When you're invited to speak at a meeting or conference, you want to do everything possible before you present to ensure that you will be successful when you present.
Whether it's an hour-long concurrent session at a multi-day conference or a 30-minute overview at a department meeting, here are 10 questions to ask the meeting organizer before you present:
1. Why did you ask me to speak?
2. What is the goal of my presentation – what results do you expect?
3. What/who comes before and after I speak?
4. What other information/presentations will there be on my topic?
5. What are the room logistics? (microphone, lights, computer, projector, room set-up)
6. Slides/handouts – who is responsible for creating, duplicating and distributing?
7. How long do I have to present?
8. Who is in the audience – what is their background, knowledge and interest regarding the topic?
9. Is there anything else that I should be aware of, such as a company reorganization or recent success? Anything that I should definitely mention or avoid mentioning?
10. When can I get in the meeting room and practice my presentation?
(And if you're the meeting or conference organizer, make it easier for your guest speakers by telling them what they need to know, before they show up in the room.)
Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com