35 Expert questions to ask event organizers before accepting to speak

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Questions to ask event organizers

The way they communicate with you already says a lot about their experience and abilities. Non-experienced speakers usually don't ask any questions.
-Tulia Lopes, founder of AWE Summit

Ask a lot of questions before accepting to speak at an event can make the event go smoother, ensure you are the right fit, and help you give the best talk possible.

While it might be exciting to get an offer, by asking the right questions, you can figure out what the expectations are, and whether you can deliver them, all before setting foot on stage.

Asking questions can also be very helpful in figuring out your standpoint in negotiating your speaking fee later.

Find out more about negotiating your speaking fee.

speak so that you can give inspiring, impactful talks.

Top 35 questions

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. What is happening to them in their world, how do they feel?

  8. Is the audience paying to be there?

  9. How many speakers do you have in total?

  10. What is the attire that most folks wear to your event?

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 will have on the audience?

  3. What is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed in the talk?

  4. What kind of questions will I get in the Q&A?

  5. Who are the other speakers and what will they talk about?

Managing expectations:

  1. What’s your budget?  

  2. Who is your (the event organizer’s) favorite speaker?

  3. What do you see as the short term and long term benefits?

  4. What do you not want me to do on stage?

  5. What do you want me to do on stage?

Interacting with the audience:

  1. How can I connect with the audience afterwards?

  2. Am I able to sell (books, products, programs) at this event?

  3. Am I able to seed/share from the stage?

  4. Can I offer handouts? If so, may I have your logo to add to the them?

  5. Can I meet and greet the attendees before the event either in the lobby or inside the room when they walk in?

  6. Can I have the contact details for 3 critical people who will be in the audience?  [By contacting them, you can dig deeper in the challenges and successes of the organization or audience. This can help highly customize your talking by mentioning specific people in the audience and the issues they have, increase your credibility and insider knowledge.]

Get technical: the setup

  1. Where is the event going to be? Is travel and accommodation covered?

  2. Where in the event agenda would I be speaking?

  3. How long is the talk supposed to be?

  4. Tell me about the venue and the stage setup.

  5. What kind of equipment will be provided? Is there are stage technician?

  6. Will this be filmed or recorded?

  7. What is the set up for slides? Other visuals?

  8. What will happen before and after I take the stage?

  9. Is there going to be something I should attend after the talk?

And the final, possibly the most important one:

“When my speech/presentation/session is over, what [information/feeling/action plan] do you want participants to walk away with?”

What other question do you always ask before accepting speak? We’d love to hear you insights. Contact us here.

SpeakerHub would like to acknowledge the various speakers who shared their views on this in the MySpeakerBusiness Facebook group. Want to join the group? Join here.

 
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See also:

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    Talk isn’t cheap: Making a strong case for speaker fees

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  • Setting your speaking fees
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