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Organizing a Speaker’s Training



This handout is for people interested in organizing a speaker’s training for single-payer activists. PNHP has speaker’s training template invitations, sample agendas, RSVP confirmations, and follow-up letters on-hand for your use. We also provide handouts and other educations materials for during the speaker’s training and funds are available for additional expenses. Email for more information or call our office (312) 782 -6006.

•    Find a free, accessible-to-all room with at least a plain wall to project a PowerPoint presentation onto. The location should be somewhere centrally located so that people don’t have to travel far. A good goal is to look for a room that can accommodate about 30-45 people. 
•    Send out invite emails 6 weeks/ 4 weeks/ 2 weeks out requesting RSVP (and be sure to figure out how much money you need to make it happen. Guesstimate $15/person for coffee/snacks/lunch/printing and call around to get food quotes.) If it’s the first time you’d had a training and are worried about attendance, it’s fine to say it’s a free event. We’ve always been able to fundraise enough at our trainings to cover our costs.
•    At 2 weeks, if you don't have 40 RSVPs (not everyone shows, so you need inflated numbers), pick up the phone and call up members and sympathetic groups until you do. On the phone, request everyone's email address and double-check the contact information that’s listed and ask if they can commit to bring a friend or colleague (or two). Be sure to send out a follow-up email. Having personal interactions with people will guarantee RSVPs show up.
•    At 5 days out, send out a reminder email to everyone that's RSVP'd that includes recent articles for them to review prior to the training.
•    The night before, call up everyone that RSVP’d and remind them of the event. These are really easy phone calls that don’t take much time. Be sure to tell them what a high quality program they are about to participate in (because it will be) and that you can’t wait to meet them.
•    Be sure to arrive extra early to the training to set up coffee and organize materials. This always takes a lot longer than it should!
Sample agenda:
•    Start broad with the basic argument (PowerPoints available through PNHP). - 45 mins
•    After the first presentation, the speaker should spend about 30-45 minutes explaining how and why they explained things the way they did. Have great data is only half the argument, oratory skills help your audience remember why this is so important.
•    Q&A on single payer and how to speak publicly. – 45 mins
•    Lunch with moderated “Tough Questions Practice”
•    Generally, a trainer asks participants FAQs and takes responses from several audience members for each one to make sure all bases are covered.   – 1.5h
•    Take time to summarize outreach techniques. Not everyone will leave prepared to speak to large groups, but everyone should at least feel more comfortable talking about single-payer health care one-on-one and for tabling purposes. – 1h
•    Always ask for money at lunch and then when the training is wrapping up! Invent a "goal" based on whatever is 30% higher than was raised at lunch and ask people to push us over the top. It works every time!
•    Always follow-up. Look for participants that could be potential leaders and be sure to ask who feels prepared to speak publicly. Send out a message of thanks to all that attended and stay in touch.