Spotlight On Speaking: Hit And Run Speakers

One of my biggest pet peeves in the speaking industry is that of the hit and run speaker. It’s the guy or gal or who literally swoops in just a couple of minutes before their scheduled time and is out the door just as soon as he or she has finished speaking.

Now, I get it that sometimes there are scheduling issues that make this a necessary scenario. But if this is a regular occurrence for a speaker it is so unfair to an event promoter. They’re wondering “Is he going to show? Is he not going to show? What am I going to do if he doesn’t show?” You’re creating undue stress on that promoter who then probably won’t be inclined to have you back on their stage again. And who would blame them?

It can also create issues for an audio crew because they’re hurrying to get you mic’d up at the very last minute.

You also have these other possible negatives:

  • No opportunity to really get any kind of feel for the
  • No opportunity to meet other speakers who are promoters themselves and have their own events.
  • You’ve not heard any of the other speakers so you can’t build upon anything they may have taught or avoid an outright duplication of some of their content.
  • If you’re using a PowerPoint or other presentation, there’s no time to do a check to make sure everything plays


Spotlight On Speaking: Hit And Run SpeakersIf you take off immediately after your speaking slot it doesn’t give you a chance to further build upon any rapport you may have started to build with the audience during your time on stage. It will most likely, if you’re selling from the platform, cost you sales because you’re not there to answer questions that the attendees may have.

And it’s not just live, in person events where this can be an issue. If you’re participating in any type of virtual summit or live webcast you should be logged in and ready to go a minimum of 10 minutes before your scheduled starting time. I’ve hosted so many trainings and other events where I’ve been wondering up to the last minute whether a person is going to show or not.

Putting on any kind of event is stressful enough for an event promoter. Don’t be the one who adds to the stress by showing up at the very last minute. And don’t hit the door so quickly after your session that you’re not available to mingle with the attendees. You have a responsibility to the event promoter to help make those attending an event feel that their experience was a very positive one.

Now, should the situation arise where you absolutely must “hit and run” an event, proper communication with both the event promoter and audience is critical. A clear explanation of what is going on along with a sincere apology can go a long way. If you must leave the venue immediately apologize to the audience and make sure they know you’re available for questions via email or by scheduling a consultation time with you.

Best case scenario–avoid becoming a hit and run speaker altogether.

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Bret Ridgway

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