Conference Speaker Diversity: Eliminate 5 Needless Obstacles

Conference Speaker Diversity: Overcome These Obstacles

Conferences are convos of communication, learning and growth. If the conference speaker list is filled with all one gender, race, age range, etc… then the message is not one of breadth, depth, and success. When planning a conference, overcome the following traps to ensure speaker diversity.



Conference Speaker Diversity: Image is diverse people at conference

Conference Speaker Diversity: Needless Obstacles to Overcome. Image by Cydcor.

Image by Cydcor via Flickr Creative Commons License.


Overcome 5 Needless Obstacles to Conference Speaker Diversity

  1. “We tap the speakers we know.” Small conference planners often tap their current not so diverse network for speakers. To eliminate this speaker diversity obstacle, expand your network throughout the year to tap diversity for the next conference.


  2. “Our conference participants are not diverse.” Remember that doesn’t mean they don’t want diverse speakers. The participants may well be working on diverse teams and therefore can benefit from speaker diversity.


  3. “We don’t know how to find diverse speakers.” Put out a call for speakers. Sites like Speaker Fortunes can help you through this process and thus access a huge pool of diverse speakers.


  4. “Tapping speakers we don’t know is risky.” Risk is a part of moving forward and creating success. People who experience success find ways to minimize risk instead of keeping things the same. To minimize risk, check references, look at video footage, talk to the speakers, ask for testimonials, and ask your conference participants for speakers they have heard at other conferences!


  5. “We think we have speaker diversity.” Diversity is more common in the breakout sessions. Yet look at your keynote dais. Does it have mostly men? Recently a colleague asked me to promote his first leadership conference via my social media connections. When I looked at his speaker list, it was filled with white men. This is not speaker diversity. I politely declined to help him because of the lack of diversity.


Memorable conferences leave lasting impressions. They bring participants back for future events. One sure way to do this is to provide speaker diversity instead of uniformity.



What do you remember and what have you learned from diverse speakers?



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Diversity Post: Do You Welcome Differences or Shut Them Out?

©2016 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


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