Coordinating with Local Groups
There are a number of venues in your community that might welcome a speaker with your particular expertise in chemistry. Here are some examples:
- Adult education programs at local colleges/universities
- Alumni groups
- Religious groups
- Community action groups
- Garden clubs
- League of Women Voters
- Local chapters of professional groups
- Parenting groups
- Political groups
- Service clubs, such as Kiwanis Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Jaycees, Lions Clubs, or Optimist Clubs
Reaching out to a Venue
Ask friends and colleagues if they or someone they know belongs to the organizations where you’d like to speak, or other organizations that host guest speakers. Contact the organizations and find out who you need to speak with about their program. Be prepared to wait to get a date scheduled, since many organizations plan their programs several months in advance. Below are some points you might want to make when you reach out to the program organizer for a venue:
- Introduce yourself and your job, and confirm that the contact is the person who arranges for speakers.
- Ask specific questions about the organization’s goals and interests. Find out if the organization has special projects or interests that relate to chemistry. For some organizations the relationship might not be obvious so be prepared to illustrate some potential connections.
- Discuss your proposed presentation, the title and the general content.
- Ask if they would be interested in your presentation.
- Find out what sorts of presentations their members enjoy. Do they prefer interactive presentations? Or formal speeches?
- Send a follow-up letter confirming your presentation.
Do you have experience working with a local venue to set up an event?
Here’s a sample email you can use to reach out to local groups about presenting:
My name is [insert name] and I am a local [chemist, chemical engineer, plant manager, etc.] in our community. I understand that you are in charge of the program for [name of organization]. I would like to speak to your organization about chemistry and its impact on our community.
My presentation is approximately [# of minutes] minutes long and focuses on chemistry and [describe the talk you would like to give, using local examples].
I hope to have the opportunity to speak to [name of organization]. I will call you early next week to discuss possible dates and times your group has open for speakers. Or, if you’d prefer, you can reach me at [phone number or email address].