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Speakers: Be Prepared – “STUFF” HAPPENS!

It’s a Given – When a Speaker, “STUFF” Happens, and You Best be Prepared! STUFF

And the “STUFF” can happen in many ways.

Venue: Always try to scope out the room, building, and parking areas where you’ll be presenting before the presentation.  Going a few days beforehand may not cut it because the arrangement you saw may not be the layout when you return.

  1. Best to arrive several hours early so seating arrangements, audio, video, lighting, etc. can be checked out and adjusted as necessary.

  2. Know where rest rooms are located and water available.

  3. Be certain, if warranted, that signs directing people as they arrive point the way to the room you’ll be presenting in.  If they can’t find the room, they won’t get your message!

  4. Check, ahead of time, to find out who is your contact for these items, and how they can be reached on very short notice.

Audience: Check with the meeting planner or host to get information on who you’ll be presenting to.  Customizing your presentation is important to the audience Getting It!

  1. When you Meet & Greet people as they arrive (you do this, don’t you?) double check that the intel you were given about the people you’ll be speaking to still stands.

  2. If not, you may have to make quick adjustments in your talk. Example: If you were told only adults would be in the audience, but a group of teens also show up, some of the examples of black and white TV shows you planned to use may need to be explained to those youngsters!

You! Your personal appearance is important!  In a microsecond, people will form an opinion about you.  Dress a bit “above” your audience.

  1. Don’t wear a loud tie, wild sport coat or sparking jewelry that could be a distraction to the audience.

  2. Be certain to give yourself a “mirror check” before taking the stage.

  3. Check that buttons are buttoned, zippers zipped, hair groomed, lint removed, etc.

Your Equipment: Anticipate and be prepared for anything and everything that might go wrong with your laptop, remote, microphone and speakers (if you bring your own), etc.

  1. Have a thumb drive with your presentation on it.  (I use Apple’s Keynote, so I’ll put that and Powerpoint on the drive.)

  2. A replacement bulb and extra batteries for your remote and mouse are smart to have at hand.

  3. If using slides, your entire presentation should be printed out in “Light Table’ mode as a backup should the projector die and it’s not possible to “revive it.”

Miscellaneous: There are lots of other things that need to be remembered.

  1. Extra copy of your Introduction.

  2. Your own bottle of water, lozenges and breath mints.

  3. If you’ll be using props, check they are with you and working.

  4. Handouts, if using, check to see you have enough and where at the venue, you can make more copies if needed.

Bottom Line: It’s your presentation and your responsibility that everything goes as smoothly as possible.  If it doesn’t, and you start pointing your finger at someone, you have three fingers pointing back at YOU!

This stuff works!

Thanks for visiting my Post! For reading, and/or listening, this far I’d like to give you a FREE Gift. Go to: to receive it!

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, a coach, and author of the book, “No Sweat Public Speaking!” Businesses and individuals hire him because they want to improve their Public Speaking and Presentation Skills. They do this because we perceive really great speakers to be Experts. Perception is reality and we rather deal with Experts. They also know: Speaking Opportunities are Business Opportunities. Speaking Opportunities are Career Opportunities. He shows them how to Develop, Practice and Deliver Knock Your Socks Off Presentations! with – No Sweat!

Fred E. Miller

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