Overall Checklist - Planning The Perfect Program When Hiring Presenters, Speakers, Motivational Keynoters, Trainers, or Seminar Leaders

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If you are planning an event, meeting, conference or convention which will use a speaker, keynoter, motivational speaker or celebrity, and would like all of the tips in the 60 page ebook How To Hire A Speaker –Avoiding the Problem and Pitfalls, To Create Magical Meetings!
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(MEETING AND EVENT PLANNERS the entire checklist is very long, and is included in the 60 page ebook How To Hire A Speaker –Avoiding the Problem and Pitfalls, To Create Magical Meetings! - if you are planning an event, I will send you this ebook as my gift.) Below is the beginning of the Checklist, which focuses on Meeting Safety, and Preparation.

Overall Checklist - Planning The Perfect Program When Hiring Presenters

If Not You, Who?

Being the person in charge of others – meeting planner, professional presenter, trainer, speaker, or teacher - is always exhilarating. On September 11, 2001, it became something … more.

There were thousands of executives, public and professional presenters leading audiences that day. Then someone came up to them and said, “Excuse, I need to make an announcement.” Suddenly, the simple person in charge needed to be a leader of hearts that were breaking, and minds in turmoil. Some rose to the task. Others, just stood there too numb to act.

One audience, in a hotel at the base of the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001, rose en masse, and ran toward the front doors. The speaker never said a word. Front doors that would have taken those people right into a hell of falling debris. Luckily, they were diverted to a safe exit by a fast thinking meeting planner who was in the hallway.

God willing none of us will never have to face an emergency of that magnitude again. But there is no question that if you step to the dais; you are the one the audience will look to for leadership. Fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, bomb threats, building collapse, accidents, robberies, and assaults can and will occur. During such times, telephone lines may be overloaded or damaged. Can you keep your audience safe on the day it happens? Do you know the fastest way to get emergency help to your group? Did you know using your cell phone delays the time it takes help to arrive? (Your cell phone will get you Highway Patrol, who takes all of your information, determine if there is a real emergency, THEN forwards your call to the emergency agency assigned to the location you are at. Now you start all over again. If you had picked up a land line phone and called 911, your call would have gone straight to the agency who would actually be responding. You cut response time by several minutes.

The speaker on the platform is in a privileged position. When disaster strikes, all eyes will go to you first. Do you have the answers? You will only have a few seconds to make your decisions before those hundreds of people in your audience all make decisions separately, chaos begins, and lives are endangered.

Most attendees run for the door from which they had entered the room. People are crushed, the exits blocked. No one notices the other exits to the room, because the person on the podium had not thought to point out those exits in the happy calm at the beginning of the program.
The advice offered here cannot be thought of as the way to handle an emergency. You, your insights, your tenacity, and your love of those you are trying to reach, these are the magic that is going to make the solutions you come up on the spur of the moment the best possible in difficult situations.

Long Before You Arrive

Emergency Kit For Meeting Planners, Professional Speakers and Trainers

Take a basic first aid and CPR class.

Ask the hotel, or management of the venue at which you are presenting about their emergency plans. Find out which disasters could occur in the area to which you are going. Ask how to prepare for each disaster. Ask how you would be warned of an emergency. Before 9/11/2001 most hotel staff would be stumped by these questions, now they are better trained in these issues.
Call Your Emergency Management Office or American Red Cross Chapter. If the venue at which you are speaking cannot help you with the issues in the point above.

Ask the venue for an emergency exit map. Find a way to include this in was your attendees will actually look at it. Perhaps as an overhead, or presented by a humorist. Although these maps are in every room, rarely will anyone look at them. Create a brief moment to review of them. Get your audience to focus on safety. Sometimes these maps are included at venue websites. The hotel security might have it in the form of a PDF file they can email to you weeks before the event.

Memorize basic emergency safety procedures for: medical emergencies, fire, earthquake, tornado (see more later in this chapter). (For the full Checklist, see

Create and bring with you a kit of emergency supplies. There are two sets of things to include in your emergency kit. One for items to help in case of an actual major disaster. The other types of things are for the those problem which afflict most presentations: bulbs burning out, supplies not available, lights going out, etc. Use the list below as a beginning to create your own emergency kit:

  • cell phone (your backup, use the venue phone first if possible which bring help quicker. Never use your cell phone if there is bomb threat.)
  • flashlight,
  • tape,
  • scissors,
  • whistle,
  • aspirin,
  • compass
  • waterproof matches;
  • Small Radio (consider a crank up radio. They are small, cheap, and the batteries never run down).
  • First-Aid kit (a standard kits are available from stores like: Sav-0n, Walgreens, Walmart, and even at some larger groceries stores.
  • tissues (for crying)
  • extension cords,
  • chalk,
  • small can or tube of insect repellent,
  • anti-itch cream,
  • needle,
  • thread, and
  • safety pins.
  • I always carry a daytime hot tea flu remedy—one of those sneezing, coughing, stuffy head, sore throat, fever concoctions.
  • (Ladies should also remember feminine supplies.)
  • Your prescription medications.
  • An extra pair of your prescription glasses.
  • Credit cards and cash.

