HISD Speakers Bureau FAQ & Helpful Hints
The following frequently asked questions and helpful hints are intended to serve as a guide for speakers participating in the HISD Speakers Bureau program from their registration in the program through the conclusion of their presentation. Click on an individual question for an answer or scroll through all of the questions and answers below.
- What is the HISD Speakers Bureau?
- How do I register to for the program?
- Who will contact me about speaking opportunities?
- How often will I be asked to speak?
- What do I need to do before I arrive on campus?
- What should I do when I arrive on campus?
- Do you have any helpful hints for speakers?
- Is there anything that I shouldn’t do?
What is the HISD Speakers Bureau?
The HISD Speakers Bureau in Strategic Partnerships provides volunteer speakers for teachers, school personnel, and school-related groups. Since its inception, thousands of volunteer speakers have offered their expertise to HISD students. Guest speakers enrich and enhance the curriculum by tailoring presentations to meet the needs of the teacher in the classroom. It is a program designed to provide opportunities for professionals of all backgrounds to visit classrooms and describe their careers and the paths they’ve taken to achieve success. The presentations should aim to supplement the curriculum in order to bring subjects and career opportunities to life.
As the name indicates, the goal of the program is to provide focused opportunities for interaction with students that fit within the rhythm of the school day and the schedules of our volunteers. Presentations may be incorporated into lesson plans addressing particular subjects or offered as part of a career day.
How do I register for the program?
Volunteers may register for HISD Speakers Bureau Registration. The HISD Speakers Bureau new candidates will be interviewed annually by a committee assembled by the HISD Strategic Partnerships Department. All approved volunteers will agree register for the HISD Volunteers in Public Schools program (VIPS) which includes a criminal background check for additional clearance. All cleared speakers will be added to approved speakers list.
Who will contact me about speaking opportunities?
Participating schools will contact speakers directly to set up speaking engagements. Schools will attempt to arrange speaking engagements a minimum of three weeks prior to a speech.
How often will I be asked to speak?
The time commitment for speakers is minimal. We anticipate that a typical speaker would only be asked to make one or two presentations a year. If a speaking engagement does not fit within your schedule, you are free to decline the opportunity. Ultimately, you are in control of your commitment.
What do I need to do before I arrive on campus?
When called about a speaking opportunity, discuss with the school whether there are any particular topics you should touch on as part of your presentation. Think about ways you can make your presentation interactive, whether through the use of props, samples, photos, tools, interactive questions or another method. Students respond best when they are engaged. Inform the school of any audio visual needs for your presentation, and ask how many students are in the class.
- Park in the designated area
- Sign in as a guest or volunteer in the main office
- Wear your nametag/visitor identification at all times while on campus
- Wait to be escorted to the classroom by the teacher or member of the school staff
- Have fun!
- Be on time and follow through with your commitment.
- Be interactive.
- If you have handouts, materials, etc., ask the school in advance how many copies you will need.
- Wear what you would wear to work (e.g. scrubs, lab coats, business suits, uniforms, etc.).
- Review the sample HISD Speakers Bureau Guide for Career/Industry-Related Presentation.
- When discussing your career, share the salary range for your job or others in your profession. Students are very interested in and motivated by this information. Tell students what they can do now to prepare for jobs in your field (e.g. intern, volunteer, shadow, special projects, etc.).
- Be ready to receive shocking or off the wall comments or questions.
- If you are a former HISD student, share that with the students. Let them know that you have walked in their shoes.
- Enjoy yourself!
- Don’t be judgmental about students and/or situations seen while on campus.
- Don’t talk about sex, religion, and politics.
- Don’t allow your presentation to extend beyond the allotted time.
- Don’t stray from the focus of your presentation.
- Don’t walk through other areas of the school without a school employee/teacher.
Who should I contact for additional questions?
If you have questions or need any additional information about The HISD Speakers Bureau, please contact: