Things you may not have thought of
LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE!
A consistent complaint among speakers is the lack of light ON THEIR AUDIENCES.
Great speakers constantly monitor audience mood. That's hard to do in the dark.
It is difficult enough that maximum lighting in most hotel facilities is designed
for banquets rather than for presentations. Worse, though, many organizers, most
production companies and, sometimes, just the a/v person for the facility,
automatically turn off the house lights as soon as a speaker is introduced. They,
then, compound the problem by aiming a spot light straight into the speaker's
A speech is not just a stage performance: it is a two way transfer of
understanding of an issue or topic. Audience members may send silent messages;
but, they do send messages. A speaker needs to see them.
Most of you ask us as speakers for our audio visual requirements. We are
pleased to respond. And, in about 90% of the cases, we have all the right tools.
In about 75% of the cases, however, our agreement with planners for FULL house
lighting is over ridden by the production company, or the facility's a/v person.
In some cases, it is "just forgotten".
Speakers try to give 100%; but, they need the tools to help them reach the
audience members right down to the very last row. Full audience lights are one of those important tools.
AVOID THOSE OBLIGATORY SPEAKER ORIENTATION SESSIONS:
KEEP YOUR PRESENTERS FRESH AND HAPPY
These meetings are, often, simply an extra drain on both the organizer and the speakers. Before you call for this meeting, ask yourself if it is really necessary. Are you holding it because "it's always been done" or is there a issue which really needs to be dealt with by having all the speakers together?
We've been told there are two reasons for such meetings:
a) so speakers can interact, and,
b) so organizers can pass on last minute updates.
Speakers may want to interact; but, only AFTER their presentations. If the
organizers intent is that speakers will somehow correlate their materials, they will be
sadly disillusioned. This a goal much better met by a conference call or other cross-pollinating vehicle weeks before the event. By the day of the
presentation, it is much too late for more than superficial change; and inexperienced presenters will be intimidated even by that.
Program updates, are an immediate item...so immediate, in fact, that they will
certainly change from early AM to even late AM. Use your "speaker greeter" to
pass on anything the presenter needs to know.
While it may seem very efficient to brief all your speakers at an early
morning orientation session, you may very well lose out on the quality of some
of the presentations.
Your presenters are like star athletes: they need to "peak" at the time of their
individual sessions. You, and your audience, along with the speakers, benefit most if the speakers get
an extra hour of sleep, or, the time and privacy to psyche up before their