• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

Virtual Events

Moving targets make you easy to miss

Moving targets make you easy to miss 2560 1709 I Need A Speaker

Years ago, while the BBC was interviewing a woman on live television, her child interrupted by toddling into the room. Since the pandemic, that’s happened over and over again.

This video is a parody of the original, but the takeaway is the same: when there are distractions, the speaker is no longer the focus. Audience members lose their focus, and they aren’t listening to the speaker’s message.

On virtual meetings, the distractions could range from a passing emergency vehicle to a playful puppy. In face-to-face sessions, distractions may come from the movement of a stage assistant, guest(s) seated on stage, or passersby outside a window.

Your audience members will be distracted when there is movement around you. Eliminate movement as best you can, and keep the focus on you.

Photo credit: Mikhail Nilov on Pexels

Wow! That’s impressive!

Wow! That’s impressive! 1920 2560 I Need A Speaker

In Dale Carnegie’s famous book, Public Speaking for Success, he shares tactics on how to make figures more impressive.

We agree with his advice, and we know it makes figures more memorable, too.

Consider the example he gives in chapter 13:

The Vatican has fifteen thousand rooms.

The Vatican has so many rooms that one might occupy a different one every day for forty years without having lived in them all.

Make it relatable.

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Answer questions before they can be asked

Answer questions before they can be asked 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

When your presentation content raises questions, your audience will begin thinking more about the questions and less about what you’re saying.

Anticipate what questions your audience will have, and answer them in your presentation. Don’t wait for someone to raise a hand.

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Be your virtual best

Be your virtual best 1707 2560 I Need A Speaker

The current business and academic landscape has proven to be far different over the past two years than what we have been accustomed to previously. Whether you’re a student, teacher, employee, business owner, or any position in between, we have ridden the wave of challenges and changes that come with shifting our processes to socially distance ourselves and implement an unforeseen set of precautions. 

One major implication and struggle of this process is learning flexibility when it comes to presenting, teaching, or even daily communication. Many of us can relate to changing our meeting space from a formal room/table to a virtual setting. While this can be a more comfortable atmosphere for some, we need to be aware of the challenges this new structure can have, and how to overcome them. 

While some may relate “virtual meetings” to comforts such as comfy clothes, little to no commute, and the privacy of our own home, it’s important to maintain a professional and credible image during even the most seemingly informal interactions. Regardless of your position, taking the appropriate preparatory steps can make or break your image to your audience. 

Your friends at I Need A Speaker are dedicated to helping speakers put their best foot forward, and being presentation rockstars. That commitment remains steadfast, regardless of if you are using a virtual or physical stage. We would like to share this opportunity to share some tips to help your adjustment to a virtual space be as seamless and successful as possible. 

For starters, be prepared to be seen on camera. While some presenters opt for no video, this may be requested by your audience (or professor, for students). Your first impression is lasting, your audience will notice your appearance, including your attire and level of polish. Make sure your visible appearance is professional and approachable, meaning details like pressed clothes, posture, a well-groomed appearance, and your facial expressions are going to be not only noticed, but interpreted by the audience. 

Next, set yourself up for success by making sure your background is ready for your presentation. Your audience doesn’t want to see, but will notice, if your shared screen shows the hamper of laundry, an unmade bed, etc. By keeping a clean background, your presentation avoids visual distractions. You may also opt for a platform such as Zoom, which allows the presenter to select a custom virtual backdrop (they’re really cool!), if you like. 

Your background should also be free of audible noise. Make arrangements ahead of time to set yourself up in a place that is as quiet as possible. This will also help you be free from potential distraction, as well as your audience. Make sure your background doesn’t have audible disturbances. Sounds like a no-brainer, but this is a surprising pain point we see in virtual presentations. 

Before presenting, give your systems a test run. Do you have to complete a “Forgot your password?” process before accessing your platform? Is the camera working on your computer? How do you look on screen? Address these items ahead of time, it may save you from a frantic panic before presenting. One strategy may be to run a test call with a friend, asking for their feedback on your presence. 

Go through a mental checklist of the items we shared for presenting. Give yourself ample time to address any obstructions to a great presentation, and put your hard work on the appropriate pedestal for appreciation from your audience. We’re sure your presentation is fabulous, so don’t let it fall apart by missing the small details. They have a large and lasting impression.

 

Photo credit: Photo by Marcus Aurelius at Pexels

Make sure time is on your side

Make sure time is on your side 2560 1930 I Need A Speaker

Event planners juggle many responsibilities. They want to be sure that everything works well for the events they plan.

One crucial element in planning is time. Speakers are typically booked for a set time frame. In the planning stages, event planners will review the length of time allocated for each speaker.

