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The ROI of Your High Stakes Event Ultimately Depends on Your Presenters. Make Sure They're Amazing!

Originally published in 2022 on Mandel Communications blog

The stakes are high when organizing a major enterprise event

(think investor day, user conference, shareholder meeting, or annual sales kickoff).

The investment is substantial in terms of pure budget, but also in the hours spent planning and designing the experience, sourcing and securing speakers, and marketing the event to drive registration and engagement.  Add the actual time commitment of your event, times the number of participants, multiplied by what their time is worth, and you have a starting point for your ROI metrics.

The quality of your speakers’ presentations is critical to your event’s success.

If yours is a virtual event, it’s even more critical that your speakers WOW with their delivery. One study found that people judge the value of an in-person presentation mostly on the content. Conversely, they tend to judge a virtual presentation more by how they feel about the speakers.

Are your presenters ready?

The consequences of even one speaker who delivers a lackluster experience are manyfold to the mindset of your audience:

  • They pay attention, but lose faith in your brand, which can swiftly impact your stock price.
  • They start multi-tasking, stop retaining information, and fail to take any desired action.
  • They drop off the virtual platform without plans to return, this year… or next.

This scenario is also unfortunate for those who’ve agreed to speak on your behalf. Many of us have experienced this ourselves. We’re asked to speak and agree. We’re looking forward to it. However, as the moment gets closer, what initially felt like a fun, career-positive opportunity quickly begins to feel like career-limiting exposure. We feel pressed for time. Unprepared. Anxious. We worry that we’re exposing ourselves unnecessarily—and wish that we’d simply said no.

How can you control the equation?

Empower your speakers with the tools and training to give a WOW presentation. There are lots of tips and tricks out there to help them prepare, if your presenters are motivated and have the time and discipline to study up, solicit feedback from colleagues, and practice thoroughly. Just knowing you’re supposed to do something—or not do something—is one thing. Taking the action required to be an amazing presenter is quite another.

Mandel’s high stakes event prep bootcamp is a game changer.

We meet your speakers where they are and provide them with exactly the right tools, tips, and confidence to ensure that they are fit for purpose.  This curated experience enables your speakers to:

  • Connect seamlessly with event themes
  • Deliver the right message every time
  • Focus on audience needs without overselling
  • Embody positive image and brand
  • Maximize audience impact and ROI
  • Overcome presentation anxiety
  • Move their audiences to action

Zoomtopia speakers WOWed an audience of over 33,000!

We recently provided high stakes presentation prep for those who were speaking at Zoomtopia, Zoom’s annual two-day user conference with an audience of over 33,000.

The response?

  • 93% of survey respondents rated their session speaker(s) “excellent” or “good.”
  • “It (Zoomtopia) was SO well organized…. I had a great time and honestly, I never thought that would be possible with a virtual event. Well done and bravo.”  – Zoom client
  • “LOVED this session. So much great info and the presenter and her presentation were engaging and gave me useful insights that I can put into practice right away. Thank you!” – Zoom client
  • “Thank you for the direct speaker coaching sessions for our speakers.  They were all over the moon…. The private speaking sessions were invaluable, especially for senior-level speakers.” – Content Lead, Strategic Events at Zoom

Customized training creates WOW presentations.

Our process begins with key stakeholder interviews, gaining clarity on how you want your company, your event, and your people to be perceived. Our compassionately direct, expert high stakes presentation coaches work directly with presenters to drive the behavior shifts required to ensure alignment to that vision. This can be challenging for internal coaches to do objectively, when the speakers are their colleagues, clients, and CXO’s.

If you think high stakes event prep support puts an extra burden on your speakers, our experience shows quite the opposite. Without exception, speakers are deeply grateful to have received the support. Not only does the coaching enable them to maximize their delivery on behalf of your company and brand, but it also enables them to personally look their best. What’s more, the skills they gained continue to pay dividends anytime they present in the future, a particular win-win for speakers who are employees of your company.


No matter whether your high stakes event is virtual, in person, or in today’s increasingly common hybrid mix of both, empowering your speakers to deliver their material in a way that both WOWs the audience and effectively delivers their content is pivotal to success.

We’d love to talk about how we can help support your people with the speaker training they need to WOW at your next high stakes event.  Let’s COMMUNICATE!

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