Questions To Ask Before a Speaking Engagement
Tailor-made to your audience and venue
Speaking at a club, organization, or association is a great way to network and market your business to a targeted group. If you are invited to speak at an event, bear in mind that one size does not fit all: what works in one situation will not work in another. There are as many different ways of delivering a speech or presentation as there are events. It is important to understand the parameters, (who, what, when, where, and how), and tailor your presentation accordingly.
What to ask the event organizer
Once you've been invited to speak or give your presentation, call or email the organizer and ask any questions that you feel would help you prepare. Some things to consider are:
- How many people will be in attendance?
- How long should the speech or presentation be?
- What is the size of the venue?
- What kinds of people will be there?
- Will there be other speakers besides me?
- Is there a podium? A table? A stage?
- Should I provide a bio for an introduction?
- Will people be sitting at tables or in rows of chairs?
- Will people be ordering and/or eating food or drinks?
Relax and enjoy yourself
Most people have at least some fear of speaking in public, so you're not alone if you're feeling a few butterflies. The best advice I've received is to prepare beforehand, and just try to relax. It helps to know your subject, be passionate about it, and use anecdotes from personal experience to illustrate your point.
Photo: "Business People at the Meeting" by Ambro