Event Planner Spain, event organizers in Spain and Morocco Ideas and resources for events and meeting in Spain and Morocco: event staff, congresses, conventions, events, catering...
Over 1,500,000 page views in September
Newsletter (15,000+ subscribers) Event Planner Spain mobile version RSS Event Planner Spain
 Search Hotels
 and Venues
 Search Event
 Agencies
 Search Event
 Suppliers
   Services
Event Planner Spain, meeting planners in Spain
See all categories
La Roca Village. Shopping experience: La Roca Village Barcelona, an ideal shopping venue for social programmes
EIBTM 2014

The Global Meetings & Events Expo, Barcelona 18-20 November
The Global Meetings & Events Expo, Barcelona 18-20 November

Interesting reading
Ten Transformative Meetings Technology Trends for 2015 Ten Transformative Meetings Technology Trends for 2015 ...
Ticket to Ride Ticket to Ride ...
The Top Ten Questions to Ask Your Online Media Agency The Top Ten Questions to Ask Your Online ...
Make Your Meeting Go Viral Make Your Meeting Go Viral ...

Bad Speaker? Blame the Planner

Send this article to a friend
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Digg Share to Delicious More...
Bad Speaker? Blame the PlannerIt is a well-worn cliché that more people are frightened of public speaking than of heights, spiders or global warming. Studies continue to reveal this, though you would think that there are far more scary things about which to be phobic these days.

As a compulsive public prattler, I have never understood this particular fear. Until now. These days, it’s not the audiences that make my hands go clammy, my stomach tighten and my throat dry—it’s the organisers.

There used to be an adage in the army: "There are no bad soldiers, only bad officers." I am beginning to wonder if that platitude doesn’t echo in the meeting industry: "There are no bad speakers, only bad planners." It could be argued that any meeting organiser who allows a poor presenter to take the podium isn’t doing his or her job or, if an experienced speaker fails to hold the audience, either they are a bad choice (planner to blame) or they have been insufficiently briefed (planner to blame).

We have all heard the horror stories about after-dinner speakers alcoherent from incohol; of comedians who were racist, sexist or just too Joan Rivers-ist; of presenters who patronised or lecturers who hectored. But is it really fair to blame them? Perhaps we should be rubbishing the reputations of their erstwhile employers.

Because I do it more for fun than money, I am still in the junior league where public speaking is concerned, but after some 200 gigs in the last few years, I am an expert on how not to host a visiting speaker.

So, planners, here’s how to ensure that your guest speaker gives a dreadful performance.
  • Don’t bother to ask speakers for any background details such as previous engagements, personal biographies or how to pronounce their names.
  • Assume that they have heard of your organisation and know what it does.
  • Neglect to ask them about fees or expenses so that everyone can be embarrassed afterwards.
  • Presume that speakers will use the same audiovisual aids as everyone else.
  • As speakers are not on any delegate list, omit to send them administrative instructions.
  • Let speakers guess how many people may attend their sessions and who these attendees are. (His faux pas will be so much more entertaining.)
  • When they arrive at the venue, reveal that they are a top-table guest at the black-tie dinner ("don’t worry, a lounge suit will do").
  • Let them discover that all presenters are being evaluated.
  • Assume that professional presenters don’t need rehearsals.
  • Change the sessions around at the last minute (this cleverly puts their adrenalin into contraflow).
  • Ignore speakers until 10 minutes before their appearance, then bombard them with lots of instructions.
  • Surprise speakers with clever (preferably inaccurate) introductions. (I was once introduced at a bankers’ dinner as follows: "And now to entertain us, here is Tony Carey." Unfortunately no one told me I was the entertainment.)
  • Just before they go on stage, tell your speakers that the media are present.
  • Let speakers discover that they are appearing immediately following the president of the United States or Oprah Winfrey.


