Speakers

Finding speakers, presenters or facilitators for your event depends on what kind of format or topic you have planned. You can review examples and suggestions about event topics on this wiki in the section titled Formats & Topics.

Programming is Local

We believe that you, as the local organizer, have the best sense of what your community wants to talk and learn about. So, we try to empower all of our organizers to stay open to suggestions from their members and design events that are interesting and valuable to the community. We couldn’t expect the same topic and format for an event in Montreal to go over exactly the same way in Tokyo, nor an event from Nairobi to translate in interest or format to Manchester.

We are happy to help in any way we can to connect smart, interested speakers with groups near them or near where they may be traveling. People or organizations interested in sharing information with groups may contact the NetSquared team for more information. We also promote the opportunity to speak at events via Twitter and other online spaces.

If you have a topic you’ve already chosen and are looking for appropriate speakers, we can help get the word out by:

  • Announce your group’s request on the NetSquared blog
  • Call for speakers via other social media outlets including Twitter, Facebook group, Facebook page, LinkedIn
  • Connect you via the NetSquared and TechSoup Global network to any appropriate contacts

Resources

Checklist for speakers

It is helpful to send a reminder email to your speaker(s) before the event confirming all the details. You know this! You do this!
But there’s so many details to remember. NetSquared Vancouver came up with this handy email template that will help you with the details.

Speaker Directories

There are public lists of speakers that you can help with your recruitment.

Another source for speakers is to look at other technology or nonprofit meetups in your area and approach their talent.

Email Template for Speaker Recruitment

Here’s an example message you can modify and send to your group:

Subject: Call for speakersMessage: Hi everyone-
As you know, each month our events have a speaker, discussion or presentation. We know that this group is full of people with interesting projects, ideas, work and conversation. So, we’re hoping that some of you will step up to share at an upcoming event!
What it means:You won’t have to commit to much, we promise. You’ll need to provide the topic and a paragraph description of what you’ll be presenting about so that we can share it on the event calendar. We’ll also want to include a short bio so folks know who you are. Then, it’s just a matter of showing up to the event and sharing your story, leading a discussion, or showcasing your work.
How to particpate:Simply reply to this message or email me directly at (EMAIL ADDRESS) with your ideas or questions, and we can get you on the calendar!
Looking forward to hearing from you and to filling up the events calendar with your valuable contributions,
Email Response to Speaker (After Event)

Dear <<NAME>>,

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your expertise on <<TOPIC>>! It was a joy to see the attendees learning and sharing with you and I hope you made some good connections.

I’d like to give you the opportunity to write a wrap-up post including your slides for our Meetup Page and the NetSquared.org blog. Would you be interested in sharing few words of wisdom and include your slides? If so, simply email me the text and I’ll be sure to get it posted.

And, if you have any feedback for me about how the event went or what can be improved- please let me know. I’m always working hard to make the events the best they can be.

Looking forward to keeping the conversation going about <<TOPIC>>> in the <<CITY>>NetSquared Community!
Thanks again and best wishes,<<NAME>>

Case Studies

Leveraging your Meetup Group

  • London, UK (Amy Sample Ward)- Two or three times each year, we put out a call on the Meetup group list asking if anyone would like to present on something they have worked on, know about, or are interested in; or if there is a topic that they would really like to see featured. These calls for presenters often result in a few months’ worth of scheduled programming.
  • London, UK (Amy Sample Ward)- We have recently started using the Ideas functionality on meetup to suggest possible event topics and vote on the ones we like – we have found that not many group members will suggest a topic, but if the organizer team posts a bunch that community members will come vote on them.
  • Chicago, IL (Gordon Dymowski) – Thankfully, several of our co-organizers are often engaging others at networking events around town. For at least two of us, these events include related topics (social ventures/entrepreneurship, non-profits, etc, and are great opportunities to find out who’s doing what on the local scene. Another powerful tool – Linked In, which has the other advantage of being able to find mutual connections as well.
  • Vancouver, BC (Elijah van der Giessen) – Coming up with topics can sometimes be hard. So Net Tuesday Vancouver has a loose “advisory council” made up of highly engaged meetup members, past speakers and friends of the movement. We usually get together by phone once a quarter and brainstorm events and speakers. We have found this to be much more productive than a general email to the list, which usually generates either no responses or marketing pitches.