5 Must-Do's for Conference Speakers

July 7, 2015 Megan Stoeckel

Like most occupations, the role of the speaker underwent a change in expectations in recent years. Appointed speakers are now forced to do more than just present. They must engage guests and interact with them. That doesn’t only mean to ask the audience what they thought after the lecture is done. While you should ask that in order to learn where there may be room for improvement, that’s not the only interaction that is crucial.

To satisfy your audience’s anticipations you need to request that your event speakers do the following:

1. Have a Social Pedigree

An active speaker in today’s day and age must be into social media, no matter what the chosen career or niche is. Social media is a way of distributing ideas and having discussions. Today’s social media platforms are the former times’ Paris salons, where individuals can interchange ideas and form a following. Having a social presence online also helps spread the word!

2. Talk About Yourself

A respectable speaker has a following, and while not every conference is of importance to everyone, you might be stunned at how many members will come just to hear a specific speaker. A decent speaker will broadcast the event as part of his/her speaking schedule. Make sure the speaker notifies your audience where they will be speaking. Ask if they can also get people they know to post about the conference too.

3. Show Interest Towards Your Audience

When it comes to keynote speakers, they frequently come from larger industries than the niche covered by your organization. Meaning, they might have to modify their production accordingly. Make sure they have the attentiveness and knowledge about who they’re speaking to, or you could be facing some social media backlash.

4. Give You Content

If the speaker’s on tour, most likely the host has something to sell – an idea, book, more speaking meetings, etc. On the other end, you also must have content. Requesting that your presenter design a guest blog post, interview, article snippet, or further background on how their idea came to fruition will not only feed the need for content, and provide publicity for the speaker, but also form some interest on the part of your spectators.

5. Engage Your Listeners Before and After The Event

Keynote speakers used to be like rock stars. They’d come in, give you the selected time, and sneak out a back door. Not anymore. Presenters are conversation leaders so they must be present (online or otherwise) to help direct the conversation. Some speakers give assignments, and some intermingle in an online conference group while others follow the conference hashtag and involve people directly.

After the meeting is over, an excellent speaker will browse the tweet stream and publish posts from their presentation. If you see an inquiry directed to the speaker that has gone unreciprocated, feel free to pass it along. Answering questions and engaging attendees subsequently impresses the viewers and may affect next year’s attendance statistics.


When you’re contemplating speakers, think of more than the performance. Contemplate what they may be willing to do outside of the seminar from a social media and content perspective. Engagement is the objective, and efficient speakers comprehend the benefits of that for you, your organization, and also their careers.

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