Frequently Asked Questions

faq

Below, we’ve addressed our most frequently asked questions. Click on the title of a question to see each answer.

About us

What is Mirthy?

Mirthy helps older adults remain active, social and connected by matching public speakers with retirement homes and community clubs hosting local talks. Although we welcome all ages, the majority of events are run by and for those in retirement age, covering a diverse range of interesting and engaging topics. Our platform provides a forum for older adults to come together while sharing their knowledge and experience for the benefit of the wider community.

How does it work?

We connect public speakers with event organisers arranging local talks. Event organisers are often retirement developments, like McCarthy & Stone, or social clubs such as U3A and Probus. Facilitators can schedule their events on the platform and browse the best speakers by talk topic and cost, before submitting a booking request. We also provide various guides and resources for older adults on our blog, which addresses a range of later life themes, from retirement to travel and health.

Who are you?

We’re a team who care deeply about helping millions of older adults reconnect, using community events as a vehicle to address loneliness in later life. Our founder, Alex Ramamurthy, was inspired in this mission after seeing the effects of social isolation up-close in his previous role as CEO of The Care Workers Charity. Since then, Alex has been joined by others who share his vision, including our co-founder, Dhruv Haria. Together, we’re confident that we can transform retirement homes and underutilised public spaces into interactive hubs to unite older adults and foster stronger communities.

Public speakers

How do I sign up?

If you’d like to showcase your public speaking services, you can sign up for a free account here. We provide the perfect platform to promote your talks and offer the visibility they deserve. Following registration, please refer to this interactive guide explaining how to complete your profile and list your talks for the benefit of our community. Following an enquiry for your speaking services, the Mirthy team will contact you to check your availability for the event.

Are there any guidelines for public speakers?

The most important rule is to have fun! While pre-talk nerves are understandable, your enthusiasm for the subject should shine through, making it an enjoyable experience for attendees. Other than that, we ask speakers to provide 1-3 post-talk discussion questions to encourage attendees to engage in conversation on the topic before feeding back to the wider group.

I'm new to public speaking. Can I still join?

Of course! We encourage everyone to try public speaking. It’s a genuinely rewarding and confidence-building activity, allowing you to share your knowledge and experience with an eager audience. Attendees at our events are generally very receptive and with practice, your public speaking skills will soon improve.

I want to improve my speaking skills. Any suggestions?

Well, you’re in the right place! We offer budding public speakers the opportunity to develop their skills in a live environment. And after all, practice makes perfect. For general speaking advice and further guidance in preparation for a speech, please refer to this introductory article on public speakers and the following public speaking tips.

How long should talks last?

Talk length will vary depending on the event organiser. However, we encourage speakers to keep their presentations between 30 and 45 minutes (with an additional 15 minutes for your discussion questions at the end). Although some Mirthy members might find this difficult for more expansive topics, feedback from our community suggests that shorter talks are better received, keeping audiences interested and engaged. Happier attendees means better feedback and positive reviews, so tweaking your speech to appease your audience can improve your profile for future bookings.

What is the usual demographic of event attendees?

Mirthy caters for older adults, generally 65 years and above, with many of our events hosted in retirement homes and social clubs. Similarly, many of our speakers are retirees themselves, drawing on their wide experiences to deliver interesting talks. This might influence your choice of topic and/or speech delivery to ensure you pitch your talk appropriately for the audience.

What topics can I cover in my talks?

Anything and everything! If you find the topic interesting then no doubt others will too. We have speakers covering a wide range of topics, from beekeeping and astronomy to local history and show business. Whilst you can create any talk title you wish, when adding the talk, ensure you list it under the correct category so it’s easily searchable for event organisers.

What about logistics and equipment?

There’s a section under each profile for speakers to outline the equipment they require. This could include whether you’ll bring their own laptop or if you require a projector for photos or video. Other specifications might include the audio setup, such as whether you need a PA system or speakers to play music for your talk.

What if I’m unable to attend?

When an event organiser chooses you for an event, we’ll be in touch to check your availability. If you’re unable to attend, just let us know. If you confirm an event but due to unforeseen circumstances have to cancel nearer the time, please inform us as soon as possible so we can arrange a suitable replacement.

How much should I charge for a talk?

