What to do with that invitation?

Here’s a few questions I’d like to know the answers to if you’re inviting me to speak somewhere.

What to do with that invitation?
Photo by erica steeves / Unsplash

I get invitations to speak every now and then; the actual invitation can be minimally informative at first. I might only learn the location, time, and a link to the website, which is not enough for me to provide an answer.

In order to be more consistent and considerate in how I approach invitations, I am trying to (semi-)standardize the questions I ask. I might even have sent you this blog as a result of an invitation you sent me (thanks for reading 🙌🏻).

Here’s a few questions I’d like to know the answers to if you’re inviting me - if any questions are not applicable, let me know too, please. If anything is unclear, let me know as I am keen on learning based on feedback.

Conference details

  1. What’s your code of conduct for this event?
  2. What are attendees paying to attend?
  3. How are other speakers at the conference being compensated (monetary or otherwise)?
  4. Will the conference sessions Ibe recorded and/or livestreamed?

Invitation details

  1. What is the session structure? Who are the other speakers?
  2. What’s the target audience for the session?
  3. What are you hoping to achieve by inviting me? (Informing, transforming, something else?)
  4. How will I be compensated for my labor (monetary or otherwise)?
  5. Do you expect me to attend the full conference or only this session?
  6. Can I extend this invitation to someone else I find more capable of providing a quality session?


  1. Where & when is the session taking place (including timezone)?
  2. What is the technical and AV setup for this session?
  3. Would you like to have a prep call in case I agree?
  4. Will travel and lodging be paid by you?

I understand these 14 questions might seem like a lot - I'd rather ask these up front than to have an email thread fourteen messages long 😊

Big shoutout to Heidi Seibold, Bianca Kramer, Abby Cabunoc Mayes, Daan Rutten, Marko Schmitt, Cathleen Berger, Willem Frankenhuis, and Jeroen Bosman for helping me build this list of questions 💜