Speaker and Event Guidelines

The Lectures staff recognizes that every event is unique, but to make each event the most successful, please follow these guidelines and pass along important notes to your campus collaborators and to your speaker.

Length of Event

Generally, a lecture-style event should be 45-50 minutes in length, with 10-15 minutes of Q&A. If the event is a documentary, panel, or other format, it is important to note that in the funding application and on all publicity. 

Welcome and Introduction

If an event is co-sponsored by the Committee on Lectures, then specific information needs to be included in the Welcome. If requested, a student member of the Committee on Lectures can be tasked with this or someone from the host organization may give the welcome. The introduction of the speaker may be done by the same person or a different person.

The Welcome should include:

  • List of the event's cosponsors.
  • Reminder to students that card scanning for class attendance will take place after the lecture concludes and explain where the attendant will be located.
  • Mention the Q&A and explain format.
  • If the University Book Store is selling books, point out its book sales location.
  • If there will be a book signing, mention it will take place and point out the location.
  • If there will be a reception, mention it and the location.
  • Share two or three upcoming Lectures-sponsored events.

Speaking with Inclusive Language

It is important to never make assumptions about who is in the audience at Lecture Series events. The following guidelines were developed by WE LEAD:

  • Use gender inclusive language such as "you all", "y'all", "folks", or "friends"; avoid using "you guys".
  • Use people-first language (i.e., people with different abilities).
  • Refrain from using the term "obviously", which assumes status and accessibility.
  • Use large, legible fonts for slides so all can see during the presentation.
  • Avoid using classist language, such as "This only costs X".
  • Address and speak to the entire room.
  • Use a microphone, even when in a small space.
  • If you utilize images in your presentation and applicable, be sure to include images that are representative of all social identities.