An Event Organizer’s Ethics Guide for Working with Keynote Speakers

Having to deal with unethical event organizers is the last thing speakers want to experience in their career. Don’t be one. Follow this ethics guide for event organizers.

1.Don’t require the speaker to modify his graphics or change his style of speaking to fit your event.

Keynote speakers have their own brands. It’s their way of sticking out their identity. Many of them apply their brands on their graphics via color schemes, watermarks, and logos. Asking them to change them is disrespecting their brands.

Keynote speakersMore so, never ever try to ask them to change their styles of speaking. That’s like asking a singer to perform another singer’s song. You shouldn’t have booked them if you think that their styles don’t fit your event in the first place.

2.Don’t require an advanced copy of the speech and presentation.

Most keynote speakers don’t like to give advanced copies of their speeches because it lessens the audience’s excitement that they think makes them less effective. Speakers can move freely during their speeches if the members of the audience don’t know what’s going to be in it. Besides, some people in the audience may no longer listen intently and just read the copy.

3.Don’t ask the speaker to promote you, the event, or the organization bluntly.

You booked a keynote speaker and not an endorser. Don’t make him a talking billboard. As a part of courtesy in speaking engagements, the speaker will show his gratitude and thank the people behind the event. However, promoting them as business is a different matter as it may risk the speaker’s reputation if the event or organizer becomes associated with a bad news.

4.Don’t try to require the speaker to shill in his speech.

Some unethical event organizers try to ask keynote speakers to add some fabricated snippets in their speeches and promotional graphics in their visual presentations. Again, speakers are not talking billboards, and they are booked to speak and not to endorse. They will give endorsements if they feel right about it.

5.Don’t give the speaker multiple continuous sessions.

Keynote speakers in seminars or workshops normally handle different sessions separated by breaks. However, some event organizers try to squeeze as much sessions as they can in a day to save on the venue and accommodate more attendees. Just a reminder: speakers are not recording, and they are not paid to sound like one.

6.Don’t forget to give the speaker time for networking.

As part of courtesy in any paid events, speakers, other invited guests, and attendees are given networking time, which is why a whole day of seminar normally has three to six networking/coffee/snack breaks. You can’t take that opportunity away just so you can squeeze in a lot of parts in the program.

7.Don’t change important details in the event without informing the speaker.

When booking a speaker, his team or assistant will be taking all the details of the event so that he can prepare appropriately. They include the theme, expected guests, invited VIPs, date, time, venue, and room arrangement. Leaving them off guard may be potentially damaging to the reputation of the speaker.

8.Don’t promise that certain people will be part of the audience if there’s no guarantee that they will attend.

Many keynote speakers take a speaking engagement simply because of some attendees who they also want to meet. Promising the attendance of unconfirmed guests or attendees is a form of deception.

9.Don’t invite other speakers without informing the first invitee.

It’s not that many speakers don’t want to be on the same stage with other speakers. It’s just that they have to be prepared for everything, including the length of speech needed. They also need to know who the other speakers are just so they can make proper introductions or acknowledgements.

10.Don’t try to give the speaker an already-written speech.

This is unethical, offensive, and rude. In this case, the event needs an actor for a speaker – someone who can work with a script.

Author Bio:
Some keynote speakers like Garrison is known for his appeal to a wide variety of audiences by delivering serious, result-driven information with professionally honed humor.