Hiring the Right Conference Speaker

Hiring the Right Conference Speaker


Conference time can be an exciting time for organizations.  Hosting a successful conference requires that the theme is relevant, marketing is well planned, venue is attractive and the conference speaker is phenomenal.  Each of the elements of a conference must be well orchestrated and perfectly executed.  Just as there are no new ways to fail in business, there are no new ways to fail at delivering a conference. Conference organizers must be prepared for whatever challenge they may face.  Anyone who has ever planned a conference knows that challenges are the norm and preparation is the expectation.  One simple way to manage conference challenges that occur the day of the conference is to have a conference speakerwho is well versed in the art of conferences.   A good conference speaker will be able to tailor the message to address any real or perceived service failures conference attendees may notice.  Toni Teague is one expert conference speaker that conference organizers can depend on to manage mayhem from the stage.


Anything can happen just prior to a conference that will leave little time to make changes. There may be spelling errors on the final agenda.  An important person’s name may be left out of the program in error.  An unintended person’s name may have been erroneously included.  Groups from one region may have shown up in large numbers while another region may hardly have sent delegates.  The organization may have encountered a frightening blow such as reduced funding, layoffs, transition of key leadership, etc., just prior to the conference.   A gremlin may have colluded with Murphy to assure that audio and visual technology will not work properly.   Catering may have gotten their wires crossed about the menu or the timing.  A confident, competent conference speaker like Toni Teague knows just what to do and say in the delivery of the keynote presentation to soothe the sores of the savage emotions that can arise with conference attendees, planners and event staff to help the event run smoothly.


A conference speaker like Toni Teague is savvy at meeting the needs conference planners, conferenceattendees and event staff.  A knowledgeable, professional and compassionate speaker can mean all of the difference in the world in helping your conference be the inspiring and educational experience every conference attendee deserves.  Producing a conference can cost an organization anywhere from $20,000 to well over $1,000,000.  Attending a conference can range from $225 – $5,000 per participant.  Why leave any aspect of your conference to chance?  Use your conference speaker as an anchor for your conference team.  When it comes to the last minute follies of conference, chances are that your conference speakerhas been there and seen that.  Unless you’ve hired a high-maintenance Diva as your speaker, which is generally every meeting planner’s nightmare, your conference speaker is ready, willing and able to do their part to help you exceed the expectations of your conference attendees.  After all, if your conference isn’t a phenomenal success overall, a professional conference speaker will take it to heart as their failure as well.  A good conference speaker is in the business of helping you host a successful conference that people are excited to come to again next year.

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Testimonial on Attitude


2013-01-14 14:59:19 by Toni

This is my very first blog.  What better way to get to know someone than to have them share a little piece of their lives? So, here goes:

My oldest son is the topic of today’s testimonial on the power of a good attitude.  He is a second year college student and major contributor to the financing of his education.  Having made headway from his first year, he now has a better understanding of what a sizeable financial investment his college education is.  The experience of bearing the financial burden of his own journey finds him demonstrating that he appreciates the value of a dollar.

Last week I did the typical mom check-in by texting him a “Hey. How are you doing?” “Fine,” he text back. Near the end of our text conversation I asked “How are you doing in the money department?”  He responded “Ok. I have $20 bucks.”  Remembering that he was just starting a new job on campus and had at least ten more days until payday I replied “$20? Are you going to be okay?” “Yep.” He said.  “It’s enough to keep me happy until I get paid.” Twenty dollars in today’s economy will not get you as far as it did twenty years ago.  For a young college student to say that they can be happy with $20 for ten days is an anomaly within itself.  All I could say to myself was “What an amazing attitude.”


You probably have atestimonial like this or you are close to someone who does.  The personaltestimonial of having a good attitude in the midst of some impending challenges is another testimonial to strength of character.  I’ll bet that there was a part of him that wanted to say “I’m almost broke. What am I going to do?” or “Mom, can you bail me out.”  Instead, he was prepared to make do with what he has and be happy with it.  The lesson for me here is remembering to have enough faith in my ability to make do while working on getting to next.