I have suffered most of these treatments from so-called professional organisers over the years, but etched into my memory is a conference in Hawaii where I was scheduled to run a 90-minute seminar after lunch on the first day. Seventy-five people had registered for my session, so the adrenalin counterbalanced 12 time zones worth of jetlag. Three quarters of an hour late, 23 jaded delegates chose my seminar instead of a post-prandial snooze on the adjacent, palm-fringed beach. I could have hugged them. Never have I had to present against such competition—nor condense my material so drastically. It was not the performance of a lifetime.

But there’s no such thing as a free trip to Maui, so I’m not complaining—just dining out on the experience.

Planners, I contend, get the performances they deserve because speakers, unless they are VIPs, are too often under-briefed and under-hosted.

It is, for example, difficult to give a virtuoso performance when your introduction goes like this: "...but first, before we relax and enjoy ourselves, here is Tommy Caney to say a few words."

TONY CAREY, CMP, CMM, is an award-winning writer and past member of the MPI International Board of Directors. He can be reached at [email protected] or www.tonycarey.info.
Comment on this news item
Name     Email

See more Meeting Professionals International (MPI) news
See more MICE industry good practices news

Tags, event suppliers: Audiovisual  Entertainment  Media  Speakers 

Tags, news section: Audience  Audiovisual  Beach  Fair  Free  IT  Media  Meeting 

Glossary, news section: CMM  CMP  Conference  Delegate  Entertainment  Lounge suit  MPI  Podium  Presenter  Seminar  Speaker  Stage  Venue 

Number of views of this article: 7,488

Search all
Loading
Newsletter
Suppliers
Member Access
username
password
INDIGO DMC GROUP S.L.. Full-service meeting, incentive, congress and event agency in Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Latin America
AR Diamante Beach Spa Hotel & Convention Centre. Spa hotel and convention centre in Calpe, Alicante, Spain
Experience Box Spain. DMC and MICE services, teambuilding, Staff parties, Incentives, Outdoor Activities
TPV Express. Point of sale (POS) terminal rental for events and tradeshows throughout Spain
Autocares Ruíz Muñoz. Coach Rental Madrid Spain: corporate services, transfers, bespoke trips, tours

 
About Us | Advertise | Contact Us | Legal | Glossary | Site Map
If you are planning any type of event in Spain or Morocco, contact us or browse our directory with more
than 500 quality suppliers to request proposals and quotes directly, free of charge and without commissions.

With more than 1,500,000 page views and 1,000 requests for proposals a month, Event Planner Spain is currently the
most visited event organization portal in Spain, available in eight languages, with visits from 160 different countries.
If you provide services for events in Spain or Morocco, register your company and make the most of our current promotions.
If you want to advertise on our portal, please check advertise or contact us for an interesting proposal.

Event Planner Spain, S.L.
Paseo de la Sierra, 38-20, 29018 Málaga, Spain
© Copyright Event Planner Spain 2006-2014
Tel. +34 952 294 327

La Finca Golf Resort. 5-star hotel on the Costa Blanca, Alicante, Spain, with meeting and event facilities and its own golf course

Last event supplier

La Finca Golf Resort. 5-star hotel on the ...
Barcelona Kick-Off Event 2015 with RTA

Last offer

Barcelona Kick-Off Event 2015 with RTA ...
Se buscan líderes pragmáticos e influyentes: cómo se consiguen

Last news

Se buscan líderes pragmáticos e influyentes: cómo se ...
Tarragona Convention Bureau. Convention bureau, congress office, business tourism in Tarragona, Spain

Random event supplier

Tarragona Convention Bureau. Convention bureau, congress office, business ...
April-May Meeting Room Promotion at the Ibersol Antemare Spa Hotel

Random offer

April-May Meeting Room Promotion at the Ibersol Antemare ...
Hotel Occupancy on the Costa del Sol Reached 55.01% in February 2008

Random news

Hotel Occupancy on the Costa del Sol Reached ...

Málaga Convention Bureau Member MPI Member, Meeting Professionals International CO2 Neutral Website Exhibiting at EIBTM, global event for meetings and incentives IMEX 2015 – Frankfurt 19-21 May. The essential worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events ICCA Iberian Chapter