Speak to me: Getting it right everytime

OdeHeidi Gregory from Ode Management, which manages some of the world’s greatest disruptors, innovators and thought leaders explains the importance of getting the right speaker for your next event

Choosing the right speaker for your event can ensure the success of a conference as well as set the tone of an organisations culture, performance and productivity long after the event is over.

It is vital to be armed with the tools to select a speaker who meets your brief, inspires an audience, all while delivering an impactful presentation onstage. As a busy PA or EA, you are no doubt dealing with a sea of competing priorities, so read on to ensure you select the right speaker, with the right message every time!

Do your prep
Finding the best speaker requires research and preparation. To get started it is a great idea to allow yourself plenty of time in the lead up to the event, and to prepare a speaker brief. In that brief, make sure you include the purpose of booking the speaker and outline any specific needs. Write a list of questions. Do you have a thorough understanding of the organisation booking the speaker, the nature of the event, the theme and audience details? What is your budget, and are there any other parameters that will influence your decision?

Once you have completed your research and prepared a clear brief, you have choices. Do the legwork yourself by researching speakers through websites, blogs, social media, referrals and the like, or source an expert to support you in making the right decision.

In seeking out an expert, look for someone with credibility, product knowledge, and a commitment to finding you the perfect speaker match. Make time to talk to the consultant on the phone or in person. A great consultant will be your primary support and someone whose opinion you need to trust.

See them in action
If you are already working with a great consultant, they should provide you with a list of relevant speakers including links to speaker profiles, testimonials and footage of each speaker in action on stage. Ask the consultant to provide you with their personal thoughts as they may offer key insights based on their experience. Share the proposal with your colleagues, ask for feedback and select your top two to three speakers from the list.

Make Contact
Once you have decided who your top speakers are, feel free to request more support. Coordinate a phone call with the speakers, or ask them to prepare a written or short video proposal. Through this process, you will get a feel for the style, tone and energy of the speaker in addition to how they will approach your brief. You will find with the support of your consultant this process will reveal who the right speaker is to wow your audience, create a fantastic event, while ensuring you look like a rock star!

Once you have made your decision about which speaker you would like to book, relax and let your preferred consultant do the work! From contracting, to accounts, logistics to pre-event meetings and promotion, your consultant will provide you with everything you need, to ensure that your experience of booking a speaker is easy and efficient.

Feel free to ask as many questions as you need. Your consultant is there to support you in understanding all aspects of the booking, and assist you with anything you need from the speaker. Make sure you also ask for additional information on workshops, topics, video programmes and books as these tools are designed to provide ongoing learning long after the event and may be valuable resources post event.

About the author: Heidi Gregory from ODE Management, a direct management office for some of the world’s greatest disruptors, innovators and thought leaders.

Ode is a PCO Association business partner

Join us for the 10th Annual PCOA Conference and Exhibition, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, 26 – 28 November 2017


BECA 2The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) has released an update of its 2013/14 study on the value of the business events industry to Australia’s economy.

The key figures, commissioned from global research firm, Ernst & Young, show that in 2015/16, business events:

• contributed $30.2 billion in direct expenditure, compared to $28 billion in 2013/14.
• critically supported Australia’s GDP with a total economic contribution of $24.9 billion, compared to $23.1 billion in the previous period.
• provided 193,203 direct jobs, increasing from 179,357 in the previous period.

Matthew Hingerty, Chairman of BECA, said “The study provides a compelling case of the direct and indirect impact on the Australian economy and demonstrates why governments and industry should continue to invest in the sector.”

While the report reveals the strength of the business events industry in Australia, on an international level, Australia is falling behind. Key assumptions reflect growth in local (2.7%) and national (13.0%) delegates, with a decline (-3.0%) in international delegates.

“The business events sector is, at times, under-appreciated for the financial and non-financial benefits it delivers to the economy, including its role in enabling global and domestic trade. It can be argued that business events are the mechanisms whereby new trade can be generated as market participants travel to meet each other, study the opportunities, confer, and exhibit their goods and services – further enhancing the Australian Government’s free trade agreements.

