When speakers ask me to evaluate them, I have a good idea of what they’re hoping to hear—good things. Who doesn’t want to hear good things? The absolute truth is that every speaker says and does things that are good, sometimes even great. It’s also the absolute truth that every speaker has areas they can/should work on.
When I sit down in an audience to do an evaluation, I think about the speaker from two perspectives. The first perspective has to do with the relationship the speaker builds with their audience via their presentation. This covers all the things you’d expect, including how the speaker comes across, how they look, how they sound, their PowerPoint (if they have one), etc. The second has to do with how well the speaker meets the goals and expectations of the event manager who hired them.
Today, let’s look at speaking from the perspective of what’s important to the person who booked you to speak. Why? Because one of the most important questions your host can answer for you is: Do you know of any other groups that might benefit from my presentation? If you’d like to increase the odds of your host responding with a resounding Yes!, make sure they’re able to answer these two dangerously simple questions with a resounding Yes! Because if they can’t, they’re not going to give up the names and contact information of their colleagues.
1… Did the speaker’s presentation cover what you expected it to cover? There is a dangerously simple assumption hidden here—the assumption that just because someone booked you to deliver your signature presentation, they’re going to happy with it. To make sure the odds are fully in your favor, learn as much about the audience as you can beforehand so you can make those little tweaks and adjustments that will let this specific audience know that you’re not just there to speak, you’re there to speak to them.
2… Was the speaker well prepared? There is another dangerously simple assumption hidden here. Many speakers think that as long as they do a really good job of preparing and delivering their presentation, that means they were “well prepared.” From the audience’s perspective that would be correct. From the host’s perspective, there’s a lot more to consider. Were you easy to work with? Were you as professional off the stage as you were on the stage? Did you arrive on time? Were you ready to start on time? Did you finish on time? Etc.
Like I said, dangerously simple questions, with dangerously simple assumptions hidden just below the surface. The really great news is that you have a tremendous amount of control over the criteria the person who booked you will be reviewing before answering them. And, as always, I’m here to help you identify and take charge of many of the dangerously simple nuances that will help you stand out with a resounding YES!