If you don’t, you may be ‘cruising for a bruising’!
Not all event organisers are equal or as diligent as you might think
While most seasoned conference, seminar or event organisers are good on detail – others may be less so.
And it doesn’t matter if the latter is down to time pressures, less than concrete planning, sins of omission, inadvertent errors or even a touch of sloppiness by the people putting on an event…
…if you’re a speaker and you seem less than properly briefed or prepared, guess who’ll get more blamed by an audience – you or the event organisers?
Absolutely. Commonly, you.
It’s no fun to be a speaker who is ‘unnecessarily’ guilty of one of the following sins:
- Sharing information/ideas that are already well known to the audience
- Regurgitating what others have already said
- Speaking at a level that is either too advanced or basic for an audience
- Being off topic altogether
It’s maddening and completely unacceptable for any audience when this happens.
No one likes to have their time wasted – neither you nor those who listen to you.
Worse still, no one can get that time back and you may be embarrassed by the experience.
Always ask questions before you write your speech
If you want to avoid being a patsy who makes people wish they had sat closer to the exit door, so they can ‘leg it’ when confronted by speakers who are ‘off point’ or ‘pointless’…
…Avoid all oncoming surprises by getting into the habit of asking a few basic questions of event organisers before you create your presentation.
These might include:
- What’s the main purpose of the event?
- Who’s going to be there in the audience?
- What are they expecting from the event?
- What are they expecting from you?
- What topics will other speakers address?
And don’t worry about offending conference or event organisers. The better ones will be delighted to hear from you and see you’re doing your homework. And if you encounter lesser prepared ‘eventsters’ – you may help to concentrate their minds and clarify their thinking about what attendees should get from their event. Either way, there’s no downside here.
By paying attention to agendas, expected outcomes and what each speaker should contribute to an event – you stand a much better chance of ensuring you and your audience will feel better about your experiences.
Over to you
What questions do you tend to ask before you approach a podium?
Please share your observations and comments.