IET London: Savoy Place has shared a new speaker wellness guide that highlights key considerations for addressing the wellbeing of public speakers, stipulating the differences between virtual, hybrid and in-person events.

Speakers play an integral role in the success of an event. Engaging the audience with an interesting topic and captivating delivery will keep delegates coming back time and time again, and a successful speaker programme can be the make or break of an entire event.

Public speaking can be daunting – even for those who do it regularly.  While we perceive speakers as experts in their chosen topic, recent research conducted by IET Venues highlighted that the vast majority of speakers do not do that role as their main job. While they’re likely to be well-versed in the content of their talk, delivering it to an audience doesn’t necessarily come with training or a wealth of experience. Considerations are increasingly being made at venues for the wellbeing of staff, planners and delegates – but what about the wellness of the speaker?

There is very little material regarding looking after speakers at events, but IET Venues has been pioneering research into what venues can do to maximise the comfort of their speakers in these testing times. To put this into practice, they  have produced a guide to give to speakers, aimed at supporting their wellbeing to make their experience easier.

The research conducted suggests that more than half of speakers find it less nerve-wracking to speak virtually and in the comfort of familiar surroundings. On the flip side, many revealed that although the prospect of a live audience is more overwhelming, it’s easier to engage when able to determine audience reactions.

Matters of speaker wellness are, therefore, completely different depending on whether they are attending physical or virtual events, and even more challenging if the event is hybrid. This new guide aims to eliminate the problems that speakers face, such as technological difficulties, confidence, and preparation time. In doing so, IET Venues are pioneering a new wave of wellbeing measures for speakers at events who have often been overlooked in the past.

Additionally, they have created templates for event planners to provide to speakers, designed to be filled in with key information such as times, access and technology types to reduce speaker stress and ensure that they have been given all the necessary information beforehand. The smallest things like the type of microphone they are going to use, have a huge impact on the way speakers prepare for an event. If it’s hand-held, will they also have a presentation clicker, and therefore not be able to hold any notes? There’s so much to consider.

IET Venues provide a number of resources to streamline procedures for speakers, including green rooms where they can relax, collect themselves, run through their notes, and have something to eat or drink before beginning their presentation on stage.

View the guide and top tips here: