Three Do’s and Don’ts for Finding a Last Minute Speaker

Every meeting planner has faced the nightmare of replacing a speaker at the last minute. Although I’m a speaker, I served as a conference manager for 6 international conferences and ran into this issue several times.

Replacing people for breakout sessions was seldom an issue. There were almost always good alternates at the conference who were ready to step in. They usually did a fine job and the attendees were happy.

But what about the superstars of the conference world – those keynoters? I’ve learned there are some simple rules to help us there and avoid disaster.

1.    Do breathe! Take a little time to find a quiet place to sit quietly for a few moments and allow your mind to relax.

Don’t panic! Beware of driving yourself into an emotional state where you cannot make a great decision.

2.    Do think! What was the goal of the conference? What result was the keynote was supposed to deliver? What experience are the attendees expecting?

Don’t forget! Ignore your audience or the conference goal and be prepared to take the blame. You spent a lot of time on this for the original speaker so do so now.

3.    Do Prepare and Prune! Have a backup plan of possible speakers ready. Who on the list comes closest to matching the original expectation?

Don’t Check for a Pulse! Fail to plan, plan to fail. Don’t just grab the first available body. Don’t ignore the audience and their needs.

Your audience understands that stuff happens. The will cut the substitute speaker (and you) some slack. What they won’t forgive or forget is a big mismatch with their expectations. These three simple Do’s and Don’ts saved me several times and they can save you too…if you apply them.

If you want to take the guesswork out of your backup plan when you come to Florida for your event, add to your list.

We are a group of professional speakers located in Miami who can be anywhere in the state within a few hours.

You have to do more than just fill the vacant time slot.  Why not enjoy the engaging ideas and takeaways Last Minute Speakers can bring to your audience? Assure success for your conference (and yourself) when you select one of the proven presenters at



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