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Reasons that Speakers Fail

Somers White shared these tips with us.

The Introduction. Shakespeare said, “By entrances and exits so shall you be known.” If the speaker does not get a good send off, the trend is immediately going the wrong way for the presenter. Research has shown that depending on the effectiveness of the introduction, the speaker can be 50% less well-received.

First, the introduction should include the speaker’s education, professional background, and accomplishments. Nothing should be said about a speaker’s ability as a speaker. This may raise the audience’s expectations too high and set the speaker up for failure.

Second, the introduction should help the speaker bond with the audience. To create the “we” feeling, my introduction says I was born in Kansas, grew up in Wisconsin, and served in the 17th infantry regiment in the Orient. At the end of a day-long seminar, I will have people come up to me and ask where in Kansas or Wisconsin I lived. What these people are saying is, “He’s our kind of guy.”

Finally, the person doing the introducing should practice reading it just as it is written, without trying to be clever or witty. And, an introduction read slowly always sounds better.

The Microphone. Microphones and sound systems that don’t work properly can be a speaker’s worst nightmare. I suggest that meeting planners consider investing in a cordless speaker system. Having your own system allows you to control the volume and often the effectiveness of your speaker. If the speaker can’t be heard or is getting feedback, the volume can be controlled from the back of the room. If the house system goes out, the speaker can still be heard because the well-prepared planner has a battery-driven system.

Recently I was speaking at a national convention and the electricity went out. But, through a cordless, battery-powered system, I was able to speak for another hour in the dark. And I needed the power to be heard because I was speaking to an audience of 300 in a room that could hold 1,200.

The Good News. More than 90% of how well a speaker does is determined before he or she gets up in front of the audience. Potential problems can be controlled ahead of time. As a executive involved in meeting planning, you can play a large role in these important areas of preparation and help ensure your speaker’s success every time. If you would like to learn the five other secrets which make up my top seven reasons for why great speakers fail, please call Rich Tiller at 800-222-1556.

You did an excellent job of providing quality recommendations for our annual conference. I look forward to continuing to use your services in the years to come. Damian Mason did a fabulous job of quickly connecting to our audience, and delivering a very entertaining and motivating look at the world of agriculture. He provided a very lively presentation that was able to please our diverse group of audience members.
Planner Washington State Potato Commission

Don’t plan another event

–and definitely don’t hire another speaker!–without reading this informative 16–page guide.

An event planner notebook.

Read this report to:

  • Discover the 9 questions you MUST ask every speaker before you hire them
  • Understand the value of pre-program planning
  • Learn how to book world-class speakers at no cost to you
  • Know other secrets of perfect events