Friday, July 16, 2010

Public Speaking: Is This A Good Audience For Me?

I always ask the following questions of the meeting planner because I know what audience
profile I'm looking for. You will have to pick the questions for the parameters that are most important for you.

What topic do you want?
How many people do you expect?
What are their responsibilities?
Are their spouses invited?
What is the average age? What is the range of ages?
What percentage is non-U.S.?
Why are they there? Mandatory ____ Voluntary _____
What is the male/female ratio?
What is happening before I speak and after I speak? (You might get a great
audience profile, but be doomed to failure because of the program schedule)

If I decide to accept the engagement, these questions are repeated on the pre-program
questionnaire. I want as many levels of verification as I can get, so that
I know what I am getting into. Chart the answers along a continuum to see if the
engagement appears to be a good one for you. If all the answers fall to the right
of zero, it's a no-brainer. Go ahead and accept the engagement.

If some land to the left you have to seriously evaluate their weight compared to the weight you
have attributed to the factors that would make you accept. This is obviously not an exact science. When you get to the event some audiences will end up being better than you expected and some worse. At least you now have a way of eliminating the audiences that are clearly wrong for you.

Bad for me Good for me
4 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 4

Make $5500 or more every time you speak!

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