Bringing a speaker to campus for a campus-wide lecture is one of the best ways to impact the student body. Consider the campus environment and what topics would be particularly relevant to the student body. Consider the overall goals of your group on campus, your target audience, and the atmosphere that students are facing.
Be strategic about the speakers you choose to bring to campus. These individuals give a face and a voice to your group, and a powerful speaker can be a positive way to present your message to the campus community, and to potentially impact the lives of students in the long run.
Host a Speaker in 10 Easy Steps
- Identify the campus interest. Choose a speaker who is a good fit for your school.
- Decide on a theme or topic. Part of deciding on a speaker is considering what topic you think is best for the particular situation at your school
- Budget and fundraise. Make sure to budget for your event, which may include an honorarium, facility fees, travel expenses for the speaker, advertising costs, and more. To cover these costs, it may be necessary to fundraise.
- Set a date and time. Select a date and time that will maximize the number of students who are able to attend your event.
- Rent a room. Choose the right room on your campus for your event. Keep in mind the expected audience size–and err on the side of too small so that all seats will be filled.
- Advertise effectively. This is potentially
the most crucial aspect of preparation for your event. Advertise in a positive manner–don’t be on the defensive. Present your event as appealing and intriguing.
- Speaker logistics. You will likely need to make flight and hotel arrangements for a guest speaker. Escort the speaker around to make him or her feel comfortable on campus. Be sure to have water on hand throughout the event.
- Food/ Hors d’Oeuvres. Students love free food! No need for anything fancy–select foods that are easy, light, and that everyone enjoys.
- Select a moderator prior to the event. The moderator introduces the speaker and gives opening remarks and can also moderate a Q&A session following the talk.
- Appoint a photographer, PR person, and Follow-up point person. In addition to having someone take photos at the event, it is important to have someone write an article or op-ed following the event to capitalize on the momentum it created. Be prepared to address any negative backlash that may have occurred.
Interested in learning more? Email Brittany Crippen at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy of the Love and Fidelity Network’s student manual.
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