27 Expert questions to ask before accepting to speak, by Elizabeth Van Den Bergh


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You are invited to take part in a panel? Great!   Say yes! You’ll figure it out afterwards.   Every meeting is different. Before you start preparing ask questions, many questions.   Non-experienced speakers usually don't ask many questions. Whether you are experienced or not, here is a good list of questions to ask before hitting the stage.   First make sure you know who you are talking to. You might be contacted by the event organisor, the program manager, a session organiser or directly by the moderator. These are all different roles and one person might not have all the answers for you. You should definitely always talk to the moderator beforehand.   Speaker Checklist   Understanding the event
  1. Tell me briefly about your event.
  2. What are their objectives of the meeting/conference/workshop?
  3. Who is organizing and sponsoring it?
  4. Is this a one-day event, a one-hour event, a one-week event?
  5. Who is your audience (seniority, profile, age, ….)?
  6. How much does the audience know about the topic?
  7. How do they feel about the topic?
  8. How many speakers do you have in total?
  9. Who is the moderator?
  What do you expect from me?
  1. Why do you think I am a good fit to speak to your audience?
  2. What is the effect you want the talk to have on the audience?
  3. What is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed in the talk?
  4. What kind of questions can I expect in the Q&A?
  5. How long will I speak?
  6. Will I give a short presentation or just a few introductory remarks?
  7. How long should my short bio be?
  The other speakers
  1. Who are the other speakers and what is their expertise?
  2. How will I interact with the other speakers on the panel?
  3. Can you share the speaking points of the other speakers upfront?
  4. Will the speakers be invited to react to each others speaking points?
  Interacting with the audience
  1. How can I connect with the audience during my talk and afterwards?
  2. Can I offer handouts? Print or digital?
  3. Can I meet and greet the attendees before the event either in the lobby or inside the room when they walk in?
  The set-up and technical details
  1. How long is the talk supposed to be?
  2. Tell me about the venue and the stage setup.
  3. What kind of equipment will be provided? Is there are stage technician?
  4. Will this be filmed or recorded?
  Once you know everything about the event, the topic and the expectations, it is time to prepare your intervention.     Elizabeth Van Den Bergh Montis Public Speaking   This article is based on an article from Esther Snippe.