A great way to network and get your name out among your peers is to become a CLE speaker. But let's face it, not all CLE speakers are spectacular. How can you make sure you'll be invited back?
First, of course, you have to get selected to be a CLE speaker in the first place. There are several ways to do this, such as contacting the CLE organization with a brief biography and a description of your practice area. You can also select topics to talk about that are current and won't bore your potential audience.
Communicate with the CLE Coordinator. If you keep the CLE coordinator guessing until the very last minute, you won't be called back. This is likely true regardless of how amazing a speech you give. We understand that you are a busy attorney, but you will need open lines of communication with the CLE coordinator. This means you should respond to emails and calls, and hand in requested materials on time. If you don't give the CLE coordinator enough lead time to do her job, she'll probably consider you more of a headache than an asset.
Don't Leave Written Materials for the Last Minute. Many CLE speakers focus on their speech to the detriment of their written materials. This is a big mistake. The reality is that your speech will be forgotten (or at the least blurred), but your written materials will last. When it comes time for the CLE coordinator to select the next speaker, she may look through her stacks of written materials and choose the best prepared.
Follow Instructions. This follows the theme of making the CLE coordinator's job as easy as possible. If you're told to be at a given place by a given time, make sure you are there. Your coordinator will likely remember and appreciate your ability to follow instructions.
If you follow these steps, you're off to a great head start in becoming a repeat CLE speaker.