How to Keep Your Guest Speaker (and Yourself) On Track

When you host a multi-speaker webinar, one of your biggest concerns outside of technology playing nice is likely to be whether or not your speakers will stay on track during the event. It’s very easy to get off track and go over time, or even speak too fast due to nerves and leaving too much time at the end of the presentation. You want to try to avoid both of these possibilities by using these tips to stay on track.

  • Prep in Advance – Once you’ve chosen your speakers, send them information about the time limit. Make it clear that they need to be flexible to speak shorter or longer if another speaker before them doesn't stick to their time limit, or a situation arises that changes the schedule.
  • Provide an Agenda – If your guest speakers see the agenda and how much time they have for their presentation, they’ll be a lot more likely to stay on track. When they see how the entire event is coming together, they’ll understand better how they’ll fit in.
  • Be Clear on Expectations – Make sure during your prep that you explain to them what you expect of them, in a kind way that helps them understand how things will go. Let them know what type of sign they can expect as their time draws to a close.
  • Ask Them to Submit Their Presentation in Advance – It also helps if you ask them to submit their slide show in advance. That way you can see that they are prepared and you can each have a copy of the presentation if something should go wrong with technology.
  • Ask Them How They Like to Stay on Time – Another way to accomplish time tracking is to ask the speakers how they like to stay on track. Do they want you to send them a text message when they have five minutes left so they can wrap it up?
  • Ask Them to Set a Timer – If you’re not going to remind them, then it’s important to ask that they set up something for themselves to stay on track with their time. Keeping on track with time is important when you have multiple speakers and guests.
  • Build in Extra Time – If the event is long, you can build in extra time by having an intermission after each speaker. This can be time for people to chat and socialize in the chat box, and even time for event attendees to ask questions.
  • Practice Makes Perfect – If possible, have a practice session with the speakers to help them learn to stay on track. Sometimes what you write down takes a lot longer (or shorter) when you put it into reality.

Taking the extra time to prepare guest speakers and practicing each part of the presentation (including introducing each speaker so you, yourself do not get off track) is a great way to ensure that your webinar is all that you want it to be. Want to host your own summit but feeling overwhelmed or stuck? Click here to grab our Ultimate Virtual Summit Checklist.


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Jeanette Ortega, the founder and CEO of Ultimate Virtual Solutions, helps business owners tame the chaos of running a business in today’s world. Jeanette has more than 20 years of experience providing coaches, authors, speakers, entrepreneurs, and digital marketers with the technical support needed to run a sustainable and successful online business. She has a special passion for helping women succeed in business. Her strategic expertise in the Simplero platform, plus a B.A. in Applied Management and extensive virtual assistant experience, means Jeanette can help lead your business to success. 

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