I just read a great article by John Stackhouse on things to keep in mind when inviting a guest speaker to your event. You can read it here. I think it’s one of the most detailed posts on the subject. You can tell he does a lot of traveling and speaking.
Roger Hernandez also some has really great tips in these two posts:
I don’t do a ton of speaking, so I don’t have a form I use that I send people before hand, but there are a few things that are important to me:
1. I need my travel to be covered.
This would be mileage of car, plane ticket, hotel cost, etc. I don’t ask for much. Just don’t make me go in debt in order to speak at your event.
2. I always confirm if I’ll be able to use a face or lapel mic.
I don’t do handheld mics. I talk with my hands. I can’t. I can’t walk around and hold a Bible in one hand and turn to specific verses if I have a microphone in my other hand.
3. I need to have a bottle of water by me on the front row.
I’ll write a future blog post about this one day, but it’s super important for the instrument of the speaker, his throat, to be very well hydrated.
4. An honorarium is appreciated, but not required.
I don’t give people a set amount. I never even reference an honorarium. But, when you give one, it shows the speaker that you value their time and the sacrifice they’re making in being there.
Remember, speakers are often leaving their families. They need to spend hours preparing. It’s a sacrifice.
What are the main things to keep in mind when inviting a speaker? First, read the posts I referenced, but I know the following are the first questions on my mind. It’s easier if I don’t need to go through a back and forth with emails to get some answers.
1. Is there a specific theme in mind?
2. How many presentations will there be?
3. How long should the presentation be?
4. Let the speaker know you’ll be covering their travel and what that looks like.
Don’t make them ask. If it’s within driving distance, let them know you’ll be covering their mileage. That sort of thing.
Those are the main things. Just a quick little post, mostly to catalog these resources in one place for myself.
So what about you? What would you add to the list? If you’re a speaker or pastor, do you have a form you send out to people ahead of time? Let me know in the comments here.
[image by Oscar Keys]