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Posted on September 19, 2012 | CapCitySpeakers | Planning a Meeting

Part 2 in a Series....

Placing Speakers in Correct Slots

  • Each speaker is unique, and he or she brings different qualities to the stage. In order to optimize the performance of all speakers, give considerable thought to their talents, style and content when arranging your meeting agenda.

  • Does your conference start at 8-8:30? Slot your high-energy, make-things-happen speaker here to kick start the day! Another good line-up position for the dynamic speaker is right after lunch. Attendees may be a little sluggish after eating and sitting a few hours -- this will liven up the room!

  • Refrain from placing a high-content speaker, especially one who uses Power Point, as the opener or immediately after lunch or dinner. Especially avoid after dinner if drinks are being served prior to the talk.

  • And, please don't schedule a speaker when food is being served or tables are being cleaned. This is a huge distraction for both the speaker and the attendees.
Stay on Schedule

You've booked a high-quality, dynamic speaker to close your conference. At the last minute, because the schedule has gotten off course, your boss informs you the speaker has only 30 minutes, not 45-50 minutes as scheduled -- oops!!

Speakers prepare and develop a flow from point to point, story to story. When the talk is cut short with a little notice, quality is almost certain to drop. The speaker is thinking, "What stories do I cut, how will that impact my talk?"

In our Speaker Showcases, we are vigilant about each speaker talking 20 minutes, about break time and lunch time. We work very hard to stay on schedule and, from the evaluation forms the attendees complete, they really appreciate the respect given to them and their time.

One tip we can provide is to use timing cards throughout the day. Have a person hold signs indicating "10 Minutes Left," "5 Minutes Remaining" and "Times Up!" Communicate with everyone who will speak during the day and stress the need to stay on schedule. If needed, try to cut a break or lunch a little short to give all speakers appropriate time for their talk.

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Posted on September 11, 2012 | CapCitySpeakers | Planning a Meeting

First in a Series....

Audio Visual

Each speaker has specific AV needs, and it is very important to have clear communication among all parties and the AV provider to minimize problems and maximize performance.

  • Some speakers prefer wireless lavaliere microphone and others prefer handheld microphones
    Tip: Install a new battery in the microphone and, if possible, have a back-up microphone close by.

  • If possible, have the AV tech rep in the room before and during the presentation. The rep should test sound and computer connectivity.

  • Often, house ceiling speakers project average sound. To offer a more professional sound, especially for a sizable audience, strongly consider standalone speakers on each side of the stage.

  • And, finally, if the speaker needs a screen for the presentation, make sure it is large enough for everyone to easily read.
You are making the speaker(s) a significant part of your meeting. Be sure the tools are available for an impressive performance.


Many times overlooked, the stage plays an integral part in the speech deliverance. When we sponsor our showcase with 14 speakers on one day, we set the stage 12 feet deep by 32 feet wide for an audience of about 125, with the lectern off to the side.


Most speakers want to "roam," and this allows them the opportunity to connect with the entire audience. We also place steps on both sides and directly in front of the stage and leave an aisle open in the middle. By allowing the speaker the flexibility to step off the stage and be closer to the group, he or she can make a bigger impact.

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