One of the benefits of signing up as a public speaker is that you can use your talks to earn extra pocket money. The fee you charge is entirely your choice and often depends on various factors, not least your skill level and previous experience. To start, browse comparable speaker profiles for an idea of common rates. Many of our public speakers fall within the £50-£75 range, excluding transport costs.

How do I get paid for my talk?

Following your talk, we will send you an invoice template to fill in with various details such as your fees, expenses, bank details, etc. Once returned to us, we will make payment by bank transfer within 7 days. Please reach out to us if you have any specific requirements.

How can I encourage more bookings?

The first factor is to ensure that your profile is fully completed and as compelling as possible. Images are important so ensure you use a clear, professional headshot. You can use your profile to highlight your speaking experience and how this feeds into your talks. Many of our popular public speakers have honed their talk description using catchy titles and images, supplemented by a summary, to provide event organisers with a taste of what they can expect. We also encourage our organisers and attendees to leave speaker reviews after each event, so this feature can also help to build your profile.

Event organisers

How do I search for a particular type of talk?

On the homepage, you can search for speakers by location. Then, on the search results page, you can further narrow your search by talk type and speaker fee. You can also use the search bar at the top of every page to input a particular speaker’s name or talk title.

How do I book a talk?

Firstly, you can sign up for a free account here. After providing some basic details regarding your organisation, you can create an event and search our profile database, bookmarking Mirthy speakers that would appeal to your audience. When you submit your request for your chosen speakers, we’ll contact the relevant individuals and confirm their availability.

Can I book non-local speakers?

When speakers sign up, there’s an option to select which areas they cover and how far they’re willing to travel. Popular speakers will often travel beyond their local area, especially with the promise of exposure to a new audience. Please note that for speakers travelling longer distances, event organisers might have to cover related travel and accommodation expenses.

How do I know if a speaker is good?

You can read individual bios to discover the previous experience of each individual. Although pricing isn’t always indicative of quality (especially for newer profiles), please be aware that skilled speakers might charge a premium for their service. We also encourage organisers and attendees to leave post-event reviews, providing extra peace of mind that a speaker can deliver an appropriate talk for your audience prior to booking.

What if a speaker is unable to attend?

When organising an event, we encourage you to select at least two to three potential speakers. We’ll then check on the availability of your chosen speakers. If your primary choice cancels after the engagement has been confirmed, we’ll contact one of your backup options to step in.

How can we promote the event?

That very much depends on your local audience. If you have a retirement home, you can encourage residents to attend through a poster on the notice board and by contacting each resident individually. To sell tickets to members of the local community, you can ask residents to share the event with friends and family and email potential prospects on your database, using the event as an open day for the retirement development or social club. This will encourage social connection and interaction between members and general attendees. If you have any specific questions about promoting your event, feel free to get in touch.

Must we provide specific equipment or facilities?

Ideally, event organisers will provide access to visual aids such as a projector or TV so that speakers can use a laptop and talk slides if they wish. A PA system can also help with larger events so that all attendees can hear. Adequate seating and toilet facilities are expected and light refreshments are a nice addition to encourage attendees to socialise before and after the event.

Do you offer any other activities or events?

We’re currently focusing on public speaking by facilitating interactive local talks. However, in the future, we hope to offer a range of community-building events for older adults, including arts and crafts, book clubs and exercise, to name a few. If you have any suggestions for certain meetups you’d enjoy, please contact us with any feedback here.

General

I would like to attend a public-speaking event. Is that possible?

This is currently at the discretion of individual retirement developments and social clubs, who can either keep an event private or promote the meetup within the local community for non-residents or non-members. In the future, we hope to list public events on our platform, whereby website visitors can browse local events and register for attendance.

I'm currently quite lonely. Can Mirthy help?

Mirthy’s mission is to reduce loneliness and keep older adults connected in their communities. By encouraging face-to-face interaction over shared interests, we believe we can foster stronger local bonds, thereby reducing loneliness. In the near future, we hope to list local events around the UK, after which we’d encourage you to attend a meetup. To keep up-to-date with the latest Mirthy news as we evolve, sign up to our email list here.

I'd like to get more involved. How can I help?

Signing up as a public speaker is a great help. If you represent an organisation and would like to host interesting talks for your residents or members, you’re in the right place! Alternatively, spreading the word about the Mirthy mission to friends and family is greatly appreciated. For any other specific requests, feel free to contact us here or sign up to the Mirthy newsletter for further updates.

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