How long does it take to create a presentation for an hour-long session? Some people may be able to whip one out in under 10 hours. For me, it takes at least 80 hours to create each presentation. It takes time to outline the key points, develop the sides, think of stories, mine my data, and write the script. More time goes into organizing the logistics with the event host. Handouts take time. Thinking through the interactive exercises also adds some time. So does practice and rehearsals.
Event hosts who treat speakers special, no matter whether they are paid or presenting for free, show speakers just how valuable they are. If you have been thinking about how to show gratitude to speakers, here are some ideas.
My favorite speaking gift was a car service that picked me up limousine-style, with my last name on a placard, at the airport after a nine-hour flight. Chocolate is always appreciated. An Amazon gift card was great too. Conference hosts gave me an assortment of pens, luggage tags, water bottles, candles, a blanket, and portable speakers, which are all nice.
The one thing I do not usually see is optional training for speakers, especially relatively new speakers. Speaking for the first, second, third, twelfth time is fraught with anxiousness. Speaker training not only reduces nerves, but training can also help them produce a far more engaging presentation for your attendees.
What do speakers need to know? How to:
- Develop a goal for their presentation
- Construct an engaging talk
- Plan useful interactive exercises
- Create effective slides
- Use a microphone, connect their laptop, and work the stage
Preparing your speakers to shine with speaker training or resources is perhaps the very best gift that you can give them, and, oh, don’t forget the chocolate 🙂