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Image of a microphone and caption 10 top questions to ask if you are a guest speaker

Top 10 Questions to ask if you are a guest speaker

Did you know that the best way to raise visibility about your business is to speak about it? Whether it be in front of a live face to face  audience or online and to gain trust by sharing your knowledge? Have you been turning down opportunities to speak at events as you are too nervous or  feel too ill prepared? Are you uncertain of  what questions to ask in advance?

They say that fear comes from the fact that are you are not in control and don’t know what’s happening so these tips will hopefully help you be more prepared and alleviate that fear. By being more prepared you will also have more time to really adapt your topic to your audience and feel more confident in what you are delivering.

I was asked to speak at 2 events within the last 4 weeks and I thought it useful to put together these tips to make sure you are armed with as much information before you start.

If you are contacted by an organisation, local council or event planner to speak at an event, here is a list of top 10 Questions to ask if the organiser hasn’t detailed it in their brief already:

  1. Who the target audience is
  2. What your message should be
  3. How long you are expected to speak for
  4. How many attendees are expected to turn up
  5. If there are other speakers speaking before or after you
  6. If there are certain topics you should stick to
  7. If there are any special dignitaries in the room you must address
  8. At what stage the audience is allowed to ask questions
  9. What the setup is -do you have to bring your own laptop, or should you email your presentation in advance
  10. What equipment you need. Cables (HDMI/Mac) /handheld mic/clicker etc depending on how much you intend to move around the room


Blow your own Trumpet

Man blowing trumpet in concert

Blow your own trumpet

Remember as this is also a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of your own company so bring branded material with you: business pop-up, leaflets, business cards or small corporate take-aways and ask to distribute on the seats in advance.

Ask the organiser to give you an image of the event so you can share on your own social media platforms.

Leave out a paper questionnaire to ask the audience what they thought about your presentation and giving them the option to meet with you for a one-to-one consultation etc.

Value your Own Worth

Don’t be afraid to ask if there is a budget even if it’s only to pay your travel expenses. If you calculate preparation time, the time you are out of your office and the time travelling it can quickly mount up. It’s always your call if you want to ask for remuneration or not as you may feel in the long term it’s a win-win situation that is worth the time invested!

Put yourself out there

Since setting up my own business, I’ve accepted several opportunities  to speak about being a virtual assistant and how I became self-employed. I’m always surprised how many months later someone will call me and say I heard you talking at such a such event. Running your own business is one massive learning curve so why not share any tips you can with others and help inspire others? The late Dennis Norden used to say ‘It will be alright on the night’ but you want it to be more than alright don’t you? Plan as much as is feasible. Order that pop-up and leaflets now and get your vocal chords warmed up!

If you want to overcome your fear of public speaking in 2019 check out this workshop happening 28th Feb in Belfast https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-to-find-and-increase-your-confidence-about-speaking-in-public-tickets-54165531563?aff=eac2

If you need help researching speaking opportunities or locations don’t hesitate to contact me as that’s 1 of many tasks a virtual assistant can help you with!

Image VirtuAli Alison speaking ABC Connect event 16 Oct 2018 in F E McWilliams Gallery N.Ireland

Alison speaking ABC Connect event 16 Oct 2018

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Guest podcaster for Gayle Alexander's VA Today series on the topic of being a Virtual Assistant!

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