Know thy speaker!

The following text is taken from Claudia Monacelli‘s excellent book Messaggi in codice. Analisi del discorso e strategie per prenderne appunti”. The book offers lots of great ideas on consecutive interpreting, but the table below is equally as useful for simultaneous preparation. This extract was kindly translated into English and sent in by Claudia herself. 

Before you try and interpret any speech, consecutively or simultaneously, don’t just research the subject matter, research the speaker as well. Try answering some of the questions below for each speaker.

PublicationsHas the speaker written anything on the topic before? Are there any articles/books already published on the topic? Does the location have anything to do with promoting literature on the topic? 
Past appearancesHave you ever seen the speaker before?Is the speaker linked to any special causes, events, etc.? Where does the speaker generally voice his/her opinion?
TimeWill the speaker be alone or speak on a panel and how long will each person speak? Is this a keynote speech? If so, will it be followed by a question and answer session?Are the premises open all year round or do they house special events on a seasonal basis? 
PlaceIs the speaker in any way related to the place housing the event? Will the location influence the speaker’s words in any way?Is the location to be commemorated by the speaker? 
OccasionWhy has this person been chosen for this occasion? Will the speaker make opening remarks, introductory statements, or closing remarks? Is the occasion incidental or of relevance to the location?