This series of posts is for you, if you’ve been asked to speak at a networking or other business event, you’re new to public speaking, and you need some advice on how to make sure your presentation goes smoothly.
Get to Know Everything You Can About the Event
The better you know your audience, the more able you are to give them something valuable.
The event organiser is the first person you’ll talk to in your research, but if they can introduce you to people who could be in the audience, do try to speak to them too. Questions you’ll want to ask include:
- Precisely why have you been invited to speak?
- If this event is one in a series, who else has spoken before you? Who will follow you?
- Recently, which speakers have the audience been most enthusiastic about, and why?
- What’s the profile of the audience members?
- What are their principle interests and concerns?
- Why do they come to this event?
- Can you get the email addresses of the attendees so that you can ask them beforehand what they’d most like to get out of your presentation?
- When is the presentation, and how long should it be?
- What activities happen before and after your presentation?
- What facilities will be provided? If you’re a PowerPoint user, will the necessary projection equipment be provided? If the audience is large, will a microphone and PA system be available?
- When will you be able to set up your equipment? Are there any restrictions 0n access to the building?
- How will the event be promoted?
- Does the event organiser want you to help in the promotion of the event?
- You’ll probably need to provide a title and synopsis. Do you also need to offer artwork, photos or logos?
Gathering all of this information provides you with a lot of intelligence on what your audience needs. Now you can start your preparation – which is the topic of the next post in this series.
Review the whole Making the Most of Your Speaking Opportunity series: