Securing Top-Notch Speakers

Where To Begin

  1. Start looking for speakers at least two months before the event.
  2. Create a tentative meeting agenda to determine how many general sessions and speakers will be needed.
  3. Focus on the Honors Study Topic as the foundation of Honors in Action. Review the Honors Program Guide and select aspects of the topic that would interest your audience most.
  4. Review the budget to determine the allotment for speaker fees. An honorarium for a regional event customarily ranges between $200 to $2,000+, depending on the speaker’s credentials, level of public demand and travel expenses.

Identifying Speakers

  1. Ask for recommendations.
  2. Consider local college and university professors. Many professors post a curriculum vita on the college website. You can learn a lot about a professor's interests and expertise by examining his/her CV along with courses taught. Also, the CV and course list may give you ideas about specific topics the professor could address.
  3. Consider local business executives or community leaders.
  4. Consider local or state politicians or government leaders.

Securing Speakers

  1. Contact potential speakers, identify yourself and the group you represent, and explain that your inquiry regards a possible speaking opportunity. Provide as much information as possible, including the date, time and location of the presentation. Suggest a presentation topic, and be open to ideas from the presenter. Tell the speaker the amount of the honorarium.
  2. Once a speaker agrees to the engagement, send the speaker a letter or other document outlining the date, time, location, presentation topic and any other obligations the speaker might have, such as fielding questions or signing books. Also include contact information including a cell phone and email address for a primary (perhaps you) and secondary contact. This document should clarify expectations for all parties.
  3. Send each speaker information about the honor society at large and about your region specifically. Give specific information about his/her topic. If they’re speaking on the Honors Study Topic, be sure to provide them with the Honors Program Guide available for download here.
  4. Approximately two weeks before the event, follow up with each speaker. Determine what audio/visual equipment the speaker will need. Let the speaker know who will meet him/her on-site (this should be the primary or secondary contact person), where to meet, and what time to meet. Also, let your speaker know who will be introducing him/her during the general session. Request a bio if you do not already have one. Your speaker should have no questions about what will happen on the date of the presentation.
  5. After speaker’s presentation, thank the speaker and present him/her with a small gift. This can be an inexpensive memento, such as a Phi Theta Kappa coffee mug or pen set.
  6. Once the presenter has completed his/her obligations, present the speaker with a check in the amount of the agreed-upon honorarium. Express your appreciation once again.