Speaking at an Awesome Virtual Interactive Event

Michael Whitehouse talking about speaking at an AVIE

An Awesome Virtual Interactive Event™ (or AVIE for short) is not your typical online speaking event.

Our events are highly interactive, which means that you as the speaker have powerful opportunities for engagement that you won’t find at other events, but only if you take advantage of them.

How to Get the Most Out of an AVIE

Like any other online event, you will have the opportunity to give a talk, but most events you speak and then hope for the best.

At an AVIE, you get to engage in two different ways.

First, you get to engage with the other speakers. Every events has a speaker meeting about a week and a half before the event. This is a valuable opportunity to connect with other influential people in your space that you will benefit from knowing potentially as JV partners, resources, and even mentors and vendors.

During the event, you will further connect with your fellow speakers while also engaging directly with the audience.

This is not webinar style where you’re behind some digital curtain. You are right in the Zoom room with your audience. The longer you spend on the event, the more you will learn about individual audience members, and that can lead to all kinds of opportunities.

When we ask you to be on for 2 hours beyond your talk, it’s not for our benefit. It’s for yours. The speakers who get the most out of participating in AVIEs are those who are there for 2 hours or more.

The Format of an AVIE

An AVIE is 6 hours long with 10 speakers each speaking 15 minutes. In some, there is a keynote in the last spot, and they may speak longer.

In between each speaker is 15 minutes of interactive programming. This could be breakouts, hotseats, roundtables, or any number of other highly engaging activities.

Those interactive blocks are the secret sauce that make an AVIE so powerful for everyone involved.


An AVIE is created by bringing together the communities of our speakers.

We do not used paid advertising or other forms of promotion because find that doesn’t bring in the quality of attendees and engagement we are looking for. Rather, each of our speakers is expected to bring in no less than 10 registrations, and they are encouraged to bring 25.

Many events have much higher expectations, but we chose the numbers we do for a reason. We are not looking only for speakers with huge mailing lists.

In fact, we find that some of the best people come from people with small lists, or no lists at all! Speakers with small lists invite people directly, and the people they bring are more attentive, engaged, and interested.

Pre-Recorded Speakers

In addition to the speakers live on the call, there are some speakers who are pre-recorded. These speakers submit a 10 minute video which will be sent out to all registrants prior to the live event.

Sometimes these are speakers who want to participate but are not able to attend live.

This is also where we may put speakers who have not spoken on our stage before to get a sense both of the content they provide and the contribution to the event in terms of promotion.

Pre-recorded talks are only sent out to the audience after the speaker has met the minimum promotional requirement.

This is a great opportunity for up and coming speakers who may not have been able to prove themselves on other stages, or who may not have as large a list, to show us how great they can be, and we have brought some great speakers into our community in this way.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people are usually live on an AVIE?

AVIEs average 20-50 live on the call. Due to the highly interactive and engaging nature of the events, we often have the same number or higher at the end than we do at the beginning.

How long do I get to speak?

You get 15 minutes unless your presentation is highly interactive then you get 5 extra minutes. Just having people answer some stuff in the chat doesn’t count. Interactive means that the audience is actively engaged in doing something with you.

Can I pick what we do during my interactive block?

The interactive blocks do not belong to the speakers, but if you have an idea of something we can do in the interactive block before or after your talk based on your presentation, we’re open to considering it.

What if I applied but I have to decline when I get the acceptance?

We understand that things can come up, but you are highly encouraged to block out the time when you apply. If you decline an acceptance to speak, that will be noted and it will impact your ability to be accepted for future events.

What happens if I don’t promote effectively?

We keep a master leaderboard of all promotion of all events. Our best promoters will sometimes be recommended to other event planners and potential JV partners. Those who do not meet minimum expectations may be accepted only for pre-recorded spots or may not be accepted at all. This is out of fairness to those who are actively promoting.

Do speakers use slides in the presentations?

Yes, some do, but I’ve seen a lot of presentations, and of the 20 best I’ve seen, most did not use slides.

This is because the name of the game is engagement. You want people paying attention. Best way to do that is get them involved. Next best is to keep them interested.

Slide shows do not inherently make presentations better, and they make you harder to see.

If you will have trouble seeing the chat, dump the slides and read the chat. Missing the chat to show your slides is almost never worth it.

Do all speakers need to provide a gift and VIP gift? Are there certain types of gifts that work better than others?

Speakers only need to provide a gift if they’d like to get opt-ins and leads from the event 😉 The gifts are for you, not me.

“What a great talk! If you liked that, be sure to get her gift!” is the idea of what a gift is for.

The highest opt-in rate would be a gift that people use during the talk. For example, a worksheet that they can follow along with as you are speaking, but if you are doing this, make sure the gift is available on the thank you page. Don’t make them go check their email during your talk.

VIP, should be something that people would be even more excited to get but only going to the filtered audience of people who have paid for a Premium Pass. As we know, people who have bought before are better prospects, and anyone getting the VIP gift paid to get it (or at least the bundle it’s in).

What if I have more questions?

You can reach Michael Whitehouse at michael@guywhoknowaguy.com