Resources for Speakers


Are you an active Master Gardener who is interested in becoming a member of our MG Speakers Bureau?

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Responsibilities of Speakers Bureau Members:

1. Participate in the Speakers Bureau training and read the Speakers Bureau Manual
2. Respond to the Speakers Bureau Coordinator in a timely manner about your availability for speaking.
3. Follow the Speakers Bureau format.
4. Represent the goals of the Speakers Bureau in your presentation.
5. Cover the topics that will be asked on the audience evaluation: extension website;the resources, programs, and services we offer
6. Stay 15 minutes after the presentation to answer further questions from audience members.
7. If you cannot attend a Speakers Bureau session that you had agreed to do, inform the Speakers Bureau Coordinator as soon as possible.
8. Encourage your friends and interested audience members to join the Speakers Bureau. We always need more people.
9. Make suggestions that may enhance the success of the Speakers Bureau.
10.Have fun!

 Setting up Equipment-important points to remember

a. Make sure Internet switch on the front of the computer is OFF
b. Make sure you have 3 cords before you take the computer (one computer/projector cable & 2 power cords) Computer/projector cable generally has blue plugs

  • Power Point Presentation

The computer is a UNH Cooperative Extension laptop

    • Your power point should be available on the desktop screen by clicking the Speaker Bureau icon
    • You can use F5 to start the Power Point. Hit the ESC button to reduce the PP back to regular display

              You are using a computer that the organization you are speaking for has provided

    • The presentation will be emailed directly to the event coordinator through drop box
    • The speaker should make sure that this has been done and that the presentation has been tested and works on their equipment.


  • Closing Down The Equipment

a. Turn off the projector by selecting power and then selecting it again
b. Close down the presentation on the computer
c. Go to the Windows Icon in the lower left hand corner. Click and select Shut Down. If you don’t, the computer may run down and the next presenter could find a dead computer.
d. If the computer tries to download Microsoft updates – it can’t without an internet connection – just close the computer, it will shut down within 5 minutes without an internet connection.
e. After presentation and shut down, be sure you pack cords, computer, projector & power cables back into the case. Gather E‐Newsletter Cards so you can turn them in when you turn in the equipment.
f. Double check your area for left materials (especially extension cords that are ours).

  • The Speaking Engagement
    • When you have accepted the speaking engagement with the Scheduler, call the host/hostess IMMEDIATELY. They are expecting you to call.
    • Confirm you have the correct date, time and location. Email your bio for marketing purposes
    • Tell them you will call the week before the presentation to confirm your appointment and attendance numbers (and then be sure to do so).
    • Arrange a time to be there 45 minutes before your presentation, confirm someone will be onsite
    • Ask for a contact number for that day, should something hold you up.
    • Confirm location. Get directions if necessary. 
    • Let the host/hostess know what your car looks like and a couple of basic points about what you look like
    • Ask if tables will be available
    • Bring a copy of your bio
    • Arrive ahead of time. Allow yourself the luxury of not being rushed.
    • Wear your name Master Gardener Name tag.
    • Give the Evaluation forms to your hostess. Be sure you put handouts where you want them – so they are distributed when you want them to be. When people have things in their hands they are not paying attention to your presentation. If you have a copy of your presentation copied in note format, like MG class, it is permissible for folks to have it during the talk.
    • As you pack to leave, remind the host/hostess of the MG Speaker Evaluation sheet. If possible have it attached to an envelope so all they have to do is fill it out and put a stamp on the envelope.
    • Be sure to leave your area clean and depart as soon as you can.

Tips to Prepare For Your Presentation

  • Make sure you have reserved the computer/projector if needed. It is YOUR responsibility to call the designated county office to make the reservations after you have called the host/hostess. DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!
  • 6. Do An Inventory
    • Inventory the computer case contents. Make sure the computer is charged and all cords accounted for.
    • Check the computer case. Does it have:
      • Speaker’s Evaluation Form
      • Add fact sheets/handouts you might want to complement your presentation
  • The week before your presentation – call the host/hostess to confirm your arrival, address, phone number for emergency calls direct to the location, etc. If they are providing the equipment-double check that they have received the presentation and tested it on their equipment. Ask if their will be someone there to set-up and break-down their equipment. Set the time you will arrive and depart so they know you will have a schedule to keep. Ask if there are any other needs they are anticipating. Some may want specific information.
  • Look and Be Professional.
  • Set the arrival time do you don’t feel frazzled or hurried. Make the host or hostess feel relaxed as you setup your equipment. Please keep in mind that you are the Representative of UNH Cooperative Extension and the Master Gardener program.
  • As people arrive, greet each one and repeat their name. Try to remember first names. If they are wearing name tags that is much easier – but you can’t count on that.
  • Let the host/hostess introduce you if possible. If you present yourself, give your name, how long you have been a MG and let them know you will take questions at the end of the presentation and then jump right into the Power Point. Keep your personal info short.
  • While practicing your presentation (be sure to record the hours you work on your presentation)certain anecdotes will come to mind – be sure to add them to your talk. Gardeners love to hear of others successes as well as the failures. These stories help the listener remember information. DO NOT READ FROM THE SCREEN! Make the talk your own.
  • Be energetic and friendly. Catch their eye, ask questions or ask “what do you think?”
  • If the “audience is “dead” you may need to liven them up a bit. A funny story or getting responses from the audience (like “How many of you...”). Sometimes an evening audience is just too sleepy. Do the best you can to engage the audience.
  • Always “know more” about your topic than you can possibly present! Be ready for questions on the topic. If you can’t answer a question, hand them a business card with the Education Center Info Line number. Ask them to call the next day!
  • Stay to the point! If you aren’t changing slides every two minutes, you will not finish in the allotted time.
  • Try to do the presentation first and the questions second