Day of the event
On the day of your TEDx event, your speakers will be feeling the pressure – there’s a lot riding on their talk, so you’ll want to make sure they feel completely supported and celebrated for their hard work.
Stay in communication
It’s important to keep your speakers updated on the internal schedule of the day – it might even be worth creating a schedule for them. This way they’ll know where to be and when.
It’s also important that you also have immediate access to your speakers at all times in case something unexpected happens. Make sure you have speakers' cell phone numbers, and ask that they tell you where they will be throughout the day.
Provide comfort (and fun)
You want to make sure your speakers are well taken care of before, during, and after your event. Here are a few things to consider:
Room and board
You cannot pay speakers, but if your budget allows it, you can cover travel costs, lodging, and meals. If you can, try to book all of your speakers rooms at the same hotel, and provide them with an easy mode of transportation to and from your event venue.
Planning activities around the event is great way to engage and honor your speakers. Many TEDx event teams will host a special dinner for speakers the night before the event, allowing speakers to shake off some of their pre-event jitters, and connect with one another. Other organizers may plan a tour of the city – especially if speakers are coming from outside of the region.
Having a “green room” or private space for your speakers is not required, but is a great way to prep your speakers before their talk. Either way, you’ll want to cover a few essentials with your speakers before they get on stage:
- Conduct a simple check-in with your speakers before their talk. Ask them how they are and if there’s anything they need, so you can make sure they’re prepared for the stage.
- Be sure that speakers are properly fed and hydrated. One way to do this is to have a platter of snacks and bottles of water available in the green room.
- If you have access to a volunteer makeup artist or hair stylist, let them primp speakers for the stage.
- Set aside space and time to mic your speakers. Depending on the kind of microphone you use, this may be in the green room or on the stage. Either way, make sure it’s done in advance to factor in any technical issues.
Praise and thanks
One of the most important ways to honor your speakers is with a simple thanks. A few suggestions for additional praise:
Thank them on the stage
Have your host thank all of the speakers when closing your event.
Give them a small gift
Gifts for your speakers are not required, but are a nice way to show speakers how much you appreciate their willingness to share their ideas with your community. Bonus points if it reflects the local flavor of your community.
Send a thank you letter
Don't underestimate the power of a simple "thank you" - send a simple thank you letter after your speaker takes the stage to thank them for all of their hard work.
Next: Event program