• Home
  • Hosting an Event
  • Securing Speakers

Securing Speakers

Start thinking about this as early as possible. The earlier you make the request, the more likely it is the desired speaker will be available.

If you have secured corporate partners/sponsors for your club, that company may require you to allocate speaker/panelist spots to representatives of that company.

If you have interest in a high-profile speaker, such as Duke Board of Trustees members, Fuqua Board of Visitors members, corporate officers [CEO, CFO, Chairman, President, etc.] you MUST secure clearance AND obtain assistance from the appropriate Fuqua staff member(s) BEFORE approaching. Note: Be prepared to discuss whom you want to contact as well as the scope and nature of the request [date(s), event context, time required, expertise needed].

  1. Prepare a target list of potential speakers. Some ideas for generating speakers include:
    • Email Club-ExtEngage@fuqua.duke.edu to start a conversation with Fuqua staff to discuss potential alumni and corporate speakers
    • Search the Fuqua and Duke alumni directories
    • Use LinkedIn to identify practitioners with Duke or Fuqua connections. Search within the Alumni tab on Fuqua's LinkedIn page
    • Ask your peers for recommendations
  2. Invite the speaker(s) at least two months in advance of the event, which allows ample time for them to arrange their schedule and travel plans.
  3. Your outreach message should include:
    • Name, date, time and location of the event
    • Topic and purpose of the event
    • Specific details about the event (agenda, format, expected audience)
    • Expectations of their participation (keynote speaker, panelists, moderator, etc.)
    • Whether you anticipate them speaking on-site at Fuqua or virtually
    • Provide your contact information, and thank them for their involvement with Fuqua
    • Include whether their participation in the event is part of their employer’s corporate sponsorship
    • Include whether travel expenses will be covered at the club’s expense or if the speaker is asked to cover those costs
  4. Once the speaker(s) confirms his/her participation, provide information about area hotels (the JB Duke and others), additional information about the event, the time that you need for him/her to arrive, and request a biography (if necessary).
  5. Follow up with more details about the event if the details are not solidified by the time of the initial outreach.
  6. Provide questions in advance that panelists will need to be prepared to answer during the event.
  7. Develop a plan to thank speakers and demonstrate your club’s appreciation for their involvement in your event.

Send final information about ALL confirmed speakers/presenters to:  Club-ExtEngage@fuqua.duke.edu

If you secure an alumnus/a as a speaker/panelist, discuss with Development and Alumni Relations the possibility of support for additional activities with the alumnus while on campus (visit, tours, etc).

If any of your event's speakers are Duke or Fuqua alums, be sure you are properly notating their degree on any promotional materials for your event! Reference the Promoting Your Event page of the Fuqua411 for additional details.