Don’t book travel at the last minute. “It’s the speaker’s responsibility to book travel early enough to get the reasonable fares. If you
can’t do that, then don’t expect the client to pick up the extra
fare,” Frank says.
Don’t wait until the last moment (or even after the last
moment) to submit your handouts.
Don’t overwhelm the meeting planner with communication. “I
don’t like being put on a mailing list or e-newsletter list,” Bohrer says.
3. Ask if there is anything else the meeting planner needs from
you. Don’t assume that just because you are feeling finished
that they are.
4. And of course, show gratitude in the form of either a note or
a gift. Note: some meeting planners are unable to accept gifts
from speakers over a certain dollar amount. Don’t put them in a
difficult position by being overly generous.
After the Presentation
After you’ve left the stage, you still need to be client-focused. Here
is a list of “do’s” when the show is over:
1. Stick around, mingle, sign books and let people know you’re
available for questions. “When a speaker makes them selves
available after the presentation is when they truly show their
attitude of helpfulness,” Findley explains.
2. Get your expense reimbursement request in. Surprisingly, this is
a sticking point for all the meeting planners. Many speakers are
chronically late in submitting reimbursement requests, which
leaves the meeting planner unable to close the books. It causes
even more problems for bureaus who can’t bill the client until
they receive reimbursement requests from the speaker.
Completing the Picture
The bottom line for meeting planners is they want to hire speakers
who will show up, do what they say they are going to do and deliver
the goods. What they want most is to deal with speakers who they
can relate to, learn from and trust. Following their advice listed
above can help contribute to getting those needs met—and
bookings for life.
Annette Dubrouillet offers keynote speeches, seminars and consult-
ing services for organizations that want their
leadership teams to be better decision-mak-ers and more creative problem-solvers. She
was the president of the National Speakers
Association, Washington DC area from 2000
to 2001 and served on its Board for seven
years. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
customization of a presentation. The speaker
must hit the ground running.”
Dan Maddux, executive vice president of
the American Payroll Association, urges seasoned speakers to constantly seek new experiences, ideas and twists. Newer speakers
need to realize there’s no such thing as an
overnight success.” It’s essential to know one’s
uniqueness and build on that. I find it preposterous that someone at age 33 can write
nine books and claim to be an expert. The life
experience is missing,” Maddux asserts.
Joan Eisenstodt, CMP, chief strategist of
Eisenstodt Associates, recommends a consultative approach. Consistently listed as
one of the “ 25 Most Influential in the Meet-ings/Hospitality Industry,” Eisenstodt emphasized that speakers need to know the
learning objectives, the demographics,
the expected ROI and then advise the
planner—even to the point of saying, ”I’m
not the right fit.”
While the number of meetings is up,
there’s still some tough news. Lead time
continues to be close-in and meeting
durations are shorter, leaving less slots for
The paradox, according to Maddux, is
that face-to-face meetings are back in
vogue. Cities are expanding their conference facilities.“The more technical we become, the more people want a human
experience. Planners are looking for unique
and different speakers plus folks with a multitude of skills who can facilitate and moderate. Speakers who are multidimensional
will have an advantage.”
A dissenting vote comes from Tom
Mc Williams, CMP, CSEP, senior vice president for Mississippi Credit Union Associations. “I think professional speakers are
going to be doing more webinars, Web
casts or telephone quick bites. While some
speakers will still be doing the big shows, in-
house training is going to be mostly done
over the computer.”
Without exception, these Meeting Partners of the Year see value in NSA members
and the CSP and CPAE designations. While
credentials don’t guarantee a booked
engagement, they influence a meeting
planner’s willingness to submit a speaker for
consideration. “It lowers my risk factor if I
have a credentialed speaker. People
should join NSA if they are serious about
growing and investing in themselves,” Garrett insists.
Eileen McDargh, CSP,
CPAE, is chair of the
NSA Strategic Partnership Council and a
member of NSA’s
Board of Directors.