The best money an Event Producer can spend.
Warning. A bit of self interest may be displayed later in this post. **

Event Producers are a rare breed. Combining the forward planning which would defeat most military campaigners, the diplomacy which would turn be beyond the most trusted of advisors and mission critical seat of the pants decision making of which astronauts can only dream.

All this whilst being rarely recognised.

Along the way. It’s difficult to keep a clear sight of the objectives an event might have. The “Why are we even here” which is the solid steel of strategy running through even the simplest event. Often dictated from on high this simple statement of purpose gives clarity to every decision.

The number of variables in any event can seem bewildering to a newbie, but experience tells the Event Producer where to place her attention at every moment. Knowing what matters now and that what matters in a few minutes may be different.

Event Producers are also expert at estimating the time required for each activity when many of those activities may be new, or new to this team. Event Producers are experts at spotting pinch points. Those moments when critical paths collide and resources are stretched most.
The most critical of those pinch points occurs the night before the opening of a major event. When rehearsals are complete, and the crew must make those last minute preparations as a result of lessons learned. One test of a Producer’s skill is the amount of sleep the crew are able to have on the night before the event opens. Every Producer knows that one key element to the success of any event is the alert crew able to make the event run as smoothly as possible.  

The biggest danger area for any Producer is the night before, when those speakers who deign to rehearse discover they want to change half the slides, and the poor PowerPoint guy then realises he is going to get about two hours sleep, and everyone else tells him he shouldn’t work in Conference Graphics if he expects to get to bed.

 These people do seem to be able to produce the goods on remarkably little rest, but they are the most critical person to the success of the event, and they are the one with the least sleep.

Imagine your speakers have been properly coached beforehand. ( ** told you)

When speakers have been coached, they put the time into creating a robust, organised presentation. One which always hits home, and one which is worked out before they enter the conference room. Coached speakers always have fewer slides, and those slides are – well – nicer.

With their own clarity of purpose, and decent amounts of rehearsal beforehand, these coached speakers will turn up with fewer slides, no changes, and a nicely timed speech which runs in rehearsal to almost the same time it runs on the day.

And the crew get to bed a decent time, so they might actually be able to do their job to the best of their considerable ability.

You can see how this would make a big difference. If only all speakers were prepared this way.



Richard Tierney is a Presentation Coach and
Author of The Introverted Presenter

 helping introverts excel at, and enjoy, presenting. 

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