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Category: “Tales from the Road”

How Bill McLaren helped me learn 120 names!

1 September, 2015

Over the years I have developed quite a reputation on the speaking “circuit” as someone who has a “good memory” for names…  I always deny this!  I prefer to say I have a “good imagination” – and that I use a “system” – allied to hard work to make it look easy! The truth is…

Hosting a Conference: Pt 4 – Introductions

15 August, 2015

A CV is not an intro! Introducing speakers properly is an art that involves far more than just reading out a list of their achievements and qualifications. It is also a role often underestimated by event planners. A speaker’s introduction should heighten an audience’s anticipation and set the scene for what is to follow. Experienced…

Hosting a conference: Pt. 2 – the Toolkit!

31 July, 2015

In my previous post I looked at some of the considerations that go into my pre-event planning for hosting a conference. Before looking at the event itself there is another consideration – the equipment necessary to make the job easier! So here is a list of the essential equipment I always have with me: a)…

Hosting a conference: Pt. 1 – Pre-event Prep

29 July, 2015

As discussed in a previous post a conference host is often thought of as someone employed simply to “run the show” – introduce speakers and keep the event to time. This is a very short sighted view as a host with a truly professional outlook can offer so much more by becoming totally immersed in…

What makes a good conference host?

30 June, 2015

In my previous post I discussed the different types of event that require a “host” – and the terminology that the role involves. Here are some considerations as to what makes a good conference host! 1) Presence: A simple word – with many manifestations! Yet we all know when we meet someone who has “presence”!…

On being a conference host

30 June, 2015

As well as my work as an after-dinner speaker and keynote speaker, I have increasingly been asked to transfer my audience management skills to hosting conferences and other events. This is a job which goes far beyond “announcing names” – if you are going to do it properly! In the next few posts I will…

Tales from the Road: Awkward Audiences?

31 March, 2015

Note the question mark! Inevitably – no matter how many times you go down well as a speaker – there are times when you feel “it could have gone better”! Happily such occasions are rare …  and complete disasters even rarer! The phrase “tough crowd” is sometimes used by a speaker or comedian to lay…

Tales from the Road: Awkward Venues! Pt. 3

31 March, 2015

In this final part of my series of blogs on speaking in “awkward venues” I will be looking at some of the more unusual challenges I have had to deal with as a speaker – despite the events being held in what are otherwise beautiful, historic  locations! 1) The SS Great Britain: It may seem…

Tales from the Road: Awkward Venues! Pt. 2

27 March, 2015

Continuing from my previous post – here are some more challenges presented by venues that may be spectacular, iconic and memorable – but not necessarily “speaker friendly”! These are considerations that affect the “energy” in a room: 1 High Ceilings: Accepted wisdom among speakers and comedians is that it’s harder to get laughs in a…

Tales from the Road: Awkward Venues! Pt 1

24 March, 2015

Tales from the Road: being a glimpse into the life of a professional speaker – and the things that concern us! If you ever have to make a speech – some of the following may provide helpful advice! In my previous post I talked about the difficulty in “following” celebrated speakers …  in my case…