Recently, Velvet Chainsaw partnered with Tagoras, Inc., a leading continuing education company, to survey conference professionals about their use of speakers.
One question asked respondents to share their biggest pet peeves regarding professional speakers.
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Here are their top 15 most disliked pet peeves about professional speakers.
1. Arrogant, prima dona or diva-like behavior.
Unconventional requests from professional speakers or their agents. Demands to fly 1st class and companion requirements. Lack of humility
2. Self-promotional behavior.
Some respondents used the words self promotional buffoon! Openly selling products and services to attendees.
3. Using a canned speech.
Not customizing for the audience and their needs. Lack of deep understanding of their audience.
4. Poor visuals.
No visuals. Reading from their slides.
5. High maintenance or needy.
Requiring a lot of attention, time and hand-holding. Continual questioning and pressure for specific requests.
6. Employing inept handlers and assistants.
Inability to get questions answered from assistants. Not completing necessary paperwork or online documents for the conference. Not returning calls.
7. The speaker not letting organizers know that they have arrived onsite.
This one give most meeting professionals a lot of stress.
8. Waiting until the last minute to show up for the presentation.
This is another stress-maker for many meeting professionals.
9. Unwillingness to allow the presentation to be recorded or shared.
This one is becoming more of a deal breaker today.
10. Over-promising and under-delivering on commitments.
It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver!
11. Last minute requests for audio visual, travel or other needs.
Most conference organizers have a process including forms to request AV, travel or other needs. Don’t want until the last minute to make those requests.
12. Lack of responsiveness to the conference organizer.
Conference organizers usually ask professional speakers the best way to communicate with them: email, text or phone. If they contact you, at least let them know that you received it!
13. Lack of flexibility with contract clauses, riders and terms.
Some contracts read like the demands of kings and queens with outrageous riders!
14. Leaving immediately after the presentation.
Meeting professionals prefer is the speaker will stay around for a while to answer questions and even lead a post-presentation continue the conversation.
15. An attitude that the speaker is the customer, not the organization and its audience.
What are some of your pet peeves in dealing with professional speakers? What can professional speakers do to add more value to your meeting?