One of the greatest ways to enhance your students’ classroom experience is to partner with professionals who can offer insight into their industry. When looking for a guest speaker to engage with your students, take a moment to consider who would be an ideal fit. Below are a few things to think about.
What type of speaker would work for your class topic? Identify the topic you want discussed in the classroom and find someone who can bring a wealth of knowledge and experience on the subject. For instance, if the topic is about owning a restaurant, reach out to a restaurant owner instead of a car salesman. If the topic is about food writing, ask a food blogger/journalist to speak to the class instead of someone who is a self-proclaimed ‘foodie’. You get the idea. Having a guest speaker who is the Subject Matter Expert of your class topic offers students a ‘real world’ perspective and create better insight on what they’re learning in the classroom.
What kind of personality or character traits would you like the speaker to have? Each speaker has a unique way of communicating to different audiences. Speaking to an audience of high school students is much different from speaking to adults. Are you looking for someone who is fact-based and analytical? Perhaps someone who uses humor and great storytelling as part of his or her presentation? How will those factors affect the chemistry of the class? Picking the right person to engage with the students is crucial so it’s important to take a moment and think about who would create the biggest impact in your classroom.
Utilize your network to find a guest speaker. One of the best ways to find a great speaker is to ask the people in your network for recommendations. As an educator, you have plenty of resources around you including other teachers, friends, and the program advisory committee for your school. Your network can share their experience with guest speakers and point you in the right direction of finding someone amazing.
One thing to remember- avoid using the ‘one size fits all’ method to find the right guest speaker. Use the tips above as a point of reference to help jumpstart your search. If you are still unsure and need a little guidance, contact us. HEFG is here to help!