Speaker Guidelines

Thank you for agreeing to be a NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Conference & Expo Speaker. We look forward to working with you to make your session a winner. Our policies and procedures are in place to assure smooth sailing from start to finish.

Speaker/Presenter/Panel Moderator/Panelist Role

You assume key responsibilities when you agree to participate in our Conference & Expo education program. These commitments help to give Conference & Expo education its quality and consistency. As a speaker, you agree to do the following:

  • Provide a high quality education program, which includes current, accurate and relevant information on the topic.
  • Recognize that as a speaker your relationship with NAR is as an Independent Contractor and not an employee of NAR or any of its affiliates.
  • Honor the Speaker’s Agreement in all circumstances.
  • Assign NAR the audio recording copyright for this one-time presentation.
  • Refrain from verbally marketing any of your products or services immediately before, during, or after your session(s) and further refrain from giving away or raffling any products or services during your session.
  • Accept that speakers who violate the previous self-promotion policy will NOT be invited to present a Conference & Expo education session for at least three years.
  • Avoid references to any specific commission rate during your presentation - such discussions have the appearance of possible antitrust violations.
  • Exhibiting Speakers may announce your booth number and ask attendees to bring their product related questions to your booth.

Speaker “To Do” List

Much of the information about session administration is included in the Call for Presentations (CFP) form. When your session is selected for presentation, you will receive a Speaker Agreement and Session Checklists. You will be asked to:

  • Provide an electronic copy of your session handout (10 pages maximum)
  • Verify audiovisual requirements
  • Provide a short biography to serve as your introduction
  • Review the session goals and objectives submitted on your CFP
  • Obtain NAR approval of your personal promotional electronic slide or print flyer (single-sheet flyer cannot exceed 8.5” by 14)
  • Provide a color photo for promotional use in one or more of the following formats:
    • .tif (high resolution) file
    • .jpg (high resolution) file (preferred)
    • 3X5 Color photo
  • Complete the online registration/hotel room request. Note: As a speaker you receive complimentary Full Conference Registration. Speaker pays all other costs, including transportation, hotel and related expenses.
  • Panel moderators: a) discuss potential panel participants with NAR staff contact prior to confirmation, b) provide complete contact information: mailing address, telephone, e-mail and Web site URL of panel members by deadline indicated in the speaker agreement.

Speaker Handout

Attendees expect a handout. Historically sessions without handouts tend to receive lower evaluation ratings.

Follow these simple do’s and don’ts when developing your session handout.


  • Limit the number of pages to 10 (Contact Heidi Henning at hhenning@realtors.org in advance to discuss exceptions)
  • Include your session title and name as a header (in a smaller font) on the top left of each page
  • Number each page
  • State session learning objectives at the beginning using the statement: After completing this session the attendee will be able to . . . show a course outline or table of contents on page 1
  • Update content as appropriate so you are presenting the most current message on your topic. If in doubt contact Heidi Henning to discuss prior to submitting the handout
  • Make sure all copyrighted terms are used correctly within the handout
  • Make sure that material relates to stated objectives and follows the order it will be presented
  • Focus on practical applications
  • Develop a handout that is useful during the session
  • Create a handout that is a handy reference after the session
  • Include note-taking space
  • Consider a format that is a skeletal outline of the session
  • Add job aides (i.e. checklists, forms, tables, glossaries, bibliography of related materials) whenever possible
  • Include a 50 word or less biographical sketch on the last page of the handout with your complete contact information at the bottom of the last page of the handout (company name, mailing address, telephone, e-mail, Web site)
  • Identify current exhibitors with relevant products AND if you are an exhibitor, your booth location


  • Include your promotional flyer as part of the handout
  • Exceed the 10-page limit (Contact Heidi Henning at hhenning@realtors.org to discuss necessary exceptions)
  • Submit more than one blank page as part of the handout
  • Address topics that are not part of your stated objectives
  • Theorize - ideas should relate to real-world situations
  • Include a cover page, since NAR develops standard cover pages for all handouts

Speaker Biography, Session Description Copy

Introductory biography

Keep your biography short - something that can be read aloud in one to three minutes. Make it a professional and friendly introduction. If a session moderator is assigned, he/she will use the biography for your introduction. When you prepare your biography, make sure it answers the question: “Why am I qualified to speak on this subject?” A good biography builds credibility. As a final touch: Do not forget to include something unique or personal about yourself.

Session description copy

Your session description will be posted on the Conference & Expo Web site to allow attendees to plan their schedule in advance. NAR prepares copy for the final Conference & Expo program based on the information you provide on the Call for Presentations form. When you are asked to review the copy, make sure that it is clear, concise, and above all - accurate. Attendees are more likely to be dissatisfied when they feel misled about the session content - regardless of the quality of the session itself. Session description copy should always include the key session learning objectives.

