MI from Colorado writes:
Can you help me determine if this request to speak is legitimate?
Occasionally dental speakers receive the ‘odd’ speaking request via email which leaves them scratching their heads and wondering… is this a legitimate request? It usually goes something like this:
- It’s from an international group you’ve never heard of in a location most people would love to visit
- It’s from an organization that ‘sounds like’ it could be legitimate
- The meeting is in a few weeks
- They offer to pay your full fee, plus travel
- The topic may or may not be a fit with your speaker offerings
I suggest analyzing the offer based upon the following criteria:
- Google to see if you can find the organization online
- If you find the organization, can you find the meeting listed in their upcoming events (exact dates/location)
- If so, have they hired other speakers? Any other Americans that you could contact to ask about their experience with the organization?
- Do you find the person who emailed you listed on the staff on their website?
- Does the email address on the email you received match the organization’s email?
- Is it well written (or poorly written), ie does it read like that email from the Nigerian prince that wants to leave you $8M?
- Does it seem too darn good to be true? ie, they are offering to pay full fee to fly you to the other side of the world, all expenses included, in four weeks, for a 1 hour presentation on a topic you don’t normally speak about?
- If you’re still not sure, reach out to your colleagues and ask if they have received the same email.
Ultimately, think it through before you reply. The email is likely a phishing expedition and the best response is usually to hit the “spam” button and move on.