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You’re Scheduled to Speak at 10:00<br><i>Arrive Early!</i>

Seriously, there are Lots of reasons to arrive that early!

We all know that ‘Stuff’ happens.

Arriving early, some may say very early, is not an option for the speaker who is on top of his/her game.

It’s your presentation, and your responsibility to yourself and those who will be attending, to do the best you can to make sure Where you are speaking is ready for You and the Audience!

Here is a list of things that need to be checked on, plus a few other reasons to arrive early, that will go a long way towards a delivering a better, less stressful presentation.

  1. Room

  2. Scope out the room.  There are lots of things to check.

  3. Seating arrangement

  4. Are the seats, if movable, arranged the way you specified or do they have to be re-arranged?

  5. Field of vision – Can everyone attending see you and any visual aids you might use?

  6. Are there pillars, plants, audio-visual equipment, or anything else that might bloc the view?

  7. Distractions

  8. What, if anything, is the noise coming from other rooms, a kitchen, wait station, street, or ?

  9. Heat / Cooling

  10. Too hot?  Too warm?  Just right?

  11. Technical

  12. If you’re going to use PowerPoint and a screen and a microphone , are they working correctly?  Do you have a ‘Plan B’?

  13. Will the slides be visible and clear to the entire audience.

  14. Dos the sound system work or does it need tweaking.

  15. Will the microphone be attached to the lectern, held by you, or will you be using a lavaliere mic?

  16. Is there any microphone feedback?

  17. Any echos in the room?

  18. Is your presentation going to be audio and/or video taped.  Is so, is the equipment and operators of the equipment ready?

  19. Lighting

  20. If needed, can the house lights be dimmed?

  21. If needed, can curtains be drawn?

  22. People

  23. One of the most important reasons to arrive early – Meet & Greet

  24. It’s a whole lot easier to talk to people you’ve already met and had a conversation with, and will reduce the fear of public speaking.

  25. Introduce yourself, get their name, and ask why the are attending your talk and what the expect to take away from it.

  26. Meet, or re-meet, the meeting or event planner and review last minute details.

  27. The Master of Ceremonies.

  28. Review your Introduction with them.  Yes – It’s that important!

  29. Other

  30. Where are the restrooms?

  31. Where are water fountains and other refreshment areas

  32. Where, in relation to the space you’ll be speaking in, is the parking?

  33. Will directional signs be needed so everyone will be seated when your presentation commences?

  34. What, if any other programs are scheduled at the same venue and time of your presentation?  WIll there be any potential conflicts you should address?

Bottom Line: Even with the best of intentions and preparation, everything will probably not be perfect at the venue you’ll be speaking at.  That’s life.  Get there early, take control, and do what you can do to ‘set the stage’ for your great presentation!

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

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