AV insights for effective speaker performance

A great guest speaker performance is crucial to the success of any conference. Event planners go to great lengths to ensure that the speaker is comfortable. This mindfulness of the speaker’s comfort should include their audiovisual support.

Video comfort monitor

A video comfort monitor is a video monitor that can easily be viewed by the speaker from the stage or podium. Usually the monitor is at the foot of the stage mounted in a wedge formation. This enables the speaker to see the slide that is on the main screen while maintaining eye contact with the audience. The speaker does not have to turn their back to the audience to confirm they are on the proper slide. They can focus more on their presentation delivery.

Speaker Timer

Speaker timers are meant to let the presenter know how much time they have to talk. They can have an LED clock that count downs the speaker’s time. Many speaker timers operate like a small traffic light with programmable green, yellow and red lights. The green light means go. Depending on how the speaker timer is programmed, the lights change from green to yellow when there are 2 – 5 minutes of time left. This indicates to the presenter that they should be concluding their presentation quickly. The red light indicates that the presentation should end.

The speakers need to clearly understand the timing of the lights and how they will be enforced.  At some events the speaker timer is simply an aid to help them and other times the room moderator will take to the stage 30 seconds after the red light has come on and give the speaker the embarrassing “hook”.  The light can also be a distraction to the audience so it is best to set it up where the speaker can see it but not the audience.

Podium power and reading light

A podium helps keep a speaker organized. Many times a speaker will require power to operate a laptop. Nothing is more embarrassing than the podium power not working and the laptop battery drains and shuts off in the middle of a presentation. If the room lights will be dimmed during a presentation, a reading light will be appreciated by the speaker.

Wireless presenter and cuing systems

A wireless remote for controlling the presentation enables the speaker to move around the stage to enhance interactive communication with the audience. The wireless presenter is operated by the speaker. A cuing system is like a wireless remote but instead of controlling the slides it sends a signal to the operating technician to advance the slide, back the slide up or insert a blank screen. A cuing system relieves the speaker of the stress of ensuring that the slides have changed.

Speaker ready room

A quiet area where speakers can go over their presentation notes and make any last minute changes before taking the stage is appreciated by many presenters. Their hotel room may be too far away from the convention space so a quiet place with a small AV set-up can offer a respite for a quick rehearsal of the presentation and calm them before they take to the stage.

It is always a good idea to talk to your speakers in advance about their style of presentation and what they would prefer by way of audiovisual equipment. Ordering the AV systems that they are used to and are comfortable with will enhance their confidence in order to deliver their best presentation to your delegates.

Venue & Supplier Profiles