If you haven’t done so lately, give yourself an attitude testimonial.  Celebrate what you have versus being hindered by what you have not.  Remember there is no testimony without a test.  In my son’s case, he passed a test he didn’t even know he was taking.  While I wasn’t personally testing him, life was.  As parents we see our children face potential challenges and want to remove all obstacles out of their way.  The reality is, for them to become who whey are destined to be they must find ways to resolve many of their challenges on their own.  My son’s response to his challenge reinforced to me that his good nature does prevail even amid challenging times.  It also made me want to go the extra mile and do more for him.


A couple of days later I went to see him spend a little time with him.  His low coffers received an unexpected contribution from me before I drove home.  His disposition serves as testimonial to the power of a good attitude.



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Hold On To Hope


Where there is hope, no darkness can linger.  Most people encounter struggle at some point in their life. Even the most seemingly impossible issues that befall a person can be overcome if they believe they havehope.  Hope is the light that shines through the darkness like a beacon of light from a lighthouse amid a dark and stormy night.  The beacon of light in our times of need becomes a beacon of hope.

My fourth grade teacher, Mr. Michael Marshall, who remains my favorite teacher to this very day, had us enter a contest for Catholic Schools week.  We were to create a poster using construction paper with the finished product being an 8 ½ X 11 work depicting the phrase “A Beacon of Hope.”  It’s amazing how the projects you work on end up preparing you for life.  When I was in the fourth grade, in the early 1980’s, there was no Internet, no Google, etc.  We had dictionaries, encyclopedias with very few pictures and a library on the other end of town.  I had no idea what a beacon was.  I had no idea what a lighthouse was. And I had little understanding of what hope was.  Let alone the fact that my teacher was asking me to combine three things into one concept.  I ended up researching and finding a picture of a lighthouse, which only brought more questions because I lived in the heart of the hood and had no access to seeing storms brew on a shore or truly understanding why and how lighthouses work.  Mr. Marshall told me that lighthouses were like headlights on a car.  At night, when you cannot see the road to know if you are on the road or in the correct lane on the road, the headlights are turned on and guide you down the road. He further explained that the headlights by themselves do not get you down the road, but they do light the way.  He went on to explain that a lighthouse, like hope, is more powerful than headlights because they help ships see what is all around them.  I took third place in that city-wide contest, but I earned a first-place lesson.  Mr. Marshall’s projects still positively impact me to this very day.

In my adulthood, this concept of hope has become increasingly more important.  There are many challenges that we face as adults:  Will I still have a job?  Will my skills keep me competitive as the younger, speedier generation enters the workforce?  How will my family recover from events that tear us apart?  When do I get to choose my own happiness and still balance the needs of others?  How will I recover from a major setback?  The list of questions grows as time continues.  Sometimes the answers come to us quickly and plainly.  Other times it seems we are so overwhelmed that we wouldn’t believe we had the answer even if it walked up and introduced itself.  The common factor in people being able to come out of their own proverbial darkness is hope.  Many people who encounter deep depressions find themselves in despair.  Despair is void of hope.  Hope is that beacon, that glimmer that gets you to the next minute, the next hour, the next day.  Hope puts you in micro-situations that get you back on your feet and back in the game.  Hope comes from that force deep within your soul that has the will to survive.  Hope comes from people who are perfectly placed in your life at the right time and the right place to help you get to next, whatever next may be. Hope gives you gumption.  Hope gives you fortitude.  It even gives you chutzpah. Hope helps you embrace your tears and your fears.  Hope helps you make accomplishments little by little, even if you aren’t sure what you’re accomplishing.  If you are struggling with something right now, hold on to hope.  Open your heart and mind.  You don’t have to look for it.  It’s all around you.  Remember to do what you can do and God will do what you cannot do.  Sometimes you need a beacon of hope. Sometimes you are the beacon of hope. Believe!

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