101 Questions to Ask a Guest Speaker for Webinars & Interviews
Quick tips on interviewing guest speakers and a categorized list of engaging questions that will provoke insightful conversations.

101 Questions to Ask A Guest Speaker for Webinars & Interviews

This year, you decided to hire a guest speaker to garner attention for your webinar, virtual meeting, or university lecture. Make sure your audience gets the most out of the experience by compiling engaging questions to ask your guest speakers.

67% of online events attendees say that it’s essential for presenters to be engaging and passionate about the subject they’re talking about, according to Airmeet’s 2023 statistics round-up.  

Furthermore, not only must the questions be engaging, but the act of interviewing requires the knowledge of a few ground rules.

In this blog post, we will cover the basics of interviewing a guest speaker, and give 101 questions that are sure to prompt an insightful conversation. 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing a Guest Speaker

Do:

  • Ask the speaker for their preferred introduction script before the interview
  • Research the speaker before selecting which questions to ask 
  • Inform the speaker of the questions you will ask before the interview
  • If there is an open Q&A, privately request that one to two audience members ask pre-determined questions to break the ice.

Don’t:

  • Ask a speaker a question if you aren’t absolutely sure that they have an answer
  • Talk too much about yourself, or your own ventures during the interview
  • Ask general superlative questions (i.e. what is your favorite…?)
  • Ask questions that the audience would not be interested in.

Preparation: Researching the Guest Speaker

Before meeting or conducting an interview with a guest speaker, it is important to gather information about them. This will help you understand their background and expertise, allowing you to ask relevant and insightful questions. Start by researching the guest speaker’s professional background, including their education, work experience, and any notable achievements or publications.

If this is your first time bringing out a guest speaker, or you would like to guarantee they have a great experience, read our Expert Guide on Hosting a Guest Speaker.

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First Questions to Ask

  • Can you please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your background? 
  • What inspired you to pursue a career in your field? 
  • Could you share some of the key milestones or achievements in your career journey? 
  • What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in your profession? 
  • How do you stay motivated and overcome obstacles in your work? 
  • Can you describe a typical day or week in your role? 
  • What are the most rewarding aspects of your job? 
  • Are there any specific skills or qualities that are essential for success in your field? 
  • How do you keep up with the latest trends and developments in your industry? 
  • Can you share any memorable experiences or projects that have had a significant impact on you? 

Successful Entrepreneur Guest Speaker Questions

  • What was the moment you decided to start your own business?
  • How do you mentally prepare to start a business?
  • Why shouldn’t you start a business?
  • How have you been able to find repeated success in your industry?
  • What qualities do successful business leaders have?
  • How can leaders get the most out of their teams?
  • What can business leaders learn during this time of uncertainty?
  • What is the greatest lesson you have learned from a mentor?
  • What would you advise entrepreneurs to do to avoid your past mistakes?
  • Where do you often see other entrepreneurs wasting their time?
  • What is the best piece of criticism that you have received?
  • What is next on the horizon for your business?
  • Looking at the landscape of your industry today, what surprises you the most about it?
  • When you look back at your first business, what do you think of it now?
  • What do you think the most successful businesses will be in five years?
  • What are your ultimate goals with your business?

Star Athlete/Sports Guest Speaker Questions

  • How did it feel when you were first drafted/selected?
  • What did you learn about teamwork while working in professional sports?
  • Who was the most impactful coach you had in your career?
  • Who was the most influential trainer you had in your career?
  • What sports star did you look up to before you were a pro?
  • Did anyone discourage you from pursuing an athletic career?
  • Who encouraged you the most to become a professional athlete?
  • Do you come from a family of athletes?

Industry Leader Guest Speaker Questions

  • What kinds of relationships enable great businesses?
  • Can you tell us about a time you experienced failure in your business?
  • What setbacks did you first face in your business?
  • What is your best business advice?
  • What is your perspective on running a business?
  • What is the most inspiring role model you have?
  • What is the number one thing that stops people from achieving their professional goals?
  • How can one have a mindset of growth?
  • What advice would you give to leaders in our industry as we look ahead?

