Joining the Event Industry News podcast this week was Deborah Henley, the founder of Vivacity Consulting. Deborah is a professional speaker and former event booker with training in psychology. Though her education in psychology may not be event-related, she stated that it has given her a deeper understanding of audiences, languages and how to engage people.
Deborah used her time on the podcast to discuss how best to choose a speaker for your event and describe her top practices to get the best out of them.
Deborah lives by what she calls the ‘KFDs’. Before speaking, she asks herself, what does she want her audience to know by the end of her presentation; what does she want them to feel and what does she want them to do.
Additionally, she claimed that if your speaker can describe in simple, concise terms what their subject is about and the key points they wish the audience will take away, you, as an organiser, can feel reassured that they will transfer this concise description to their presentation.
“If [your speaker] can’t tell you in one paragraph what their talk is about, then they might ramble in the actual talk itself,” Deborah said.
She also suggested that allowing speakers access to the area in which they will be presenting prior to their session is beneficial. It allows them to “own the stage” and do their own “mental rehearsal” to better prepare themselves.
Lastly, Deborah explained her “seven Cs” to which she refers when choosing a speaker where she questions their:
- Ability to connect
- Ability to put their thoughts into context
- Ability to collaborate or build a sense of collaboration in the room
- Ability to cause action and inspire people
- Ability to create a community
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