Speaking at a conference!

Last time I spoke about being an attendee at a conference I attended last weekend.  Today I would like to talk about being a “Speaker” at a conference I am speaking at this coming weekend.  I was overjoyed at being given the honor to speak to a group of women about a topic which I just love:  “High Tea”.   Yes, I know, who in the world knows about High Tea?  Well, I happen to know a great deal about the topic.

When I lived in northern California, I was once known as the “Tea Queen”.  My teas were famous and everyone wanted to be invited!  So how is giving a talk about High Tea different from giving one, and how does this differ from being a member of the audience who is hearing me speak about this topic for the first time?

When I am asked to speak on any topic, I have to ask myself several questions:

Who will be hearing me speak?

What do they already know about this topic?

Have they ever experienced what I am talking about?

How can I engage my audience and draw them into the talk?

What great story can I tell that will really show what a wonderful experience having “High Tea” is?

These questions when answered and sprinkled with some quotes, facts, numbers and such make a speaker’s  speech come alive.

Now as for me, I will be in full regalia as far as “High Tea” fashion is concerned.  I will have a hat that The Queen would even take a second glance at.  I will have lots of great High Tea props that will be from my own vast collection and I will be funny and engaging and we will all have a wonderful afternoon.

Have you ever been asked to speak at an event?  What did you do to prepare yourself?

The most important thing is to know your subject well.  Do not speak on a topic that you do not have knowledge about just to get the gig.

Know your audience.

Know what they are expecting from you as a speaker.

Ask lots of questions.

Do not exceed your time limit.

Thank the audience and thank the person who asked you.