Adviser Update Adviser Update Winter 2018 - Page 15

15 before stepping in front of the lectern .

15 before stepping in front of the lectern .

Prepare them for either a high school or a college audience with either a quick phone call , or a more formal written email about visiting your class . Make sure to include how many students will be there and how much time they have . If there are any specific issues or stories you ’ d like them to comment on , make sure to mention that . These guideposts will help the speaker prepare remarks .
I remember bringing a media critic from a national newspaper to speak to my college magazine writing class . The more uncomfortable he felt , the more F-bombs he dropped , so coaching the speaker is important . While these budding journalists enjoyed stories of him interviewing a president aboard Air Force One , his linguistic choices could have improved with a few minutes of preparation .
As for your students , introduce them to the speaker ’ s work beforehand . It helps them to engage more readily and possibly ask questions from a broader perspective than just what was presented in class . You can also be sure that they can more easily “ dream ” themselves into a successful future if they are exposed to — and professionally know — journalists they can admire and emulate .

Know the ropes

Be sure to find out what paperwork needs to be filled out before bringing your speaker to campus . And if you ’ re lucky enough to have speaker funds , know that campus bureaucracy will always take more time than you think .
Once approved , remember to leave the speaker ’ s name at your gate or with the campus security . Also , if you have a cordial student who can pick up the speaker once she is on campus and walk her over to the classroom , that kind of hospitality does a lot to set the speaker at ease and promote a positive image of your publicaiton and school .

Deal with the automobile

If you teach in a dense area , as I do in Los Angeles , the vagaries of traffic can really mess up your class plan . I ’ ve twice had speakers arrive so late I ’ ve had to greatly curtail their time in front of the class . Be sure to brief speakers on how long it takes to get to campus , and , once there , have a parking pass for them . There ’ s nothing worse than forgetting this and having the guest pay for their own spot .

Show your gratitude

After a well-known media critic spoke to my class , I was not happy to read this in next morning ’ s Los Angeles Times :
“ When I talk at a high school or college , the hosts tend to provide a bottle of water . ( I like it chilled , but sometimes I have to accept room temperature .) On rare occasions , I ’ ll get comped a meal or a short road trip . Monday night , I spoke to Jim Burns ’ journalism students at Cal
Poly Pomona . When it was over , the instructor handed me an envelope , containing a $ 25 Trader Joe ’ s gift card .”
Granted , Jim Rainey ’ s column was about New York Times columnist Thomas L . Friedman returning a $ 75,000 speaking fee , but the chair of the department reminded me that dinner at the college ’ s noted culinary center was always an option .
The best remuneration I ’ ve found is a gift with either your campus news logo or that of the school on it . If you have the budget , keepsake coffee mugs are a hit , and , foregoing that , how about a baseball cap from the bookstore ? Have your students get creative . One year for a sports photography clinic , a student brought in his old 1950s-era typewriter and we typed out a thank you note on school stationery to include with the baseball cap .
And giving the speaker a shout out on the program ’ s social media feed is de rigueur . Be sure to include a link back to the speaker . She will appreciate the recognition .


Although the impact is greater for student journalists when the speaker is in situ , there are options to bring remote sessions into your classroom . If you don ’ t already use them , both Google Hangouts and Skype require only some basic setup , such as having an account for yourself and your guest speaker . Both are free and are a good option to bringing the speaker ’ s image and words directly to campus . Be sure , however , to let your remote guest know the time zone you are in !
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