Notes on Speaking Invitations
If you're interested in asking me to speak: Ask.
I now speak very rarely, partly because of few/no
invitations, partly because I'm doing other things and
business travel is such a hassle. Realistically, there are
younger and better informed people on most any topic I might
Informal notes on factors I consider in responding to
speaking invitations--and what happens after I accept--follow.
I've spoken on a wide variety of library-related topics over
the years. That pretty much ended in 2013.
At this point, you'd need to want me for some reason that's
fairly specific to me--and I'm not sure what that would be.
How about open access?
I am not available to speak on OA unless it's
related to the unique research projects I've carried out.
Otherwise, there are far more qualified people to speak on
these topics, and I'd guess most of them are better speakers.
Here's a thought and a list: Chances are, your list of
speakers could use more gender balance--and there are a lot of
women well qualified to speak on OA. Thanks to April Hathcock,
there's even a list
of these women. (If that link doesn't work, I suspect this
blog post should have a current link.) Why not ask
one of them?
I would normally expect full expenses and at least a $2,000
honorarium, if by some chance you had a topic for which I made
What I Need to Know
A request can be as informal as a one-paragraph e-mail
message or as formal as a letter.
E-mail is a great way to start. waltcrawford, domain
I respond to e-mail fairly rapidly unless I'm on the road (in
which case I don't check email until I return home)..
Once I know the basics of an invitation, I'll either rule it
out because it's impossible or pencil in the occasion and ask
Before I accept an invitation--moving from penciled in to
penned in as confirmed--I need to know the following:
- Date, time, location, and nature of the occasion.
If it's a conference, I need the range of dates.
- Honorarium (except for ALA programs). Make your
standard offer (if you have one).
- Expense arrangements. Full travel costs, lodging at
the conference hotel (if there is one) or a business-class
[or better] hotel, and either an adequate fixed per diem for
meals or actual meal expenses. Full registration if it's a
conference, including social events as appropriate. I
strongly prefer to fly American or its partners.
- For overseas trips, I normally expect at
least business class travel on Oneworld airlines (American,
British Air, Quantas, etc.).
- Format and length expected and whether you're
looking for a specific topic or not.
- Whatever else you think I should know about the group and
If you want to explore possibilities before making a formal
offer, that's fine with me. Let me know as much of these
potential factors as you can, and I'll give you as clear an
answer as I can--and, if need be, set up a time for phone
discussion of issues. I don't stand on formality--during
preliminary discussions or during the event.