I'm a member of a professional association within my field, and was approached by another member if I had any ideas for speakers.

I want to be of assistance but have no idea how one would actually go about finding a speaker who has a topic expertise. Then approach him or her to ask if they would agree to speak at a scheduled event.

Any help would be great even if it you may think that it is painfully obvious (I would consider it to be insight)? :?


wendii's picture
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First, pick a topic or two. Do you know what topics have been covered recently? What topics might the membership be interested in (you could take a straw poll), what topics would you be interested in?

Second, find people who know about that and might speak. You could google for someone in your town, ask everyone you know to ask everyone they know, post on a town bulletin board etc

Third, invite them.

Does that help?


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

What Wendii said.

And, step 2.5: think about whether they would be a good speaker. Are they energetic? Have you seen them present? Are they outgoing interpersonally and enthusiastic about their topic? Can they be brief yet clear?

Expertise has two faces here: content and process.


mwojtow's picture


Thank you for your action plan.

I have begun the process.

I appreciate you taking the time to answer my post


mwojtow's picture


Thank you for your additional insight

I agree 100% that vetting the presentation skills is as important as the speakers mastery of the content.

I appreciate you taking the time to answer this.


tvalleav10's picture


You might also consider contacting some of your trusted members for topic ideas. What would they like to hear covered? What do they see as important issues in your industry?

With luck, they might even be able to give you some leads on very good speakers.

Good luck!


mwojtow's picture


Thank you for your suggestion.

I have had preliminary discussions with an individual at the association to discuss coming up with and agreeing on topics to pursue.

Also, already have a lead for a speaker on a topic.

kklogic's picture

I've been a chairperson for a professional association conference for two years. If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to help either here or via PM.

I hope you've gotten a good group of folks that you "gel" well with. It makes all the difference in the world as to how the experience is for you. Have fun!