July 1, 2013
While it’s always nice to be the center of attention as a keynote speaker, I’ve had a few speaking engagements recently that reminded me the benefit of presenting with other speakers. I have found that new insights flow more quickly when you are not the only speaker on the podium. Sharing the speaking slot with colleagues, friends and experts (whether you know them or not) can be more fun and can encourage interaction.
I had this opportunity twice in the past weeks. The first was at a session at ASAE’s Marketing, Membership and Communication Conference (MMCC) on June 4, where I presented with Dean West of Association Laboratory and Julie Koch of the Produce Marketing Association. The three of us had a great time preparing and reviewing the benefits of global membership models. Dean took us through his the highlight of his recent research study, Julie explained the case of her association venturing into China and I provided key points how to provide relevant solutions to unique market needs. Hearing from three perspectives was rewarding for the attendees and I learned a lot from each of my co-presenters.
The second opportunity occurred only 10 days later, this time for ASAE’s Government Relations (GR) Symposium in Washington D.C. The topic was developing a global GR plan. I felt very comfortable having the chance to share a podium with Michelle King, with the International Trademark Association and chair of the GR Section Council, and with Clayton Hough, senior VP of the International Dairy Foods Association. Michelle, Clay and I each highlighted our own groups’ strategies for aligning international interests. Creating a global GR plan is a huge undertaking, so hearing case studies and tips from speakers across a variety of industries gave our audience many examples to consider.
So while “content is king,” the value of an education session increases when you have “a team.” Even if you happen to be the only speaker, preparing the content with others is great, too! As you plan any speeches that you are presenting, consider bringing on co-presenters to enhance your presentation, and if you’re planning educational events for your association, think about booking multiple presenters for a topic so they can work together.