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<i>The List!</i><br>Distractions and Potential Problems

Expecting the unexpected is the first step.

Stuff’ Happens!

And when it happens during your presentation, the effect could be the audience won’t GET IT!.

Having your audience GET IT! is the goal of all communication; written, spoken or visual.

First: Have a list: ‘What to Double-Check and What Could Go Wrong’

Next: Work you way thru the list, fixing what needs to be fixed and having plans for ‘what could happen’.

Here’s The List.

  1. Sound system;

  2. microphone(s), yours and audience participation one(s)

  3. microphone feedback

  4. extra battery if required

  5. speakers

  6. amplifier

  7. Lighting

  8. lighting on you

  9. audience lighting and

  10. ability to lower and turn off

  11. Distracting noise from

  12. outside; parking lot, street, air (could be need an airport)

  13. other meetings and adjoining rooms

  14. hallway

  15. kitchen

  16. server wait station

  17. backstage

  18. Visual

  19. props

  20. must be easily accessed and easy to put away after used

  21. powerpoint presentations

  22. computer and backup plan

  23. mouse and transmitter (if wireless)

  24. test the settings on the computer to see that the projection screen gives the resolution needed before the presentation.

  25. projector and backup plan (spare bulb)

  26. projection screen; fixed or powered

  27. remote control (hopefully with a ‘blank’ button)

  28. backup plan if powerpoint can’t be delivered

  29. if you’ve customized your slideshow, double check that you bring the correct one and not one customized for another presentation

  30. power strip (have your own, just in case)

  31. electrical adapters

  32. extension cord (have your own, just in case)

  33. Room where presentation will be

  34. temperature and ability to adjust easily

  35. location of rest rooms  (further away requires a longer break)

  36. doors that access the room (sometimes there may be doors that directly exit the building)

  37. seating; classroom, semi-circle or ?

  38. pillars and/or other things (audio visual stands) that could block audience seeing you and vice-versa

  39. backdrop; what is behind you and could it be a distraction

  40. windows

  41. can they be closed and curtains drawn over them to keep light out

  42. Personal

  43. water for yourself (room temperature – suggestion: bring your own bottle)

  44. place to put change, keys and other items you might carry

  45. location of rest room for last minute mirror check

  46. copy of your presentation

  47. name tag for yourself

  48. name tags for attendees (if the meeting planner didn’t take care of this)

  49. business cards

  50. copy of introduction emcee will be using to introduce you

  51. all the speakers don’t show, and your speech is moved up in time

  52. a speaker goes over their allotted time and you must cut the time of your talk

  53. the demographics of the audience were’t quite what you thought they would be

  54. parts of your presentation may now be inappropriate

  55. know who is speaking before you and what their talk will be about

  56. know who is speaking after you and what their talk will be about

  57. if you’re going to have handouts (advised only if used as a workbook) be sure you have enough copies

  58. Other

  59. who to call for immediate help if something goes wrong and how to get ahold of them

  60. possible attendees who should be recognized from the platform

  61. possible attendees who might be hostile to your message

  62. plan to deal with this

  63. servers and wait staff people

  64. what if: a meal is being cleared, dessert and coffee served, etc.

  65. if the emcee doesn’t ask everyone to put their cell phones and pagers on ‘STUN’ – you do it!

  66. better to ask them to turn them OFF.  Looking at emails and text messages is distracting to others

Use The List!

Do this and Your speech will be: absolutely; positively; there’s no doubt in my mind; no ifs, ands, or buts about it; Your speech will be – No Sweat!

About the Author: Fred E. Miller coaches, speaks and writes about Public Speaking and Presentation Skills. 314-517-8772

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