There may be a gap of weeks, months or even a year between the time you’re booked to speak at a meeting or event and when you actually do your presentation. Smart speakers establish a relationship and exchange crucial information with the meeting arranger as soon as possible.
The first step is to request a copy of any readily available items. Use them to tailor your presentation to the audience. Examples:
- Any mission, vision, or values statement
- The group’s latest annual or quarterly report
- An organizational chart
- Strategic plans or objectives, new initiatives or interim goals
- Member/staff orientation booklets or guides
- Training programs, past, current, future (table of contents will do)
- A copy of previous convention or meeting brochures or fliers
- Memos, publicity fliers or announcements related to this meeting
- Special promotions, campaigns, themes, drives
- The group’s product or service catalog
- Samples sales-tracking reports, logs, forms
- Job descriptions
- Membership/staff application forms
- Member/staff roster or directory
- Organization magazine, newsletter, monographs
- Articles written about the organization
- Anything about the organization that has appeared in the press
- Audios, podcast, videos about or by the group
- A copy of the evaluation form used to rate presenters
Make sure the other party knows you value their time and don’t expect them to spend hours and hours corralling these materials. Use the phrase “whatever is readily available.” Then the meeting planner won’t see you as demanding or unreasonable.
Once the information arrives, examine everything you receive and mark it up to help yourself understand the group. The better you know your audience, the more effective you can be as a presenter.