About one month before the event, schedule a pre-event planning call. Here’s a script of what you could ask during that call:

Please tell me about the event

  • Do you have a Theme?
  • How many people do you hope will attend?
  • What job titles or roles do the attendees have?

What are your overall goals and objectives for the conference and how does my talk fit into those?

  • Would you please send me an agenda of the entire event so I see how and where I fit?
  • Do you have any break-out sessions that go deeper into one of the elements of my presentation?

What concerns do you think attendees have about this topic area?

  • Do the leaders have different worries than the employees around this topic?
  • What has been done so far to address this topic or issue?

If you’re speaking to an association, ask: What have you done so far to help people be aware of trends on this issue? Do you have any current newsletters, whitepapers, or things you have shared with them that could give me an idea of what people have heard already?

How current do you think your attendees are? Are they more traditional or cutting edge?

Are there other organizations or teams that are doing a good job that you’d like to emulate? I would like to research that so I can weave aspirational success stories into my presentation.

Talk about logistics:

  • Who may I text when I arrive on site the evening before?
  • When and where is the tech check and who do I meet? Get that person’s cell number.
  • May I send you my customized introduction for this event?
  • Talk about how you like to run your slides and if you will provide them ahead of time.
  • Talk about other AV requests you have.

Ask about any promotion you could do on social media and hash tags they are using.

Offer to create a one-minute promo video for them to send to attendees.

If you have topics you like to discuss during the pre-event planning call, let me know. I’ll update this article with those as I hear from experienced speakers. Thanks!