. For example, do they refer to customers, clients, patients, patrons, users or constituents? Using the correct terms helps them relate to your message. If you have a case study or an example, share it with the event organizer in advance and ask them to suggest rewording to make it more relevant for their audience. Don’t assume you understand how your topic might manifest in their environment. I often speak on the topic of managing difficult bosses and was surprised during an oral health summit when someone asked how to address a domineering boss (dentist) who barked orders during surgery while the patient was awake? It definitely wasn’t the typical office environment I was used to referencing, but it was clearly relevant for her line of work. The more time you invest in getting to know the audience and tailoring your content to speak to them, the better your message will connect.

Tip #5 – Create a high energy, highly interactive experience

There’s not much worse than a boring, dry talk! I always hate those presentations that I leave thinking to myself, “Well, that’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back!” One way to ward off that reaction is to provide high-value content that they can use immediately, Another way is to provide a high energy experience that engages them throughout the process. Speakers have different techniques for creating a high energy experience, so find one that feels authentic for you – and work it! Some presenters come into pumping music, others tell jokes throughout, others are great storytellers or have very animated presentation styles. In my sessions, I tend to walk the audience constantly which helps to keep them engaged throughout, and I generally like to have them moving in some way every 15 minutes or so. Sometimes, they’re moving to talk to their neighbor or complete a quick group activity. Other times, they’re doing an improv style ice breaker, responding to a question that I’ve posed by raising hands, or maybe lining themselves up to indicate their leadership style tendency. My overall goal though is to ensure that they’re not sitting there like a bump on a log listening to me talk for 45-60 minutes. I’ve always felt that the best presentations are more about the audience than the speaker so finding ways to invite the audience to participate, not just consume can be the key to creating a highly interactive experience.

Celebrating 57 years of the “I Have A Dream Speech”

DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
57 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. gave one of the most famous and influential speeches in American history. The “I Have a Dream” speech was effective not just for its words, but also for Dr. King’s impassioned delivery.

It represented the feelings of millions of people fighting for civil liberties. The speech, given by a lesser man in a lesser setting may not have earned the same attention. Dr. King knew if he were to truly help bring about change, he would need a speech and setting that would inspire. The March on Washington and “I Have a Dream” speech caught the attention of a nation, and brought it closer to the much-needed change.

eSpeakers believes in the power of great speeches like the “I Have a Dream” speech, and in great speakers like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. To honor his speech given 57 years ago, eSpeakers has created an infographic in commemoration of that great moment in American history. You can view the infographic below.

Click this link to see the full inspiring infographic:
Celebrating 57 years of the “I Have A Dream Speech” Infographic

To find great and inspiring speakers for your own event, consider searching eSpeakers Marketplace.

How To Book a Celebrity: Ten Things You Need to Know to Bag a Big Name

Hiring a speaker is a challenge in itself. Hiring a celebrity speaker is a whole different ballgame!

A celebrity speaker will drive lots of traffic and attention to your event; the free buzz that this person will create for you can pay for itself, it’s true. 

If you decide you want to book a celebrity for an upcoming event, you need to consider that there are two sides to this coin. 

But if you book a celebrity, you also need to be on a level of professionalism that you may not have achieved before. You have to have all your ducks in a row before you even consider contacting a celebrity to appear at your event.

Bring your “A” game.

If you appear in any way unprepared when you reach out to a celebrity’s PR team, they will not even consider your proposal because it will smell like a “waste of time”.

Celebrities don’t have time to waste. They also have their public reputations to consider. Most of them won’t appear at an event that won’t make them look good. If you come off as unprofessional at the get-go, they won’t sign on. 

The way to successfully book a celebrity is to approach their PR person with all the information they need in a concise document that allows them to assess your event, what it has to offer and make a quick yes or no decision. If your proposal is incomplete or messy, it will much more likely be a “no”. 

You don’t want that.

For them, time is money, so you need to have all your expectations set and ready to present up-front. With that in mind, we put together a list to help you present a strong proposal. 

How to book a celebrity: Ten things you need to know to bag a big name.

Your budget. 

Big surprise: celebrities cost a lot. Be prepared to pay a minimum of $50,000 all the way up to a six-figure number. 

Why you want to book a celebrity.

Don’t just choose celebrities at random, just for the sake of having a big name. Your celebrity’s presence at your event should make sense. So know the purpose and theme of your event, and choose a celebrity who fits in with that idea. An appropriate person will have a much stronger effect than someone who is there just for the sake of their celebrity status. 

How you want your celebrity to fit into your event.

Curate your celebrity speaker into your event for the greatest effect. Consider who they are and what they have to offer your attendees—would a full 60 or 90-minute keynote speech be appropriate, or a moderated Q & A session? Every speaker brings something unique to an event, even celebrities. Remember that when you are proposing your event to them.

Your event location.

The location of your event will affect which celebrity you will be able to book, because of two factors: 

  • Flying a celebrity from afar will cost more on your end.
  • You will need more time to book a celebrity speaker the farther you are from where they live. 

Your speaker may not want to fly thousands of miles. So the farther you are from city centers, allow more time to find someone who can.

Your timeline.

You need to know the exact dates and times that your celebrity will be speaking, down to the minute, before you contact them with your proposal. Most celebrities want to spend as little time as possible at your event (no offense, it’s a time thing) so they will arrive shortly before their allotted time and leave shortly afterward. Provide this information upfront.

Your team.

