What is Speaker Friend Fridays?
The origin of Speaker Friend Fridays. In March of 2020, our team, and most of the world started working from home. To many people this was a shock. Speaking engagements and events were cancelled or postponed or turned into online events. That first week, we shared a zoom link through our newsletter, and several dozen speakers and event organizers showed up to connect and commiserate on a Friday morning.
That first meeting was such a success that we did it again the next week, and the week after. Now, almost four years later, we branded it as Speaker Friend Friday and have a steady group of regulars who show up every week. Interested in attending? Sign up for our newsletter and get the link emailed to you Friday morning at 8:30 am Eastern. There is no cost to attend.
When is Speaker Friend Friday?
As you might guess, Speaker Friend Fridays are usually on Fridays. (Major holidays? Look to our newsletter to let you know about reschedules or cancellations.) We start the Zoom at 8:45 am Eastern and go until 10:00 am Eastern.
On the first and third Fridays of every month, we also host a Speaker Friend Friday at noon eastern/9:00 am Pacific in order to accommodate more time zones.
Is Speaker Friend Friday Free?
You betcha. Come prepared to ask questions, share your knowledge or wisdom, but no one is going to charge you. It’s free and open to all who are interested in speaking and events and conferences.
What happens at a Speaker Friend Friday event?
We start with 15 second introductions. We have a timer that counts down 15 seconds, which is plenty of time to introduce yourself and tell us what you speak about. It’s also great practice and a terrific way to work on your elevator pitch. Many speakers tweak their introductions frequently and ask for feedback. Don’t worry if you are smooth or right on the button at 15 seconds. Over time you will develop a terrific introduction if you keep coming. Drop your website or LinkedIn link into the chat if you want to connect with others in the room.
We do introductions until 9:00 am Eastern and then switch into discussion mode. This is a participant-led discussion. People come with questions, topics they want us to cover, observations, ideas and more. This is the speaker’s brain trust full of peers and near peers who can help you find the answers you need. Questions have included things like:
- How do I engage a remote audience?
- How do I get paid to speak?
- What are the best ways to pitch an event manager?
- Let’s talk about speech titles.
- I’m thinking about writing a book; any advice?
- I’m doing a free speaking engagement, can I ask the event manager to connect me to a sponsor?
- I’m going overseas for a speaking engagements, should I take a vacation while I am there? (YES)
- And so many more!
And then at 9:45 am Eastern, we go to breakout rooms where speakers and event managers can have small group discussions. Sometimes we also have special guests who come and talk about other special programs. These are discussed in the main room while breakouts are also going on.
The Speaker Friend Fridays are recorded. The recordings and chat files are made available in the Innovation Women Green Room (along with significant amounts of other value added and educational content) for our speaker members. We ask members to use the chat to share things they want to promote as well as links to the tools and ideas we share.
What makes Speaker Friend Fridays so amazing?
Speaker Friend Fridays are closely moderated. We have rules of engagement to keep it organized. We encourage everyone to speak and share, or just listen and learn. People openly share their knowledge – something unusual in the speaking world. Speaker Friend Fridays is a great way to learn more about being a speaker.
Speakers need speaker friends.
- Be respectful of others.
- Be mindful of the 15-second timed countdown for introductions.
- Remain muted unless called on by moderator.
- Use the “raise your hand” function if you have questions or input for the ongoing discussion.
- Questions are prioritized.
- Any self-promotion of engagements, “wins” or professional services go in the chat (we don’t want to get bogged down with sales pitches).