This week’s blog post on speaker coaching is re-posted with permission from Aaron D. Wolowiec, founder and president of Event Garde, a professional development consulting firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich. Website: www.eventgarde.com.
When’s the last time your organization’s education committee was asked to identify the three to five greatest challenges currently inhibiting its industry speakers from reaching their fullest potential during the annual conference? I recently did this for a client and following were the responses that bubbled to the surface:
Do these sound familiar? What would comprise your organization’s “watch list”? Based upon these areas of focus, we then developed a one-page resource and shared it with all selected speakers, requesting they use this document in designing their conference presentation experiences. Specifically, we:
But this is just the first step.
Next year we intend to offer a training webinar (or a series of shorter training webinars) that helps illuminate these and other strategies and provide individualized coaching that allows for more robust reflection, planning, practice, and feedback.
Additional ideas for investing in conference speakers might include one or more of the following:
Growth in the delivery of conference presentations is an iterative process. Mastery does not occur overnight. Rather, repeat industry speakers should be provided ongoing learning guidance, opportunities to practice new knowledge and skills, meaningful feedback from seasoned colleagues and staff and job aids that enhance retention and transfer.
What strategies have you found most successful in mentoring your industry speakers in the design and delivery of top-rated conference sessions?