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How To Hire a Speaker, Opposite Day Edition

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Wondering how to hire a speaker or contact someone at another organization? We ran across a list of ten things not to do when you want to hire a speaker, and came up with a bunch more.

The 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”). Here are a few of her top tips for annoying someone else when reaching out to them:

1. Get her name wrong, or spell it incorrectly.

This seems so basic, but I’m shocked at how often someone sends a request with the recipient’s name spelled wrong–or with the wrong name completely. You’re asking for something; getting the requestee’s name right is the least you can do! Double check the spelling against her business card or website. Heck, copy and paste straight from her About Page if you have to!

7. Make lots of work for her to give you what you want.

It’s one thing to ask for a blurb you can use on your new book release.

It’s another thing to ask for a blurb of exactly 183 characters along with a headshot in graytones displaying only a left-facing profile and a solo email about your book to be sent once a week every week for the next two months and also here sign these five different media releases (of which about 2% is actually pertinent to the situation at hand) and I’ll need your left thumbprint in a plaster mold sent via registered courier within the next 48 hours, thanks.

10. Pester her–you can’t follow up too often!

If you’ve sent an email, you do not also need to leave a voicemail, send her a private Facebook message, post on her business’ Facebook wall, send a tweet, send a second email to an alternate email address you have on file in the hopes that it will circumvent the assistant, and then look up her assistant’s home phone number and call that too. (Yes, it has happened.)

Pretty awful, right? There’s more: head to Marissa’s site for additional details.

How to Hire a Speaker: What NOT To Do

© Flickr user Ronnie Scotch Finger

We do want to help people who are asking about how to hire a speaker. After all, we provide Indianapolis speakers and consultants to organizations all over Central Indiana and beyond.

But this post inspired us to come up with ten of our own anti-tips regarding how to hire a speaker. We’ll include just the first five in today’s blog post. Here they are:

11. Send a request that is indistinguishable from one which is entirely generic.

If your message looks like spam or a mass email, it’s hard for us to know if you are genuinely interested in one of our speakers.

12. Leave mismatched fonts in your email so it’s clear you are copying and pasting from different sources.

You thought you were saving time. What you were really doing is proving that we’re not worth too much of yours.

13. Immediately suggest that because you are a nonprofit/new event/providing exposure they should work for free.

Just like your staff works for free and your donors send you invisible non-money, right? Look, we understand that budgets are tight. But let’s at least have a conversation to see if it makes sense to do a probono project.

14. Propose a date which directly conflicts with events listed on their public calendar.

We publish all of our Indianapolis speaking events online. Is it reasonable to suggest you check that before you select a date?

15. Name drop someone you know in common, rather than getting the introduction.

We all know people that can help us to connect. But if that person is only saying “feel free to use my name” rather than making the introduction themselves, maybe you ought to find out why they don’t want to introduce you.

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. And if you love these, check out five more anti-tips for hiring a speaker.

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