One of the ideas we’ve been featuring on the blog is finding ways to meet the felt needs of your audience with your message. Cheri Gregory’s post on pre-event surveys is a great example!
But another important job of a speaker is to meet the needs of your event coordinator. She and her team spend countless hours putting together an event for their women, and I always remind myself that as the speaker, I am only one of the working parts.
Because the events planners know your audience the best–their needs, places of crisis, spiritual maturity, etc–it’s important to ask questions to understand the vision of the planners before the event.
Here are just a few key questions to ask:
- Have you done this event before? Is it annual?
- Tell me a little history of your women’s ministry.
- What is the age range of the women who will be attending?
- How would you describe the spiritual maturity of the group in general?
- What is the main purpose of this event? Evangelism, encouragement, discipleship?
- What is the outcome you hope to see at this event?
- Will there be any other speakers or breakouts?
- Is there anything I need to provide in addition to the message (handouts, discussion questions, devotion, etc)?
- Is there anything specific about the attendees that I need to be sensitive to? (For example, I spoke at an event this year where a beloved pastor’s wife died in a car accident just a few months before the event. It was still fresh and very emotional for the attendees. I was able to weave something into my message that fit with the way they honored her that evening.)
Just this week I added another question to this list…
- Will there be music? Can I have contact information to coordinate with the worship leader?
This topic of clear communication with event planners is very fresh in my heart because of a recent failure. At an event, I had a very awkward ending to my second and final session (This is a whole other topic I promise to address. Endings are still hard for me!) As I evaluated on the way home, I realized that coordinating with the amazing worship leader at the event could have produced a very different result. Next time I’ll ask!
Are there any questions you use to catch the vision of event planners that I missed?