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Stage IV: Speakers

Posted by Mike McKinnon on
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istock_000002126461xsmall.jpg The fourth installment of conducting successful web conferences is about working with your speaker. Finding a great speaker and working with them to organize the presentation can be the most challenging aspect of planning a web seminar. After you have confirmed that the speaker will be available for your web seminar, the checklist below will help ensure that you stay on target.


  • Kick off Call: All speakers must attend this initial call which you will use to review the event and determine who will be presenting what if there is more than one speaker. In the kick-off call, make sure you cover:



    • Schedules and Deadlines: This includes presentations, rehearsals, technology training and pre-event call.

    • Promotional items: Pictures, bios, titles and logos.
    • Technology: What technology you will be using and the features that the speakers can use.

    • Presentation guidelines: Tips on keeping the presentation concise and exciting.



  • Technology Training: Your vendor should thoroughly train speakers who are unfamiliar with the technology you plan to use.

  • Presentations: Drafts should be turned in one week before the event, with final slides and supporting materials completed no later than two days before the event. Also, make sure to submit the presentation to technology vendor as well.
  • Rehearsal: Conduct a dry run one week before the live event so you will have time to make the necessary changes.
  • Touch-base Call: This is held two hours before the actual event. This is an important call to get everyone on the same page and make sure everyone is ready and calm.
  • Live Event: Dial in 30 minutes before the event to touch base with the operator. Your speakers and support staff should dial in 15 minutes before the event.
  • Debrief: Ask the operator to put you and the speakers into a sub-conference after the event is over so you can debrief while the event is still fresh in your mind.




Finally, here are some general tips for working with speakers:

  • Get all of their contact information because you never know when you will need to contact them.
  • Get to know the speaker's assistants.
  • Find out if anyone is techno-phobic so you can pay them special attention.
  • Get to know the group dynamic such as who is in charge and any areas of sensitivity.

Stay tuned for the final installment of Conducting Successful Web Seminars when I talk aboutyour contingency plans.

[tags]web conferencing, web seminar, speakers [/tags]


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