Last night I attended the memorial service for Laurie Meyer, owner of Programs Plus Speakers Bureau in New York City. She died in January at the age of 57 of cancer. It was a shock to all. Laurie was an active member of MPI (Meeting Professionals International) and the NY chapter rallied and planned a memorial service for her.
While the purpose of a memorial service is to honor and remember the life of the loved one, how it's staged, and how people communicate can have a major impact. Last night, all the rules of good presentation were fulfilled. The memorial was effectively organized and represented Laurie well. Booking the service in a comedy club was very much in keeping with Laurie's passion for doing stand up. A video of Laurie doing her comedy act made an impactful and attention-getting opener. Laurie's sister thanked everyone and was the first speaker. The emcee kept the evening moving by clearly and concisely announcing each speaker.
The program provided a variety of tributes-songs, poems, comedy acts, personal readings and sharing from the heart. Each person spoke for about three minutes or less and quickly exited the stage. The presenters provided a good balance of laughter and tears. The evening gently ended with people gathering for food and conversation.
As with all presentations, success results from good planning and coordination, choosing the right venue, a strong captivating opening, a variety of messages and styles targeted to the right audience, speaking from the heart to create engagement and an opportunity to meet afterward to bond with the audience.
Laurie will be missed and even in her absence she taught us how to present a great meeting.