Speakers in the Community
Join our Speakers Bureau Today!
Are you as passionate about Guide Dogs as you are about public speaking? Then consider joining Guide Dogs for the Blind's Speakers Bureau!
Our Speakers Bureau gives volunteers from all over the globe the opportunity to speak at philanthropic organizations, agencies, corporations, schools, and many other venues. Whether you are a puppy raiser, alumni, breeder custodian, career change owner, or simply a member of the community eager to speak about our organization, you can join our Speakers Bureau.
Signing up for the Speakers Bureau
Becoming a Guide Dogs Speakers Bureau volunteer is easy!
Simply download the Speakers Bureau Volunteer Application, complete it, and send it back to the address indicated on the application. Once your application has been accepted and approved, you'll receive notice from our staff and can begin speaking in your community!
Before you deliver your first presentation, it's important to become familiar with the tools that Guide Dogs offers its speakers. The Speakers Toolkit is available on the right hand side of this page and contains the following items:
The FAQ sheet contains a series of questions that you may receive when delivering a presentation, accompanied by a standardized series of answer that communicate our new Guide Dogs messaging. The FAQ sheet will help you with commonly asked questions, as well as questions that may be sensitive or unusual. You can practice the responses to the questions before you deliver a speech, of keep the sheet with you the day of your presentation as a reminder of how to answer a particular question when you receive it.
- Facts and Stats Quick Reference
As part of our new messaging, we're encouraging speakers to concentrate on the "big picture" of our organization and focus on communicating the different ways that we achieve our mission of "Using our power of partnering to improve quality of life." That said, there will always be someone in your audience who is interested in details and statistics about our organization. The Quick Reference Card offers the most up-to-date, pertinent statistics about our alumni, guides, puppy raisers, etc. If you're asked for a statistic that you don't know, you can always refer the audience member to our website or contact a staff person with your question and then get back in touch with the audience member.
- Where should I speak?: List of Suggested Speaking Venues
Guide Dogs receives a fair number of requests for speakers each year, but in order to ensure that you have as many opportunities to speak as possible, we strongly encourage you to solicit your own speaking venues. The Suggested Speaking Venues document provides you with three pages worth of ideas about where to offer your speaking services.
- Audience Feedback Form
At the end of each presentation, ask each audience member to complete an Audience Feedback Form (try to estimate your audience size before presenting, so that you can bring enough copies for all audience members). Collect the completed forms and give them to the primary contact at your speaking venue so that he/she can mail the forms back to Guide Dogs for you.
- PowerPoint Presentation
The final tool in our Speakers Toolkit is a prepackaged, complete PowerPoint presentation that contains new messaging about the Power of Partnership. The presentation is a high level overview of Guide Dogs and is standardized, but includes a section where you can share with the audience a particular story that conveys your experience within the Guide Dogs community. The presentation is available in both PowerPoint form and in a Text-only form that contains descriptions of the images and text on each slide. You can deliver the presentation with or without projecting the PowerPoint slides.
- Community Volunteer Report Form
You've located a speaking venue and delivered a great presentation — now what? Tell Guide Dogs about it! We want to hear about all aspects of your presentation, including the highlights of your speech, suggestions for ways that you could improve future speeches, and a list of the organizations you educated through your Speakers Bureau presentation. You can inform us of all this information and more by completing the Community Volunteer Report Form.
After each presentation
By keeping Guide Dogs up to date on your contributions to the community, we can acknowledge your work and find new ways to involve you as a Community Volunteer. In order for us to do this, you 'll need to keep Guide Dogs informed of the great work you are doing in your community by submitting a Community Volunteer Report Form for each volunteer task you complete. If you don't have access to the internet, you can contact Guide Dogs at 415-499-4058 to request a paper application.
Once you've joined the Bureau, we encourage you to continue seeking out your own speaking engagements in your community. This will enable you to speak at as many venues as possible. Additionally, when our staff receives a request for a speaker in your area, we'll contact you to see if you are available to speak.
Thank you for helping raise awareness about Guide Dogs in our communities, and welcome to the Speakers Bureau!
Request a speaker from Guide Dogs for your next event
An overview of Guide Dogs for the Blind
Frequently asked questions
Our mission, vision and values
Information about blindness etiquette
All about raising a Guide Dog puppy