The way a stage looks in person and the way it looks in a photograph can be two very different things. My job in this case was to make the photos look as good (or better) as it looked to the audience. The client specifically wanted to make sure the background was colorful, not washed out. Unfortunately, however, the stage lighting was awful, so this was quite a challenge.
I ended up having to use two off-camera speedlights on either side of the stage to brighten up the speaker. Both flashes had a snoot on them to help aim the light and keep it from hitting the audience. I also had to make sure they wouldn’t spill light onto the background and wash out the green colored lights.
It would have been much easier to shoot with the available light and then pass the blame, but a photographer’s job is to produce good photos with no excuses attached.