The Role of Guest Speakers in Residential Care

The Role of Guest Speakers in Residential Care

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Guest Speakers can be engaged to entertain, provide support, share knowledge, and help commemorate themed events Care facilities that adopt a tradition of engaging guest speakers enrich the lifestyle of residents.
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Guest Speakers are people who are invited (or hired) to present a speech at an event.

Guest Speakers can entertain, provide support, share knowledge, and help commemorate themed events. They may also provide a special address at fundraising events, parties, and gala dinners.

A guest speaker is sometimes called a ‘Compere’ or a ‘MC’ and they may or may not be professional speakers.

Care facilities that adopt a tradition of engaging guest speakers (on a monthly basis for instance) enrich the lifestyle of residents. Whether the speaker is a hired professional or a generous local sharing their wisdom - bringing in outsiders with fresh ideas and perspectives can entertain, educate, and inspire residents in care facilities.

Why should you engage a Guest Speaker?

  • To inform/educate audience about a certain subject.
  • To develop community relations.
  • To promote sustainable cultural heritage.
  • To give residents and staff a break from routine.

Types of Guest Speakers

Information Guest Speaker

To inform on a particular topic or theme: Veterans’ Day, Computer Talk, Oral Health, Rights & Responsibilities, and Ethnic clubs.

Entertainment Guest Speaker

Clowns, impersonators, comedians, cabaret, and performing arts (mime, theatre, ballet, magic, opera, and puppetry).

Inspirational Guest Speaker

Nutritionist, Yoga/Tai Chi instructors, Wellness.

Where to find Guest Speakers


Guest speakers do not necessarily need to be formally hired (paid). Every community has people willing to donate their time and expertise to a good cause. Anyone with good communication skills, and a passion for the topic chosen can be invited for a presentation talk. Some of the best talks come from the heart and from personal experience. Willing and enthusiastic guest speakers may be sought in:

  • Neighbourhood Centers/Senior Centers
  • Local schools, city council, choral groups
  • Clubs (Rotary, Ethnic, Sports)
  • Recommendations from residents, their relatives and friends, and staff.

To find some topics of interest to your residents, bring the subject up at the next ‘Residents’ Meeting’.


On the other hand guest speakers can be hired online or through agencies. To find them online search for the subject you are interested in: domestic animals, beehives, worm farms, comedians, bagpipers, and others. You may also search for ‘Entertainers for Hire’ to find dancers, for instance: Indian classic, Burlesque, Latin, Salsa, Flamenco, and others.

Choose the ones who can do a little more than just the performance e.g. talk about the origin/history of their craft, what attracted them to it, and also offer props, and engage the audience.

Tips for Hiring Guest Speakers

There are various important details to consider when hiring a paid Guest Speaker, including:

  • Establish if the speaker has been successful in the past. If possible ask for a video demonstration.
  • Enquire what type of sound system is necessary (usually they bring their own).
  • Clarify with the speaker your objectives for the presentation; educate, inform, motivate, entertain, and/or shift behavior/attitude.
  • Find out if the talk can be interactive.
  • Find out if there are props, handouts, and pictures.
  • Provide the speaker with an overview of the audience (cognitive status, attention span).
  • Inform the speaker of the area available for presentation/performance.

10 Guest Speaker topics to get started with

  • Farm representatives
  • National seniors associations or clubs on current issues
  • Veteran Affairs (on themed days/events)
  • Active Health & Lifestyle Professionals
  • Fishing, football athletes, sailors, and cartoonist/caricaturist (possible men’s topics)
  • Professional ‘Pastoral Care’ on grief and loss
  • An expert on ‘The Golden Years of Hollywood’
  • Horticulturalist (to present a talk on succulents & cacti for instance)
  • Nutritionist/Chef
  • An aspiring tenor or soprano

Guest speakers add an important dimension to community relations. They give residents an opportunity to learn something new while providing lots of fun and entertainment.

Engaging guest speakers also provides the opportunity for amazing public relations for residential care facilities.

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Comments   Post a Comment

Robyn 5th Aug 2015 Poetry Facilitator
Great read - the more outsiders coming in - the richer we all are because we form a connecting web with the larger community.
The Henry Lawson Society offers brilliant entertainment. Your local Rotary club is a rich fund of knowledge and know how. International Exchange students are great fun too.
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