Monday, June 10, 2019

Exposure is What You Die from in the Desert

If you're a speaker, thinking about becoming a speaker,  an event organizer, or considering hosting an event in the near future, you'll definitely want to read this.

And even if you're none of the above, please continue reading. And feel free to share this whitepaper with anyone you believe will benefit.

I recently asked for feedback from speakers about their experience with event organizers and about their speaking experience, in general.

The catalyst for compiling this research was a string of bad speaker experiences. I'm grateful for every opportunity I get to speak. But every event I’ve spoken at – over the last couple years especially – did not “go off without a hitch” for me. The issues were varied, yet there were some that were pervasive.

Respondents sent me notes telling me that they appreciated this bit of research. They’ve never been asked for feedback about their experience as a speaker by an event organizer. And, no surprise, they've experienced a lot of the same mishaps that I have. My hope is that you – as the event organizer – will take this feedback to heart as you start planning your next event and incorporate these ideas into designing a better experience for your speakers. Without a doubt, it will benefit the speaker, the audience, you, and your event.

As an event organizer, you have a lot of audiences and constituents that you’ve got to know, work with, and keep happy as you plan the ideal event. It seems that the audience, the sponsors, the host location, and the vendors engaged with regards to event operations make it to the top of the list of constituents to prioritize. Sadly, your speakers are an after-thought – or so it seems more often than not.

While it’s important that every event goes off smoothly, if it wasn’t for the content, the event would just be, well, a gathering of people at a hotel. So, with that content and, especially, the people who deliver it, in mind, I set out to find out about the good, the bad, and the ideal speaker experience. The insights in this whitepaper come from 70 seasoned, global speakers who shared their feedback with me in April/May 2019 by answering the following questions:
  1. For how long have you been a speaker? (50% of respondents have been speaking for 10 years or more.)
  2. Approximately how many times do you speak in a year? (average respondent = 12 times per year)
  3. What are some of your pet peeves when working with event organizers? Where do they miss the mark?
  4. What do event organizers get right? What are some things that they do well?
  5. What would the ideal speaker experience look like for you?
  6. Anything else you want to share about your speaker experience? What else should event organizers know?
The findings and recommendations from this research can be found in a whitepaper you can access via this link. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Again, feel free to share with others that you think could benefit from this research.

And if you'd like me to speak at your event, please feel free to contact me via the Contact Me box to the right or send an email to the email address in the whitepaper.

The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public. -George Jessel


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