Insider Secrets for Getting Hired by Top Conference Organizers

January 18, 2010 at 7:19 pm Leave a comment

Over the years, I have become friends with many of the conference organizers who have hired me again and again to speak for them.

Since I teach, write for and coach people who want to get on the speaking circuit and become paid speakers or who just want to expand their speaking careers, I have decided to do a new project/product. It’s called Insider Secrets for Getting Hired by Top Conference Organizers. It will be a teleseminar series, an audio program, and an ebook, once the transcriptions of the interviews are completed. I will interview my friends who are top conference organizers and get from them how they find speakers, why they hire them again, why they don’t hire them and tips for approaching them to make it more likely you get hired.

I have just completed the first of these interviews and plan to do six in the next two weeks.

But I thought it might be useful to bring back a report from this first one. Here’s a summary fo the main points I took from my interview with Fran Burgess and Derek Jackson from the Northern School of NLP in Whalley, UK.

1. They hire speakers mostly out of relationships. They ask other speakers they know and trust who is good. Then, they evaluate the speaker in terms of: Would we want this person to stay in our house? The person may be a great presenter, but if they don’t feel good enough about them to consider letting them stay in their home, they don’t invite the person to speak. After they get to know the person, they invite the person back or give recommendations to other organizers based on their relational connection with the speaker.

2. The clarity and organization of the speaker and the agreement. They like it when a speaker is organized with their materials and contracts and doesn’t throw any surprises in (last minute extra expenses; showing up late or tired or unprepared; changing the contract after an agreement has been reached; etc.).

3. The speaker has done his or her homework. Knows the field, knows this organization, can extend or add to the general knowledge in this area, has a unique contribution to make to their students and to them in terms of new learning.

4. Is generous. With materials, their time and availability.

5. Uses humor (or humour, since they are from the UK).

6. Tells a good story.

There was much more to their insights into what makes a good (and bad) speaker and someone they would or wouldn’t hire, but those are some of the high points. You’ll learn more when the whole series is released. Stay tuned (or watch this space, if you are form the UK).


Entry filed under: Getting hired, Practical advice for speakers. Tags: , , , , .

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