The Prepared Speaker’s Checklist
With the help of a colleague, Lee Tkachuk, owner of Limitless Speaking Bureau, I put together this checklist of items to ensure your success as a speaker, no matter your level of experience. The more prepared you are with these items, the more professional you will come across to the meeting planners who are asking you to speak, and higher fees you can command.
- Website. If you are asked to speak, besides checking out your social media platforms, meeting planners like to check out your website. A few must haves on your website include: a professional picture (headshot or action shot, preferable both), at least one video, 3 – 4 speech topics, 3 – 6 testimonials, a downloadable Speaker One Sheet, and a client list (if you have one).
- Bio. Bios are used in marketing materials and can be used in introductions. It is best practice to craft 3 bios that communicate who you are and your expertise: short bio, 1 – 2 sentences that explains who you are and what you do; a program bio that is a short paragraph which is included in the marketing and programs of the event at which you are speaking; an introduction bio which is used to introduce you at virtual and live events.
- Speaker One Sheet. This document could be downloaded from your website. Click here to link to a template of a Speaker One Sheet, courtesy of SpeakerHub.
- Tax ID number
- Fee schedule. This should include all of the types of speaking that you do: keynotes, breakouts, workshops (half-day and full-day), facilitator, panel participant, webinar speaker, master of ceremonies, etc… You may think of other types of events not listed here where you deliver presentations. Include them on your fee schedule.
- Speaker Agreement/Contract. Crafting your own speaker agreement ensures clarity around your responsibilities as a speaker and the responsibilities of your client/event planner. Specifics should include travel requirements, special requests, rates, AV needs, printing needs, cancellation policies, permission to record, and back of the room sales (if applicable). For an interesting take on this item, see Seth Godin’s rider.
- Speaker Evaluation Forms. Sometimes an event will have their own speaker evaluation forms. I suggest you create your own so that you can get the feedback that you want, and you can gather written testimonials from your audience.
Handouts for Speech Topics. Creating a master handout for each of your topics before you actually need them saves you time in the long run.
How many of the items on the checklist do you have in place? Sometimes these items are a work in progress, however, the more prepared you are, the more success you will meet!
Let me know if you find this checklist helpful.