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What do event organizers want from speakers?

Event organizers love speakers who please their audiences and attract attendees to their events.
Event organizers love speakers who please their audiences and attract attendees to their events.
Carma Spence

If you are working on getting more speaking gigs, then you need to make yourself attractive to event organizers. Here are five things that event organizers expect speakers from Long Beach and around the world to be, do and have.

Be dependable
Its great when you get one speaking gig with an organization … even better when you get invited back! To encourage that possibility, be sure that you can be counted on: Counted on to arrive on time. Counted on to have all your materials in order. Counted on to handle technical difficulties. Counted on to handle changes in schedule with grace.

Event organizers like to work with speakers who are easy to work with. Being dependable will not only get booked again with this organizer, but by others as well as word travels around about your professionalism.

Be a promotional partner
Sometimes the choice of speakers at an event is dependent on the ability of the speaker to attract people to the event. Event organizers often hire speakers they know have a decent following of potential attendees. When you help promote the event by letting your following know about it, this simple courtesy can go a long way to building a good relationship with the organizer … leading to you getting booked for future events.

How can you promote the event? There are lots of ways, including posting about it on your blog, mentioning it in your newsletter and sharing it in social media. You can even add a line about it to your email signature. Be creative and make yourself a valued promotional partner.

Be present and engaged at the event
No matter how busy you are, make time to participate in the event. Remember, the event is also your customer and the attendees are potential clients. Be approachable. Talk with attendees. Be willing to have your picture taken with fellow speakers and attendees.

Do prepare yourself with plans B, C and D
Like Murphy says, if it can go wrong, most likely it will go wrong. This is especially true if you want to use some sort of technology in your presentation. Therefore, be prepared to give your speech without PowerPoint slides. Have a backup plan if you can’t access the Internet or if your video doesn’t play. Prepare yourself to give your presentation without the aids you had planned to use.

Have knowledge of your audience
Take the time to get to know the audience you’ll be speaking for. If you are targeting specific associations, get to know their members before approaching them. Once you’ve been booked, take measures to get to know the audience even better. There a lots of ways to accomplish this, such as with a pre-event questionnaire, a pre-event survey or even just having a detailed conversation with the person who booked you. Also, once at the event, take some time to mingle if you can.

Would you like more information about public speaking? Visit for tips, advice and plenty of videos about all the "powers" you can employ in your speaking endeavors.

NOTE: Are you a Long Beach based speaker? Do you know of an upcoming speaking event? Contact me to have an interview with you published in this column.

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