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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Meetings: Guest Speakers

I would like to take a break from my posts on EEO laws to discuss another topic today.  When meetings take place at your organization or workplace, there is a possibility that you will have guest speakers.  How do you determine what speaker you want to get for your event?  What are your deciding criteria?  Please feel free to drop a comment with your opinion on guest speakers at meeting at the bottom.  Now let’s talk...

Meetings: Guest Speakers

Guest speakers, also known as Keynote speakers, can be a way to draw in an audience:  Get their behinds in the seats and keep them there.  Nobody goes out of their way to attend a boring meeting.  Whether you have a small meeting of 20 people or a huge event with 2,000, you may want to consider inviting a guest speaker for your next event.

Consideration Criteria

However, first you need to decide on one.  Locating a good guest speaker may seem like a daunting task at first, but it should not be that difficult if you break it into its components.  Here are some of the things you should consider:

1)  Relationship -  Internal / Related / External
Decide if you want your speaker to be drawn from someone inside your organization; someone that is related in some way to your organization (vendor, family, industry); or someone that is external and unrelated to the organization. 

2)  Style - Motivational / Expert / Humorous / Celebrity
There are many different styles of speaker to draw from.  Motivational speakers may not speak to a specific problem, but they can help bring energy to a meeting and leave the attendees with enthusiasm when they leave.  Experts have specific knowledge in a position or industry that they want to pass along to their attendees.  Humorous speakers can make your meetings happier and can boost morale; however off-color comments could be something to watch out for.  Celebrity speakers may be motivational, expert, or humorous; but their biggest draw is their famous status.

3)  Budget
If you are looking at Internal or Related speakers that you already have seen in larger group settings, you may be able to find a good inexpensive speaker.  However, External speakers can be a risk.  You sometimes get the speaker you pay for.  Free or cheap speakers can be a great way to add some “bang” to your meeting, but they may also fizzle out.  You should expect to pay higher rates for higher quality speakers.

4)  Schedule
How soon do you need them?  Some speakers may have other speaking engagements, family events, or work conflicts.  Try to schedule your guest as soon as possible.  You may want to have the schedule of alternate speakers available too, in case your first choice becomes unavailable.

These were just a few basic criteria that you should consider in picking and deciding on a guest speaker.  Think about your organization.  What other criteria might be important to you in the speak at your next big meeting?

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.


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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes. Do not take what I am writing as advice. Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions. The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

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