Hiring a professional speaker for a customer service seminar or other event can be an effective way to raise an issue, educate an audience or drive home a business message. Use these top ten ideas to get the most value from your investment in a speaker for a customer service seminar.
1. Use pre-event publicity to build interest in your customer service seminar speaker.
Use posters to announce the speaker and the topic.
Send a memo describing the speaker’s credentials.
Encourage your staff to visit the speaker’s website.
2. Fully inform your speaker about your business.
Provide information for the speaker to study well in advance: annual reports, newsletters, press releases, etc.
Answer the speaker’s questionnaire as completely as possible. Don’t hold back useful insights or information. Full disclosure can make your customer service seminar more effective.
3. Put your speaker in touch with people in the business.
Give your speaker access with management and staff prior to the event. Telephone conversations are a good start. Face-to-face meetings are even better to prepare for a customer service seminar.
4. Put your speaker in touch with your customers.
Encourage contact between your speaker and your customers. Let customers know in advance that a speaker will be calling to gather their ideas and suggestions for the customer service seminar.
5. Be candid with your speaker about your culture and your competition.
Let your speaker know what’s really going on in your industry. Be sure he or she understands your competitive advantage and the actions being taken by others.
6. Review and use a speaker’s introduction.
Your speaker should provide you with a “speaker’s introduction” in advance of the actual customer service seminar. Customize this to link with your event theme or business issues.
The person introducing the speaker should be prepared and enthusiastic. The introduction starts the speech!
7. Reinforce the message with take-home handouts.
Help people remember and apply key points from the customer service seminar with an attractive take-home handout. Handouts can be as extensive as a customized notebook, or as simple as a laminated wallet-size card.
8. Arrange for audio and video taping of your speaker.
If your speaker is properly prepared and effective in delivering an important message, the cost of professional audio and video taping can be a very wise investment.
9. Improve room setup with your speaker’s input.
Be sure your speaker has access to the venue prior to his or her presentation. Professional speakers have vast experience with room layouts, acoustics, lighting, etc. Small improvements can make a very big difference.
10. Allow time for questions and answers, but ensure you get good questions!
When the schedule allows, a Q&A session lets your audience go deeper into the topic with the speaker.
Get good questions by letting your audience know in advance that a Q&A session will follow the normal presentation. Allow a few minutes for discussion among audience members before taking the first question. Make sure one or two participants are ready in advance with excellent questions to help “get the ball rolling.”
Provide microphones for your audience to ask questions. Otherwise, ask your speaker to repeat each question clearly before providing an answer.
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