The Audience

When you know your audience and their needs, you are more likely to have a successful session. Understanding the who, what, and when can make the difference.

Who attends?

The REALTORS® Conference & Expo in November boasts attendance of approximately 20,000 of the industry’s most influential and qualified leaders. With residential specialists making up the majority, attendees include:

  • Residential seller and buyer representatives
  • Firm owners & managers
  • Executive officers
  • State and local Association staff
  • Real estate specialties including appraisers, auctioneers, commercial, international -- both residential and commercial, land, property managers, resort/second home, and other market segments
  • Support staff -- including IT professionals, back office staff, consultants, and others
  • NOTE: A number of states have changed the licensing categories so using agent and broker may no longer indicate who the target audience is for a specific topic.

What Do They Want?

In a nutshell...practical knowledge presented in an interactive, memorable way. Give attendees ways to become more effective professionals. They want information that can be applied or tools that can be put to use. Job aides are always popular. Theory is useful only when session participants are shown how to use it.

When Do They Learn?

Learning is not a passive activity. Give yourself a break - let other people do the talking. Attendees learn best when they are doing, not when they are listening. Involve participants by using questions, exercises, and other activities.

NAR’s Role

Naturally, we assume responsibilities to make your session successful. We appreciate and respect your commitment to the assigned deadlines and agree to do the following when each deadline is met.

  • Provide you with complimentary REALTORS® Conference & Expo Full Conference Registration
  • Schedule the session in a room with theater-style seating, unless a mutually agreed upon alternate setup is confirmed at agreement signing.
  • Assign a qualified room host to assist you and the attendees during the session, whenever possible.
  • Copy and DISTRIBUTE your 10-page (or shorter) handout.
  • Distribute, collect and tabulate session evaluation forms.
  • Provide a lectern and lavaliere microphone and appropriately sized head table if session is a panel format
  • Supply audiovisual equipment, as specified on your Speaker Agreement
  • Work with you to allow adequate pre-session access to the meeting room if requested on Checklist II of the Speaker Agreement.
  • Send you written notice of cancellation at least 30 days before the date of the session, if it is determined that the session is not needed.
  • Allow a promotional electronic slide or printed flyer (no larger than 8.5” by 14"-legal-size sheet). This flyer must be approved by NAR before it is distributed.
  • Discount the cost of one exhibit booth space (10' x 10') by 10 percent, if you choose to be an exhibitor.
  • Provide a resource for collecting attendee business cards for your follow-up.
  • Compile your session evaluations and forward the information to you
  • Give you one copy of your session’s audio recording, for personal use


NAR provides A/V equipment for each session as outlined in Checklist II of the Speaker Agreement.

For All Presentations

  • Additional equipment necessary for presentation if requested by deadlines dates (requests for equipment should be made as early as possible)
  • When requesting equipment, you should be very specific about your requirements. To ensure compatibility between your laptop computer and a requested Internet connection, include the make and model of your laptop. We have provided a list of the most frequently requested equipment for your reference.

Frequently Requested Equipment

Here is a list of most often requested equipment. When requesting equipment, please use the terms on this list so that we can best understand your needs.

Sound equipment includes:

  • Table microphone
  • Standing microphone
  • Lectern microphone
  • Hand-held wireless microphone
  • Wireless lavaliere microphone

Audiovisual equipment includes:

  • LCD projector
  • Screen (sized appropriately for room )
  • Flip chart with markers*
  • Monitor
  • Data projector
  • Audio CD player
  • Power strip for laptop equipment
  • Internet

*Should be used for small audiences only (60 or fewer persons)

Logistics - On-site

When you arrive: Pick up your registration packet and badge at the NAR registration area. NOTE: We mail badges to U.S. addresses for those who register prior to the October cutoff date.

Session locations

REALTORS® Conference & Expo education sessions are usually offered at a convention center facility. Shuttle services are scheduled for attendees to get to and from the hotels in NAR's room block and the convention center.

Room setup

Your room size assignment is based on anticipated topic appeal. Rooms are set up theater style with all audio/visual equipment for that day.

If you SUBMIT your final handout to NAR by the due date, copies will be delivered to the session room, along with the session door card, evaluations, etc.

If you DO NOT SUBMIT your handout to NAR by the deadline date on your Speaker Agreement you are responsible for reproducing and transporting your handouts to your session room at your expense. Handouts must be placed on the handout table at least 30 minutes prior to the start time or at the conclusion of the previous session. At no time is it permissible to enter the room with your materials while another session is in progress.