Your celebrity needs to know that there is a solid team ready to receive them. If they don’t know who to contact or your team seems to change on a daily basis, you will seem unprofessional and they won’t want to be involved. Make it clear who on your team does what, and how they should contact them.

Your speakers bureau.

Using a speakers bureau can cut down on a lot of back-and-forth and guesswork for you. It is a speakers bureau’s business to know which celebrities are available for speaking engagements, what they charge, and what their special expectations are. Engaging a speakers bureau to do all this legwork for you can save you a ton of time.

Not sure where to start? Check out our directory of celebrity speakers!

Who they are speaking to.

It’s important to know who your audience is, so your celebrity can know what to expect if they accept your offer. Also, they can curate their speech appropriately so they can have a greater impact, which is better for them and for your audience.

Your marketing plan.

All of your promotional material will need to be okayed by the celebrity’s PR team before it is distributed. To avoid wasted resources when they reject something you’ve already paid for, make sure you know how you plan to promote the event so you can get their approval as soon as possible.

Your Plan B.

This doesn’t go on your proposal. But it’s important to have a strong Plan B, because most celebrities will have a cancellation clause written into their contracts in case they are offered a film or other such engagement and need to back out suddenly. If this happens, you need to be ready to deploy your second-best speaker at a moment’s notice!

This list will help you get everything you need in line to book a celebrity for your event. We hope you enjoyed it. If you think we missed anything important, let us know!

Did you find this article helpful? Here are three more you might enjoy:

Corporate event planning: ten tips to make it unforgettable!

Four amazing tips to turn you into a powerful public speaker.

Developing the breakthrough mindset and succeeding.

Four Amazing Tips To Turn You Into A Powerful Public Speaker

Although it may be one of your biggest fears – it’s up there with death on peoples’ top five list of fears – public speaking is most likely going to be a part of your life at some point, so trying to avoid it and wheedle your way out of every opportunity to speak in front of more than two people just isn’t an option, or not a good one in any case. Instead, wouldn’t you rather be able to make public speaking into one of your skills – something to proudly show off on a CV, and wow your co-workers with during presentations? Spreading your ideas is easiest when you’re talking to people in person so that they can see your passion and interest firsthand, so making every single speech impactful with these four tips can help to shape your image and spread whatever message you need to get across.

1. Be Unselfish

“While one way of psyching yourself up before the ‘big speech’ might be to convince yourself that you’re an expert and everyone listening to you is just an idiot in their underwear (a commonly suggested thought process), this is terrible in practice.” Joe Worrell, a speaker at Writemyx.com and Nextcoursework.com, advises. “Your audience will feel alienated and be able to instantly notice your high and mighty status, whether that be through your body language or any complex terms which you use but don’t explain. To be as down-to-earth and accessible as possible, make sure that you speak in layman’s terms or explain complex concepts and terminology, and match your attitude and tone to the audience and situation.” A speech that works wonders for high school students, for example, won’t be accepted that easily by your co-workers and could be seen as condescending, while the vice versa situation may leave the students bored and confused. Don’t just think about yourself – consider your audience while planning any speech.

2. Use Powerpoint Properly

Media can be a brilliant asset to any speech or presentation – when used correctly. If it’s overused or relied on, your audience will become disinterested, and often assume that you have no actual passion for your topic. Someone reading off a computer screen in a monotone isn’t usually that convincing, but if you stand out in front of the media and only use it as a prompt, you’ll look a lot more passionate and knowledgeable. Also, your audience members won’t know every single line of your script if it isn’t on your powerpoint, so you’ll be able to keep the element of surprise and ‘planned spontaneity’ which make speeches so humanizing and relatable.

3. Mix Stories & Stats

Anecdotes can make an audience sympathize or empathize with you and understand your viewpoint. Statistics convince an audience and make them believe what you’re saying. “Both accurate stats and personal stories need to be used in equal measures to keep an audience engaged and convinced,” Natasha Hyde, a writer at Britstudent.com and Australia2write.com, says, “so don’t flood your speeches with stats and make them sound like one long financial report, but also don’t make them sound too much like old wives’ tales that you’d share with the family. Finding that balance, along with original content to keep the speech moving and flowing well, is the secret to crafting amazing speeches that will win over your audiences.”

4. Passion

There’s a simple rule you should always keep in mind while speaking publicly: if you’re bored, then so is the audience. You shouldn’t be making a speech about something that you’re not passionate about, and, if you are, you can expect it to be boring and lackluster – for certain business aspects of work, like presentations and meetings, this may be the norm. Still, if you’re speaking to an audience that you care about, with a message that you care about, then you’ll need to do more than read out notes and flick through a powerpoint. Throw yourself into your content and perform. Hand gestures and proper inflections in speech are useful markers for passionate speaking, but the best way to tell is to ask yourself if you want to be up in front of your audience, speaking to them. The answer might be a very, very quiet ‘yes,’ squashed by all your fears and doubts, but if it’s a definite ‘no,’ then passion might not be possible for you to grasp, and your speeches will suffer as a result.

eSpeakers guest blogger, Katrina Hatchett blogs about lifestyle at Academic Brits, and also enjoys working for Origin Writings as a valued member of the writing team. She is also involved in numerous business projects since one of her passions in life is identifying project problems and their solutions, which aren’t always that simple. Still, they do give her the satisfaction of problem-solving time and time again. Her main goal is to improve the effectiveness of everyone’s communication around the world, and one of the small ways by which she contributes to this goal is by writing for the Ph.D. Kingdom blog.