ESOP Association Speaker Policies and Guidelines

With The ESOP Association’s conference season kicking off, we thought it would be a good time to remind Association members and speakers of our policies and guidelines. The information is being re-printed below but can also be found on the Association’s website here. If you have questions, please send an email to

The ESOP Association Policies and Procedures for Speakers/Presenters

On ESOP Technical and Operational Issues

Participating in National Conferences & Seminars

Approved by the Board of Directors, August 16, 2003

Amended, February 8, 2004, by Advisory Committees Chairs’ Council

Approved by the Board of Directors, May 9, 2005

Approved by the Board of Directors, May 13, 2007

Amended by the Board of Directors, August 18, 2007


In order to ensure The ESOP Association’s educational meetings maintain the highest possible level of style and competence in a volunteer organization that values decentralized decision making with regard to the topics reviewed and as to who formally presents the topics to attendees, a Task Force of volunteers knowledgeable about the Association’s meetings and decision style has developed policies and procedures for the selection of presenters by the Chairs of the Association’s Advisory Committees at The ESOP Association’s national meetings on technical and operational topics.  These policies and procedures do not apply to speakers at Association chapter meetings nor those nominated by Association chapters for presentation at the Association Annual meeting.  These guidelines also apply to presentations by Professional members of The ESOP Association’s Advisory Committee on Ownership Culture.

It is expected that the Advisory Committee Chairs’ Council will monitor these policies and procedures, and their enforcement.  Under certain circumstances beyond the control of a chair or presenter, a policy or procedure may be waived.  Circumstances such as death, serious illness, or accidents are examples, when a waiver is justified but a presenter’s need to tend to her or his business or professional affairs would not justify a waiver.

Policies and Procedures for Presenters

             Following are all the recommendations made in this report:

  1. A presenter who finds that s/he cannot, make a presentation, must notify the Advisory Committee Chair who selected him/her for the presentation as quickly as possible.  If for some reason the presenter cannot contact the Advisory Committee Chair within two working days of the Association meeting where he or she was to present, the presenter is to notify the national office of The ESOP Association.  The Advisory Committee Chair will then proceed to select someone to take that presenter’s place for the upcoming Association meeting.  Any presenter who does not honor this policy, and proceeds, on her or his own to arrange for a substitute presenter will be suspended from speaking at any national Association meeting sponsored by the national Association until after the date of the next year’s meeting which is the same one he/she was scheduled to speak.  For example, if this policy is violated with regard to the Annual Conference the suspension lasts through the dates of the next Annual Conference.
  1. A presenter may not include someone in his or her formal presentation on her or his own initiative.  For example, assume an advisory committee chair has selected ESOP Association member “A” to make a presentation.  “A” does come to the meeting prepared to make a presentation at the appropriate time, but has arranged for another person to present to the attendees during her or his allocated time, as if the Advisory Committee Chair had selected that person as well.  Any presenter who does not honor this policy will be suspended from speaking at any national Association meeting through the next scheduled national Association fall or spring conference.  For example, if this policy is violated during the Vegas Conference, the suspension is through the date of the Association’s next Annual Conference.
  1. A. If a presenter does not submit materials for the proceedings book for those Association meetings for which bound proceedings books, or CDs, are prepared for attendees, that person will be suspended from presenting at any national Association meeting through the dates of the next Association spring or fall conference, which ever comes first.  For example, if a person does not submit materials for the Annual Conference proceedings book, that person is suspended from making presentations through the dates of the next Vegas Conference.  If the failure to submit is for the Vegas proceeding book, the suspension is through the dates of the next Annual Conference.

B. If a presenter does not submit a copy of his or her handout for an Association meeting at which attendees are not given a proceedings book or CD, or fails to provide a handout to attendees of his or her session, that person will be suspended from presenting at any national Association meeting for the same period of time as set forth in 3.A.

C. If a presenter does not comply with Subsections A or B of this section, the Chair of the Advisory Committee that selected that person to present may ask that the Chair of the Advisory Committees Chairs’ Council to consider presenting to the Council the Committee’s Chair recommendation that the sanctions of A or B not apply to the presenter, only after the appointing Chair considers the reasons that the materials required in A or B were not submitted for inclusion in the proceedings book or for handout.  After Council discussion, the Council Chair may waive the sanctions of subsection A or B of these guidelines.