BEFORE THE MEETING

• Contracts: Get all arrangements, agreements, fees, etc., in writing. But, be careful! Verbal commitments are binding! How, when and who will be making payments. Take copies of the speaker's correspondence and the contract with you. Be ready with proof.
• Material Costs: Who pays for workbooks, handouts? Will pencils, pads, etc. be paid for by the hotel? the planner? or the speaker? Who will set the materials out? the hotel? the planner? or the speaker?
• Shipping ahead: What is the policy on-venue on pre-shipments and how long can you leave material after?
• Signs: Ask venue to put up signs stating direction to the event.
• Attendance: At least an estimated attendance?
• Speaker pick-up: Give speaker the pick-up's home and work phone number and another emergency number.
• Dress Code: Did you tell the speaker it was a formal event? Or that it's being held in the center arena of the Los Angeles Equestrian Center?
• Program Planners First Aid Kit: Carry with the speaker a kit of emergency supplies: tape, scissors, extension cords, chalk.
• The Mind Can Only Accept What the Seat Will Endure: Plan breaks in the program every hour and a half to give the group an opportunity to move around.
• Food Service: Let catering know that they are not to serve or clear while the program is in progress.
• Props: Is the speaker supposed to be bringing the green bananas or are you?
• On-Site Contact: Who should the speaker contact when they arrive on site? Where will they be located?
• Introducer: Did you give a copy of the speaker's introduction to the introducer?
• Assistants: Will the speaker need assistants? Contact them to set up a rehearsal time just before the other attendees arrive.
• Get Everyone to the Right Room: Print the location, the title of the presentation, and the speaker, right in the program Signs should be posted outside the door. Bring your own signs or get easels from the hotel. Make sure to send your speakers this tidbit before your event.
• Getting Materials There: If the speaker is flying in, suggest they ship any mandatory materials in advance to the Bell Captain by a next day, or second day carrier. Call several days ahead of the meeting to check that anything the speaker sent has arrived.
• Taping: Is the presentation being taped? The speaker is within their legal rights to refuse taping; or require royalties, or a reproduction fee.
• Promotion & Publicity: Ask the speaker to write articles or press releases for local newspapers, your company publication, etc., on the topic they will be addressing for your group. This sets the speaker up before the event as an industry authority and makes the speaker more of a celebrity to your group. Brainstorm with your publicity or public relations team how you can best utilize this speaker's expertise.
• What Do You Expect of the Speaker? Customization: What are your special objectives and needs? Make sure your speaker knows! All speakers say they customize their talk just for your audience. If what you heard them do in a prior speech or tape is less than 75% of what you want for your group, get another tape, or get another speaker.
• Check In: Ask the speaker to contact you at once when they arrive in town, and again when they arrive at your site.
• Double Check: Call the speaker no more than 4 days before the event to confirm everything. Do they have the location of event? Address? Phone number there? A map? Alternate transportation in case the pick-up person doesn't show?


Lilly Walters -for over 20 years a LEADING RESOURCE helping Corporate and Association Meeting Planners find the PERFECT speakers and entertainers for their events. Former leading executive of Walters International Speakers Bureau. Today she owns and runs Amazing Motivational Keynote Speakers and helps speakers and seminar leaders find ways to increase their bookings

Lilly Walters the author of five of the best-selling books about the professional speaking industry, such as, "Speak and Grow Rich," "1,001 Ways to Make More Money as a Speaker, Consultant or Trainer: Plus 300 Rainmaking Strategies for Dry Times," and many more.

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Lilly Walters - has for over 20 years THE LEADING RESOURCE helped Corporate and Association Meeting Planners find PERFECT speakers and entertainers for their events: motivational, business leadership and management experts, keynote, celebrities, corporate entertainment, humorous, diversity, political, authors, consulting and training solutions, sport athletes and much more.

Lilly Walters is the author of five of the best-selling books about the professional speaking industry, including the best seller she wrote for Dottie Walters, "Speak and Grow Rich"