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How To Hire a Speaker, Opposite Day Edition, Continued

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If you want to hire a speaker, there are plenty of things you should do. But let’s look at the opposite of good advice for hiring a speaker in the form of what should not be done.

Why are we writing about how to hire a speaker (opposite day edition?) This is in response to an original post is by Indiana blogger Marissa Bracke and is called 10 Ways to Make a Request that Annoys, Ticks Off, or Offends the Requestee (with the subtitle “and what to do instead”).

Hers were so fantastic, we were inspired to offer five more ways not to hire a speaker. So just for fun, here are five more:

16. Threaten to cancel the offer if you don’t receive a quick reply.

Everyone has deadlines. For anyone to provide good service, however, those deadlines must be reasonable. Don’t write an email that says: “We need a speaker for next summer, respond by tomorrow or we will go with someone else.”

17. List other affiliated people or sponsors who have not yet actually committed, or worse, who have already declined.

We’re happy to hear you’re hoping to get the Governor of Indiana and the CEO of the largest employer in Indianapolis as speakers at your event. But until you’ve received the thumbs up from their people, please don’t toss out their names.

Indianapolis Speakers: What Not To Do, Continued

© Flickr user the pain of fleeting joy

18. Provide inaccurate flattery.

Whether they are traveling to another state or working here in Indianapolis, speakers have an ego. But you won’t stroke that ego by listing a great accomplishment or referencing a fantastic program that you didn’t actually attend.

19. Ignore the contact form on their website specifically just designed for the query you are making, and try to contact them directly.

Pretty much every website these days has a contact form. These are designed to make it easy for you to reach out with questions, but also for the company to be able to engage with you.

If a speaker’s website has a contact form, use it. Don’t try to send them a text message out of the blue. Don’t try to call their cellphone over the weekend. Interact with the speaker the way they’ve asked, so they can help you to meet your needs.

20. Explain that consideration for your program requires that they become a member of your organization first at the usual membership rate.

It’s hard to see how this benefits your audience. If speakers must become members of the organization, then you’re not likely to get outside perspectives. Plus, you’re effectively charging the presenter to talk to the audience! Doesn’t that mean they are going to want to promote their own products and services rather than entertaining and educating your group?

How To Hire a Speaker, In Summary

So what should you do if you want to hire an Indianapolis speaker? The same thing you do if you’re reaching out to anyone else. Be respectful. Recognize that our speakers and consultants make their living based on their expertise.

We’re here to help, but we’re people too. Just keep that in mind when it’s time to hire a speaker for your next event.

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