Friday, May 9, 2008

Professionally Speaking-Are you easy to work with?

I recently was the emcee for a two day conference with 14 speakers on the programme. The majority were professional, arriving with plenty of time to meet the delegates, do a room and AV check and allow me, the MC, to check their timing and bring them up to date on any changes.

The closing keynote speaker however, was a different case. Arriving less than 30 minutes prior to her presentation, she proceeded to order the event organiser around, demanding items (like 17 felt tip markers), and complaining about the dwindling numbers. ( This does sometimes happen  at the end of the day). 
When she was ready to go on, she had the AV in a whirlwind as she demanded this music for this powerpoint slide, this song for this exercise, etc. He was in a head spin and not able to keep up with her demands, which meant her presentation was far from effective.

PS Tip: If you call yourself a 'professional speaker' then act like one! How do you expect to get rebooked when the word on the street and within the industry, is that you are high maintenance and difficult to work with?  Event and conference organisers agree that the AV people often know who the better speakers are on the circuit-they have to work and listen to them day in and day out.
Respect the opportunity you have been given to share your expertise, not your ego.