Speakers who complete their presentations with time to spare may cause a problem, because they will affect the schedule for the remainder of the event. The same is true when they speak too long.

When practicing, speakers need to time themselves. It’s important to respect the time frame they have been given and do their part to help make the event run smoothly.

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Yes, we do recommend practicing with distractions

Yes, we do recommend practicing with distractions 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

Most public presentation coaches will emphasize the need to practice before speaking in front of a live audience.

Some speakers will claim that it’s difficult for them to find a quiet place to practice their speech without interruption.

Surprise! You may be better suited to a space with distraction.

Why? Practicing amidst noise and movement may actually prepare you better for the live gigs. While you’re speaking at an event, there may be background noice during virtual presentations. At live talks, there may be cell phones ringing or doors opening and closing as people come and go.

Knowing how to stay focus amidst distraction will help when you’re speaking live. Try it.

 

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Booking an international speaker? Here’s what you need to know.

Booking an international speaker? Here’s what you need to know. 2560 1696 I Need A Speaker

We are thrilled to welcome international speakers to our directory!

If you’re considering booking someone from another country, keep these tips in mind:

  • Plan around the time difference. A great meeting time in the United States might mean your speaker joins the event at midnight in his or her home country. Choose a time that’s most convenient for everyone in attendance.
  • Realize there may be additional fees for currency exchange, depending on your payment method. Compensate accordingly.
  • Know and maintain cultural practices from the speaker’s home country.
  • Avoid using slang. People who speak a non-native language well may not know current slang terminology from other places.
  • Don’t reference stereotypes about the speaker’s home country. These stereotypes may be hurtful.
  • Use active listening to ensure the proper messages are heard.
  • If you have a bilingual or multilingual presentation, use interpreters as needed.
  • Help your speaker be as comfortable as possible. Ensure that he or she has a clear understanding of the event, the talk, the audience, and your expectations.
  • Enjoy the experience of getting to know someone from another part of the world!

 

Photo credit: Pexels

What do you want to know about public speaking or event planning?

What do you want to know about public speaking or event planning? 2560 1550 I Need A Speaker

I Need A Speaker is here to serve! We want you to have your best possible speaker event or make the stage your happy place.

Help us help you! Tell us what you want to know. E-mail info@ineedaspeaker.com with your questions or comments about

  • event planning
  • how to choose the right speaker for your event
  • engaging with audiences
  • how to get started in speaking
  • what to consider when setting your price
  • building confidence
  • public presentation training

or anything else you’d like to know! We are happy to answer your questions.

Thanks for being part of I Need A Speaker’s international community!

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Taking the stage can boost your career

Taking the stage can boost your career 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

Most employers are happy when their employees deliver public presentations. The companies enjoy the benefit of increased visibility and credibility, and the speakers get a reputational boost as well.

When you deliver speeches, you demonstrate strong communication and organizational skills. Also, you demonstrate subject matter expertise. Companies value and seek these qualifications.

Your presentation highlights many desirable skills, which can help get you hired or promoted. Go beyond the traditional resume or CV. Show off your expertise and skills on stage! I Need A Speaker can help you get started.

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Hats off for inspirational graduation speeches

Hats off for inspirational graduation speeches 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

It’s time to celebrate this year’s graduates. Whether they have successfully completed eighth grade or medical school, these graduates are likely reflecting on their past achievements and planning their future ones.

As we honor scholars at ceremonies and parties, it can be difficult to find the right words. I Need A Speaker’s team discovered NPR’s fantastic compilation of graduation speeches that will inspire and motivate all of us. Click here for examples of some of the best graduation speeches.

Now that you’ve seen and heard from great speakers, it’s time to write your own remarks for the occasion. Here are some tips to make the task easier:

  • Get your ideas on paper. Write out everything you’d like to include. You can edit later.
  • Decide if you’ll use a theme (discovery, journey, gratitude, encouragement, etc.).
  • Use an attention-grabbing introduction.
  • Consider using a relevant story.
  • Think about what makes this individual or class unique.
  • Be positive.
  • Keep your comments brief and impactful.
  • Remember to introduce yourself.
  • Thank the people who supported the graduate(s) and made the event memorable.
  • Take a moment to mention the people who could not be there.
  • Use appropriate humor.
  • Speak at a relatively slow pace, emphasizing key words. Pause when you want to add drama.
  • Talk about lessons learned and the endless possibilities that lie ahead.
  • Remember there is more to school than academics. Acknowledge the relationships formed in school, on teams, and through clubs that graduates will cherish for years.
  • Practice!

After you’ve written out your thoughts, string them together in a way that creates a natural flow. Add and subtract … then subtract some more.

Make it short. Make it powerful. Make it inspiring.

 

Congratulations to graduates of all ages!

 

Photo credit: Pexels

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