We are often asked about what a professional speaker should think about when starting out in terms of ‘behind the scenes’ matters. Two important areas that are often forgotten are that of insurance and a good set of template documentation – quite different subject matters!
This blog is to help you get an idea of what you should be thinking about, and for those who are more experienced, perhaps a reminder to check in and make sure your house is in order.
Let’s start with the most important and the most detailed. As a professional speaker you are sharing your knowledge and it can be readily assumed that delegates will act on parts of information you have told them. If the knowledge you provide is wrong, misleading or deceptive, you may find yourself the subject of a claim.
You may also be organising your own event, hiring out a venue and engaging with subcontractors. If someone suffers an injury, again, you may find yourself the subject of a claim.
Thankfully there is public liability insurance for the latter, and professional speakers insurance for the former (which falls within the professional indemnity insurance category). If you don’t have professional speakers insurance, now is time for you to do your research. Have a bit of a read about what the insurance would cover and look at engaging a broker to help you find the right policy (unless deductions, exclusions and policy terms are second nature to you).
Some insurers offer policies that cover both professional indemnity and public liability for professional speakers. Here is a link to one insurer we found through a Google search and this one is available for those who are members of Professional Speakers Australia (NB: sharing as FYI – not saying these are the policies you should buy!).
Life will be so much easier in the long-term if you have your basic documentation sorted. What does this include? Here are a few ideas:
- Run Sheet: for when you are hosting or organising an event.
- MC briefing script: great to have a template to be able to simply drop the information you receive from the event organisers.
- Paper script: a template set out how you prefer, with line numbers, the font and size you prefer and page numbers.
- Workshop papers: a template with your key themes and points you will be addressing with time reminders to help you stay on track!
- Expenses and income spreadsheet: some of you may prefer to go straight to a program (particularly if you already have an established business), while others may want to start with something a lot simpler and more cost effective. Either way – make sure you keep track of your expenses and income and regularly update the document.
- Blackbook: the book of contacts – the near priceless document which will list the people you may need to contact, and sometimes in a pinch. Florists, to ballon companies to private drivers and PR specialists. Make sure you have one!
The precedent script is available for all of our listed speakers and other templates are available on request.
The next step is the planning – who do you want to be as a speaker and what type of work to you want to be booked for.
Our Deluxe speaker package includes the Plan on a Page and marketing plan. If you are on the Basic or Standard Packages, or perhaps you are not listed but want some guidance, please check out our Add On: Planning Session.