Skip to main content

The Roundabout Blog

5 Questions Most Speakers Don’t Want to Be Asked



The honor of sharing information before an audience shouldn’t be taken for granted. In any industry, preparing to provide the best, up-to-date information is vital to a great presentation. The most humbling moments can occur right after the best of presentations. Being ready to handle these five buzz-kill questions preemptively will elevate your credibility and your success with your audiences before, during, and after your best speeches.

QUESTION 1: Is this the same program you gave last year?

If the title or program description doesn’t make it clear that this is a new speech with current information, be ready for this question. Every speech you give should contain new data, stats, and/or source material. If the topic isn’t evolving and changing every year, change up your stories. Keep it fresh.

Speakers provide a unique method of sharing new and important information to audiences. Audiences expect and deserve a professional presentation from a credible speaker. Speakers who are also published authors have more ways to stay connected after the event, network with attendees, and benefit from additional revenue streams.

QUESTION 2: Is this information on your website?

Hands go up before the pre-speech applause has died down. Translate this question as, “How well do I have to take notes?” or “How closely should I pay attention?” I’ve seen this question addressed immediately as the speaker takes the podium. A well-known speaker addressed a group of eager attendees, saying: “I don’t mind if you take notes on your laptops. But, all my notes and slides will be available this evening. Just add your email to the sign-in list that’s coming around. I don’t want you to miss a thing.” The hands come down. The speaker begins.

QUESTION 3: Do you have this information in a book?

If the answer to this question isn’t in your speaker’s bio—that you have a book on the subject—get it in there. If you don’t have a book, what are you waiting for? Speakers need books! Books provide the best way to showcase more of your experience and knowledge better than any other single source.

QUESTION 4: Is your previous book still relevant?

If you don’t have a new book there at your talk and your ten-year old book is still relevant, yes! If you have a new book—and why wouldn’t you?—sell them a copy right then and there. New books have new and up-to-date information in them. We write them to keep our readers current and informed. Unless that ten-year old book is a seminal work, let it be, and let it quietly add evidence that you’re a seasoned author and speaker.

QUESTION 5: Are copies of your new book available to purchase today?

“Yes! Buy a copy from me now and I’ll throw in a subscription to my blog and annual statistical updates.” Cha-ching!

The only folks who should be buying your books from a retail partner are those who don’t have access to your website or don’t have the good fortune of meeting you at a speaking engagement. Direct sales give you a larger piece of each book sale’s pie. Add some added value and personally inscribe the copy for the attendee (i.e. your new network contact) before or after your talk.


That’s ok. Writing your book (or updating your last publication) can help you be relevant, elevate your personal brand and help market yourself as a thought leader and speaker. Call today and find out how easy it is to self-publish a book.

Redbrush helps business people, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and speakers elevate their content and leverage their expertise into professional, published books.