Here are some tips on how to:

  • Build your club’s speaker database

  • Select and invite speakers

  • Prepare your speakers for the event

  • Take care of your speakers

  • Getting the Dean involved

Build your speaker database

Find your club database for logging speakers that have been contacted. Otherwise, create one that can be handed from year to year to ensure consistency and that all your hard work is not wasted!

Include the following information on your database:

  • Speakers name

  • Job title

  • Company

  • Contact person and details

  • Details of when you contacted the speaker and the answer. 


You can view previously confirmed speakers across clubs and events here.


Select and invite speakers

  • Create a theme to decide the ideas and topics you’ll be sharing with your audience.

  • Draw up a ‘wishlist’ of top keynote speaker names. 

  • Tier your speaker invitations: Invite the first 15 top level speakers, gage responses. Then invite the next 15 and so on.

  • Invitations to senior speakers should ideally go out at least 6 months before the event. Very high profile speakers will be booked up at least 12 months in advance.

  • Ensure you have the capacity in your team to follow up adequately with each invitation. You will need to spend weeks and in some cases, months, following up with the speaker’s office. 

  • Try to concentrate on speakers that you, or the School, has existing links with to maximise your chances. Share your wishlist with Student-led Learning Team who can then help to liaise with other teams around the School. If you'd like to reach out to Alumni, the Student-led Initiatives and Advancement Team can connect you 6 months in advance of your event.

  • Wherever appropriate, use the School letterhead and ensure you use the correct form of address. If you would like the Dean to sign or co-sign the invitation letter, please contact Student-led Learning Team. Please ensure these are sent out well in advance of your event taking place. Signature requests for an event taking place in less than 3 months will not usually be accepted.


Prepare your speakers

  • Keep confirmed speakers up to date with developments.

  • Brief speakers and panelists in, at least two weeks in advance. Include:

    • Content outline and key questions you hope to cover in each of the sessions.

    • Let them know who will be in the audience- % of professionals vs students, industry, level of experience.

    • An example template for your use: Speaker and Panelist template

    •  You may also want to use an Event Logistics Briefing Guide

  • Give a deadline for speakers to send in their presentations in advance for you review. Please ask them if they are happy for us to use the presentation on LBS slideshare.

  • Ensure you are aware of each speaker’s AV requirements in advance (e.g. audio, visual, clickers, microphone)

  • Provide a way for speakers to keep track of time (i.e. a visible timepiece and time prompts)

  • Ask each speaker to sign a Speaker Release Form. This ensures that you can share their talk on the club and school's platforms (e.g. photos, video, quotes, slides).  

  • For a panel discussion, consider organising a conference call a week before. The moderator and speakers can discuss the content and how it will work.


Take care of your speakers

  • Provide a green room for speakers on the day of the event – include this in your original space booking.

  • Provide name plaques, full water jugs, clean glasses, refreshments on the day.

  • Plan for activities to engage and honor your speakers (e.g. pre-event dinners, breakfasts, post-event drinks and tours of the city).

  • Thank them on stage, give them a small gift (unless it's the Dean), and send them a thank you letter.


Inviting the Dean to get involved

If it is appropriate for the purpose and scope of the event, you may consider having the Dean involved in your initiative. Contact Student-led Learning Team and we can advise on the suitability, his availability and how to proceed.

©2019 London Business School