Walk a mile in someone’s shoes? I did that recently as Speaker Chair for a local conference! The conference was a great success, and now that it’s over I want to share some firsthand insights with you. These insights aren’t about the logistics of my role as speaker chair though. They are “walk in the shoes of other successful speaker” things you can do to give a speaker chair, event planner, or meeting planner good reasons to add your name to their short list of potential speakers.
1… Be able to answer these simple questions right up front:
  • Are you available for those dates?
  • Can you work within their budget?
  • Do you have a press kit?
  • Do you have video samples of yourself speaking to an audience? Testimonials to share?
Even if you’re at the top of a meeting planner’s desired speaker list, if you don’t have answers for these questions, it’s unlikely they’re going to be willing to risk their reputation on your word that you’ll do a great job—even if the audience/event is a perfect fit for you.
2… Don’t make a meeting planner chase you down to get information/items you promised to provide. One of the best ways to make sure this doesn’t happen is to create a file for the event. Make sure to take detailed notes that include contact information, dates, deadlines, and times. A meeting planner might reach out to you to remind you of dates and such, but if a deadline is on your calendar, you should be able to meet it without being nudged. 
3… Don’t make assumptions. If you have questions about the event, ask! The simplest way to figure out what questions you have is to create your own checklists for the event. Trust me on this one, most experienced meeting planners will be impressed by your organizational skills when you ask questions ahead of time—even the silly ones—rather than show up unprepared or with special requests that weren’t addressed during negotiations.
4… Make sure you’re prepared to walk on stage before you walk out the door of your house (or hotel room). Stuff happens, and when it does it won’t matter whose fault it is. All that matters is being able to come up with a fix. For you, that means having backup plans such as an extra copy of your introduction handy and a flash drive with your presentation stored on it. For a meeting planner, a well-prepared speaker who can roll with the punches is a speaker a meeting planner is likely to remember for all the right reasons.
As you can see, this isn’t a hard list to attend to, but I know that some of you continue to struggle with must-have things like a proper presentation description, a speaker bio as opposed to a personal bio, and a properly crafted introduction. These are just a few of the things At the Podium can help you with. And seeing as to how we’re in the holiday season, consider giving yourself—and your business—the gift of an At the Podium Speaker Membership so you can get your new year off to an inspiring start. You can check out our membership details here, and as always, I’m here to answer your questions.
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