“The study reconfirms the business events sector’s dimension, influence and potential. However, the industry and governments must work together to leverage this great opportunity before us,” said Mr Hingerty.

BECA is currently undertaking a process to determine the future research needs of the industry.

For further comment:
Matthew Hingerty
M: 0407 220 945,
E: mhingerty@bartondeakin.com

The 10th Annual PCOA Conference and Exhibition, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, 26 – 28 November 2017

Becoming Pressure Proof

Michael LicenblatThe world is moving faster than you can run, people want more from than you can give, and there is more information to get your head around than time available. The temptation to try and keep up with speed results in overload and burnout.  The solution lies in breaking the ‘always busy’ addiction.

Digital productivity expert, Simon Waller recently wrote “If you ask executives for the number one factor limiting their productivity, the answer is invariably email”.  Simon revealed that in 2012, McKinsey estimated this one activity took up more than 13 hours per week (and is only getting worse)!

MIT neuroscientist Earl Miller tells us that our brains are not designed for multi-tasking.  in fact, constant task switching creates a neural addiction to the feel good chemicals, such a dopamine, which are released every time you complete a small task (like sending a text, or writing an email).

Miller found that “Multitasking has been found to increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol as well as the fight-or-flight hormone adrenaline, which can overstimulate your brain and cause mental fog or scrambled thinking”

To add to that, research has found that “multitasking causes the brain to burn through fuel so quickly that we feel exhausted and disoriented after even a short time.”

Multi-tasking hasn’t been shown to be more productive – quite the opposite.  A study at the University of London showed that multi-tasking lowered your IQ, so much so that it was similar to losing a night’s sleep or smoking marijuana! So what’s the solution?

Notice the pattern – It’s like the frog in the pot of water on the stove.  The frog doesn’t recognise the water is heating up because it’s in it and adjusting to the temperature change.  By the time it notices the water is too hot, it’s too late – the frog has become soup.

You are surrounded by a multi-tasking culture of being in a meeting whilst responding to texts, and reviewing a schedule.  You have adapted your work style to fit in with your client’s needs and everyone around you.  Don’t just follow the crowd.  Be deliberate in how you work.  Ensure that technology is serving you, rather than becoming a servant to technology.

Get off the drug – Distraction feels good.  It is an addictive feeling that comes from chasing micro successes throughout your day.  Thus, making it less appealing to focus in on one task that requires longer attention with minimal, or no, short term reward. You need to wean yourself off the addiction of distraction.  Stop relying on the micro ‘feel good’ bursts that come from doing quick activities that are grabbing your immediate attention.  Get the important stuff done first, not just the easiest or most pleasurable ones.

Do deep work – Cal Newport, author of ‘Deep Work: Rules for focused success in a distracted world’ tells us that high quality work is a function of two factors, being “the amount of time you spend on work and the intensity of your focus during this time”.  By increasing your undistracted focus, you can get more done. Discipline yourself to focus in by removing distractions that steal your attention away.  Close the door, hold your calls and treat your time as the most important commodity in the world.

Is it time to finally say good-bye to open office spaces, open door policies, and shared work-spaces?  Maybe.  A high performance team needs to step outside the consensus, and not be seduced by doing the same as what everyone else is doing.  You need to think like leaders and establish a way to work that is sustainable, and brings the best out of everyone, when working to deadlines.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Michael Licenblat – was a Speaker at the PCOA 2016 conference in Brisbane

Michael Licenblat is a resilience expert who teaches leaders how to perform better in high-pressure environments and build resilient teams. Michael is a professional speaker and trainer, and the author of the book ‘Pressure Proof – how to thrive in times of disruption, change and pressure’. You are welcome to download a complimentary copy of his latest white paper ‘Building Pressure Proof Teams’ from www.BounceBackFast.com

Join us for the 10th Annual PCOA Conference and Exhibition, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, 26 – 28 November 2017