Crucial Conversations: The Pre-Event Call

By LimeLight Group

It’s time to tee up a call with your speaker and your management team. This call is paramount. Allow between 30-45 mins for these calls and be prepared with solid insight about the event, theme, audience composition (Male-Female ratios, age ranges, geographic make up, whether or not spouses attend, etc) and most importantly–your desired outcomes for the session. Basically, it should inform the speaker about what keeps management  and attendees up at night–and how he/she can deliver the most tuned-in, relatable message.

Speakers always appreciate receiving information and materials in advance of the conference call.  Don’t over-inform the speaker with data or reports that aren’t relevant, but DO think about what insights will help them understand your audience, company or organization. An an updated meeting agenda is always helpful so they can see what takes place before and after their session.  Also consider who should attend the call.  Ideally no more than three people- the entire committee may have selected the speaker- but they don’t need to brief the speak too!  The speakers bureau representative and/or manager/agent will also attend the call.

TIP: Ensure the speaker has the opportunity to ask questions- I‘ve sat in on some calls where the speaker couldn’t get a word in edgewise! This is such an incredible opportunity to dramatically improve the speaker’s success of connecting with your audience. Give them the opportunity to dig a little deeper in any areas that need clarification or make suggestions that will improve the session. You’ve hired an expert- so make sure you use them to their full potential!

Here’s a list of some commonly discussed questions on a Pre-Event Con Call….

  • Who will be attending this event?  Describe the audience, how many will be attending?  Percentage of Male/Female?
  • What will take place before and after the presentation? (Please attach agenda if possible)
  • Does your event have a theme?
  • Social Media, hashtags, engagement ?
  • What do you want participants to bring away from our speaker’s presentation?
  • What are three main things you think our speaker should know about your group?
  • How does your group envision keeping the message alive following this event?
  • Are there any sensitive issues that should be avoided, or addressed?
  • Do you have any special requests or suggestions to help us make this your best-ever event?
  • Preferred dress for speaker?
  • How will the room be set up?
  • When will the room be available for set-up and sound check?
  • Is there simultaneous translation occurring during the presentation?
  • What are our speaker’s start and finish times for your event?
  • Can you tell us the name and title of the person who will introduce our speaker?