You are responsible for bringing copies of your personal promotional flyer for placement on the handout table, NOT on seats (assuming the flyer has been approved by NAR).

Equipment and setup checks take place one hour before the first session of the day. Quick session turnovers sometimes require that equipment from a previous session or later session is left in your session room. NOTE: There are usually 30 minutes between sessions during the day.

Audio recording

All education sessions are audio recorded. To ensure the quality of the audio recording please remember to:

  • Speak loudly
  • Speak clearly
  • Repeat all questions from the audience

Speaker’s Team

It takes many people to assure that each education session runs smoothly and successfully. Your support team includes the following:

Floor Managers: two NAR staff people who oversee the entire REALTORS® Conference & Expo education program. They will be recognizable by their black staff name badge. One Floor Manager checks room setup, equipment, room temperature and other set-up related items. The second Floor Manager oversees distribution of session door cards, handout materials and touches base with the Speaker and/or Room Host to make sure that they are all set for the session.

Badge Checker/Door Security/Crowd Control: These are individuals who are responsible for checking that all attendees are wearing the appropriate conference badge before entering the room. Their responsibilities are defined by NAR and they work with NAR and the facility to ensure the safety and security of all individuals in the meeting rooms during sessions. NOTE: Speakers should direct any questions about their role to the Floor Managers assigned to their session.

Room Host: May or may NOT be assigned to your session. Room Hosts are usually volunteer NAR members. The Room Host’s primary responsibility is to introduce the speaker and to perform any tasks necessary to ensure the success of the session. Room Hosts often help to distribute and collect handouts and evaluation forms.

Session Evaluations

Feedback helps NAR to continually improve the quality of REALTORS® Conference & Expo Programming.

  • Attendees. Each attendee is encouraged to complete an evaluation form and provide comments on your session. The evaluation form distributed to attendees asks about your materials, delivery, and subject matter expertise. NAR will send you a composite evaluation score based on attendee evaluations and comments.
  • Your Floor Manager. Your Floor Managers will “audit” your session. They will be asked to evaluate your preparation, delivery, visual aids, attendance number and the audience reaction.
  • You. We encourage speakers to provide us with feedback at any time.

Policy Violations

If a speaker is suspended for violating any of the REALTORS® Conference & Expo Education Program Speaker Policies, he or she may appeal the suspension (minimum three years) by writing a letter contesting it (see Speaker Agreement).

The Convention Committee will review the case and make a final recommendation, based on the available facts.

Letters should be sent to:

National Association of REALTORS®,
Conference & Expo Education
430 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois, 60611

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I use my promotional electronic slide/flyer?

A: As long as NAR receives and approves of your slide/flyer in advance, you are allowed to display it/place it on the handout table. Flyers must be no bigger than 8.5” x 14”. If you are an exhibitor, be sure to include your booth number on the slide/flyer.

Q: Who is responsible for copying the speaker’s personal promotional flyer?

A: The speaker is, if the speaker wants to distribute one, there is no requirement to do so. Based on experience, the number of copies equal to 25% of your room capacity should be adequate.

Q: Who can attend the education sessions?

A: Full Conference and appropriate One Day Conference registrants will be your primary audience. Speakers and Press receive a complimentary full conference registration which includes open access to the conference sessions, day-long entry to the Trade Show and admission to all non-ticketed events. Please note: admittance to Conference sessions is on a first-come, first-served basis and your Conference access pass will be required for admission. Trade Show only and Exhibitor badges provide access ONLY to the tradeshow floor.

New in 2012: a Session plus Expo registration category. This registrant will receive ONE ticket that they can redeem to attend ONE session during the 4 days of the conference.

Q: Why am I not permitted to sell/promote my products and services in the session room before, during or after my session?

A: Several reasons:

  • Attendees come to the session for an educational experience and not to hear a sales pitch. They consistently give negative evaluations to sessions that they perceive to be "product pitches."
  • Your trade show booth is the appropriate place for business transactions and promotional activities.
  • The education programs are set on a tight schedule to allow for as many programs as possible. The only time allowed between sessions is for room transitions from one session to the next.

Q: What if I arrive at my session room and the equipment is missing or incorrect?

A: NAR Staff check to make sure that all of your equipment requirements have been set up. The Floor Manager will ensure any revisions are made.

Q: How do I learn about the audience response to my session?

A: NAR will send you an evaluation report summarizing attendee evaluations of your session. This should arrive via e-mail in January.

Thank you for reviewing the Speaker Guidelines. If you have any questions, contact Heidi Henning at: cfpinfo@realtors.org