Recently I was a keynote speaker for a conference where the meeting planner was cagey and hard to get in touch with. I wrestled with getting contact information from her to help me do pre conference Interviews.
See why this is important in our blog Sample Motivational Speaker pre- program questionnaire.
Difficult Personality Type #1- Cagey and Protective of Her Domain
This meeting planner was clearly reluctant to reveal too much information about conference delegates or the organization. I tried to get around this by reaching out to other contacts on the website and the meeting planner got wind of it and lashed out. She was clear that this is her domain and I am not to overstep. In the end I did most of my pre- program planning at the function the night before where people were drinking and were an easy target.
I have to admit one of the great things about being a motivational speaker is that although occasionally you may deal with difficult people; when your done your keynote speech and follow up you can walk away relatively unscathed. Other corporate drones must stick it out and suffer- one of the perks of the job.
By far the most difficult meeting planners personality type are those protective of their domain and they hold back and don't reveal information.
Difficult Personality Type #2- Stop Bothering Me
The second difficult personality type is the meeting planner who is vacant or just doesn't care. My role as a keynote speaker for the conference is to stay out of his hair and just do a great speech with little disruption to his routine.
When I ask him questions he will brush them off as not important, hazard a guess and try to get off the phone as quickly as possible. He has bigger fish to fry and these little details are not worth his time. Clearly he is not the one who hired me; to him I am a small burden.
To make sure I do the job that is expected of me- I need to speak to the people on the planning committee to understand what there desired outcome from my motivational talk is. Are they looking for a humorous keynote speaker for the conference or a leadership speaker to kick off the session? The thrust of my motivational talk will change based on these findings.