  1. A Committee Chair will designate one presenter as the moderator for each session. The moderator will receive instructions and guidelines.  If a person is designated as the moderator and coordinator of a presentation panel, and there is no evidence that the person actually did anything prior to his or her session to co-ordinate the presentations of her or his panel, that person may be subject to suspension.
  1. The Association and the Advisory Committees’ Chairs’ Council will provide incoming Advisory Committee Chairs with a full orientation in the policies and procedures for presenter selections, in writing, and at the first quarter Advisory Committees’ Chairs’ Council held each year.
  1. A.  Advisory Committee Chairs will provide to each member of her or his committee the policies and procedures for presenter selections, in writing at least at one committee meeting a year, preferably at the May meeting, and will provide time on the committee agenda for a verbal review of the rules.

B. An Advisory Committee Chair will provide a written copy of the policies and procedures for each new member as the time that person is appointed by the chair to be a committee member.

  1. The Association will periodically publish to all members the policies and procedures for presenter selections either in direct mailings, inclusion with the presenter notification forms, a newsletter article, and other means of suitable circulation that may be accessed by all members.
  1. The moderator of a session has an obligation to urge attendees to fill out evaluations, and evaluations of the session should note whether anyone urged the group to fill out evaluations.  The Moderator’s Instruction at the podium for each session will include a reminder that the audience should be urged to fill out evaluations.
  1. Presenters are required to fill out special “presenter” evaluations of the session in which they participated as provided by the Association’s staff.  Presenters will give their “presenter” evaluations to Association staff.
  1. The Association staff is responsible for collecting evaluations of the sessions, identifying which Committee Chair appointed each presenter, and provide the evaluations of each presenter to the appropriate committee chair, and the incoming chair if known.  No person, including the Committee Chair, incoming chair, or past chair is excluded from this process of having evaluations tabulated and delivered to the appropriate Committee Chair.
  1. An outgoing Advisory Committee Chair shall give the incoming chair the evaluations for presenters collected during his or her term, a list of committee members under suspension, noting when the suspension began, and share commentary about presenters from the committee with the incoming chair.
  1. Association staff will become familiar with evaluations and become familiar with evaluations of individuals, and each presenter’s “ratings”.  Using discretion, the Association staff will directly communicate to an Advisory Committee Chair views that indicate that a specific individual has consistently received below average ratings on the general evaluations for two or more presentations.
  2. An Advisory Committee Chair should not select a person from his or her committee who has received consistently below average ratings from evaluations as reported to him or her by Association staff.

Following are Existing Rules That Are To Be Codified

1.                  Chairs of the Associations Advisory Committees select presenters of topic on technical and operational issues for the Association’s national meetings.  They select members of their committees first, then a member of the Association if no committee member is available or qualified to present on the topic.  Although it should occur rarely, a Committee Chair may select someone to present who is not a member of the Association if no member of the Association is qualified to address the topic after consultation with the Association’s chief staff officer.

2.                  A presenter must respect the educational intent of Association programs and avoid sales pitches for particular products or services.  For example, it is permissible for a presenter to say, “I am so and so, and I am a partner/principal/shareholder/ associate, etc. with the firm of xxxxx.  Our firm provides (brief summary of services).”  Furthermore, if during a break or before or after a program session begins, an individual attendee asks the presenter about his/her firm or states that s/he would be interested in knowing more about the services, certainly the Association does not prescribe the answer, and expects the service provider will answer in a manner positive of his/her services, and possibly take the name and address of the inquirer for future communications that will directly tout the firm.  An example of impermissible touting would be “My firm sells an insurance product that can solve you repurchase obligation;” or “My firm has developed a unique S corp, LLC, family partner structure that you should contact me about”, or similar statements enticing the attendees to contact the presenter for services after the meeting.  If evaluations indicate the presenter was touting, that presenter may be suspended.  The Committees Chairs’ decision should depend on evidence that touting took place.

3.                  The Board of Directors of the Association, per the By-laws, may amend these policies and procedures.”

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