One of best things about being part of Spa Speakers is that you get the chance to deliver speeches of on any topic you choose at regular meetings. You can share your passion with a captive crowd; practice delivering a speech; and, best of all, get lots of helpful feedback from a friendly and supportive audience.
We typically have three speech slots per meeting; and because our club has lots of members, those slots are in very high demand. One of the main jobs of the club’s vice president of education (VPE) is to ensure those speech slots are managed well for the benefit of all members. To help the VPE do a great job, it’s really important that when you are given a speech slot, you do your utmost to deliver your speech on that date.
What happens if I miss my speech slot?
Imagine a scenario where you have a speech scheduled with the vice president of education, but at very late notice you inform them you can no longer make the meeting.
This has a number of consequences:
You make the job of the vice president of education much harder
Finding a replacement speaker at the last minute is pretty stressful!
You’ll have to wait a long time for another opportunity
With so many members waiting to give speeches, you will go to the back of the line if you miss your scheduled slot.
The speech slot at the meeting you missed goes to waste
If you inform the VPE too late for an alternative speaker to be arranged, you will deny a fellow member the opportunity to fill your slot. Not only that, but you also disadvantage the person who was scheduled to evaluate you: they too miss a valuable educational opportunity.
The educational progress of every member is delayed
Because we only have a finite number of speech slots during the year, every club member will now have to wait longer before they have the opportunity to deliver a speech.
You deny members the full value of the meeting you missed
Members love coming to meetings to hear speeches for entertainment and education. If you miss your slot, everyone in attendance has one less speech to learn from and enjoy.
Best practice for all members
As you can see, missing a speech slot has a number of negative consequences for the club. At the same time, illness, unexpected emergencies, traffic etc. means that, with the best will in the world, it isn’t always possible to attend the meeting at which you were due to speak or give adequate notice. Still, there are things that you can do to help. Here they are:
1. Let the vice president of education know as soon as possible that you cannot make it
The sooner they know, the sooner alternative plans can be put into motion. Get in touch three or four days ahead of the meeting at the latest. Contact the VPE at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Get back to the VPE ASAP if asked whether you are going to make it
The VPE might wish to double check that all the speech slots are filled in advance of the meeting as a proactive measure. If you are giving a speech, please respond to the VPE as soon as you can. The VPE might need you to confirm your speech title or Pathways/Communicator project to help efficient planning and to complete the agenda in time to print copies.
3. Be ready to stand in as a reserve speaker
If you have speech coming up soon, if you could prepare a bit earlier so you are ready to deliver it one meeting in advance of your scheduled date, that would be MASSIVELY helpful. Why? If someone does drop out last minute you could fill the slot, thus help allay all the negative consequences that arise when a meetings’ speech slots aren’t fully utilised.
Missing your speech slot creates extra work for the vice president of education; delays the educational progress of all members; and delays your own educational progress too. Whilst it isn’t always possible, whenever you can, please do fulfil your speech commitment on the scheduled date, or give the VPE as much notice as you can. It will make a huge positive difference at Spa Speakers. And if you could prepare your speech early and fill in for a late drop out, you would be a true hero at the club!
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