A Checklist for Preparation
My father rescued many people on the trail.
It’s not what you think.
He didn’t necessarily save lives…though some might say he did. When hiking or camping with his friends or the Carolina Mountain Club, someone would get a foot blister. He rescued them with ointment and Band-Aids he carried. Someone would get wet with a rain storm. His rescue? A big plastic garbage bag. It worked. The weather would change and an inexperienced walker would get cold. He’d pull out a warm hat.
Alan Barton was well-prepared. He knew what to expect in this unknown terrain. He knew conditions could change on a dime.
I didn’t heed his smart behavior when I started traveling for work. Once, I showed up without a power cord to my computer. Gabby saved me with an extra one in her desk.
I don’t want you to be unprepared. So let’s get you ready!
My January newsletter offered proven actions for physical, vocal and mental preparation before presenting or leading. When you finish this article – check it out.
This month, let’s get you prepared for the terrain of speaking or leading in an unfamiliar place. To be prepared you need information to paint the picture of what to expect and the tools to be prepared for the “unexpected.”
Questions to Ask Before You Arrive
- Am I presenting from a stage or on the same level with audience?
- If on stage, will stage lights be on?
- Who will introduce me?
- Will I have a microphone? What kind?
- Can we schedule a sound check prior to my presentation?
- Definitely…Absolutely…do a sound check!
- If you have a microphone stand, familiarize yourself with how to adjust the height.
- Practice your entrance and moving to the place where you’ll be presenting at least one time.
- If someone is introducing you, consider rehearsing that exchange. Which way will they exit once they introduce you?
Things to Bring Just in Case
- Fresh batteries for a microphone
- Your own remote for a Power Point presentation
- Cords, adapters and plugs
- A small clock if you want to watch your time. Put it where your audience can’t see.
What You Can Request
Depending on your arrangement and who has hired you, ask for…
- Water placed on the podium
- Room set up the way you prefer
- Audio-visual equipment
- Registration, Book-DVD-Product Table
Once you have everything in place, you can relax, do the preparation tools I sent in January and most importantly, connect with your audience. Being prepared and dealing with the details first gives you permission to let go, have fun and inspire your audience!