College/University Guest Speaker Questions

  • What advice would you give to someone starting out in your profession? 
  • How important is networking and building relationships in your line of work? 
  • Have you ever had to make a difficult decision that had a major impact on your career? If so, how did you handle it? 
  • Are there any mentors or role models who have influenced your professional journey? 
  • Can you discuss any current projects or initiatives that you are involved in? 
  • What are some of the emerging trends or future directions in your industry that excite you? 
  • Can you share any strategies for effective time management and prioritization of tasks? 
  • Have there been any significant changes or advancements in your field since you started working? 
  • How do you handle work-related stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance? 
  • How do you handle criticism or feedback, both positive and negative, in your work? 
  • What advice would you give to someone looking to transition into your field from a different profession? 
  • Can you discuss any ethical dilemmas or challenges that arise in your profession? 
  • What role does technology play in your profession, and how has it evolved over time? 

In-depth Business Leader Guest Speaker Questions

  • Can you discuss any specific challenges or opportunities that arise from working in a highly competitive market? 
  • What steps do you take to ensure effective communication with stakeholders, clients, or customers in your work? 
  • How do you approach risk assessment and mitigation strategies in your role? 
  • How do you approach crisis management and maintaining business continuity in your role? 
  • Can you discuss any specific challenges or opportunities that arise from working in a globalized economy? 
  • How do you approach negotiation and conflict resolution in your role? 
  • Can you discuss any specific challenges or opportunities that arise from working in a highly regulated industry? 
  • Can you discuss any specific initiatives or efforts you are involved in to promote diversity and inclusion in your industry? 
  • What steps do you take to ensure a healthy work environment and employee well-being within your organization? 
  • Can you discuss any specific initiatives or efforts you are involved in to promote gender equality and diversity in leadership positions within your industry? 
  • Can you discuss any specific challenges or opportunities that arise from working in a fast-paced and ever-changing industry? 
  • Can you discuss any specific initiatives or efforts you are involved in to promote corporate social responsibility within your organization? 
  • How do you foster a culture of innovation and creativity within your organization? 
  • Can you discuss any specific strategies or initiatives to promote sustainability and environmental responsibility in your industry? 
  • Can you discuss any specific challenges or opportunities that arise from working in a globalized world?

Personal Interest Questions to ask Guest Speakers

  • What books have you been reading lately?
  • What podcasts have you been listening to lately?
  • What book would you recommend to managers looking to improve their leadership?

Management Questions for a Guest Speaker

  • How do you approach conflict resolution when dealing with challenging situations or personalities in your work?  
  • How do you approach performance evaluation and feedback in your role?
  • What are some of the key factors that contribute to successful change implementation in your experience? 
  • What steps do you take to ensure a diverse and inclusive workforce within your organization? 
  • What are some of the key factors that contribute to successful project implementation in your experience? 
  • What steps do you take to ensure continuous professional development and stay up-to-date with industry advancements? 
  • Can you share any strategies for effective project management and meeting deadlines? 
  • How do you approach problem-solving and decision-making in your role? 
  • What steps do you take to ensure effective knowledge sharing and transfer within your organization or team? 
  • How do you approach change management within your organization or team? 
  • What strategies do you employ to stay organized and manage multiple projects simultaneously? 
  • How do you approach risk-taking and decision-making in your role? 
  • Can you share any experiences where effective communication has played a crucial role in achieving success? 
  • What are some of the key skills or qualities you look for when hiring new team members? 
  • How do you foster a positive and inclusive work culture within your organization or team? 

Leadership Questions for a Guest Speaker

  • Can you share any tips for effective communication and collaboration within a team? 
  • Can you share any experiences where effective teamwork has been crucial in overcoming challenges or achieving goals? 
  • What advice would you give to someone aspiring to reach a leadership position in your industry?
  • Can you share any experiences where effective leadership has been crucial in driving organizational success? 
  • Can you discuss any specific initiatives or efforts you are involved in to promote employee engagement and satisfaction within your organization? 
  • What strategies do you employ to foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement within your organization?
  • Can you share any experiences where collaboration across different departments or teams has led to significant achievements? 
  • How do you approach decision-making when faced with conflicting opinions or perspectives? 

Closing Questions to a Guest Speaker

  • Is there anything you would like to promote?
  • Where can we find you on social media?
  • What is your latest release?
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

Hiring A Guest Speaker

Finding the right guest speaker for your next event or webinar can be a challenge. 

The Mollie Plotkin Group can secure you the perfect guest speaker. 

BizBash named MPG an Industry Innovator of 2023 for creating exceptional experiences with sports stars, celebrities, and keynote speakers.
Contact us today to begin your journey to an amazing event.

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