A small thing can have a huge impact – 20 logistical tips

ComputerA few years ago, I witnessed a really small thing having a huge impact on a presentation – in this case a negative impact.

Half way through the presentation I was attending, the presenters laptop died! It was not plugged into the wall, and the battery had gone flat. It took him over 15 minutes to find the power cable, get an extension cable, get AC power running and reboot his machine.

Of course, this ruined his presentation. This would not have happened if he had done a little more preparation (personally my recommendation is that if this does happen, just abandon the laptop and continue without it, or get somebody else to resolve the problem while you carry on with your presentation).

Would you like that to happen to you – well I hope not! Remember, that the best speeches can be ruined because the speaker forgot some seemingly minor details. So, here are 20 things to help you to give a smooth presentation.

  1. Arrive early
  2. if you can, do a dry run the night before at the venue
  3. Check out the stage and seating – change if necessary
  4. Smaller is bigger – rather speak in a small room that is full than a large room that looks empty
  5. Find out what time of day you are speaking
  6. Find out when in the programme you are speaking?
  7. Find out who is speaking before/after you
  8. What are their topics?
  9. Send your slides to the meeting organizer ahead of time – check that he/she gets them
  10. Send your audio/video (AV) requirements to the meeting organizer beforehand
  11. Create a checklist of what you need to bring, and use it
  12. Get to know the audio-visual guy – he will assist you with any technical issues – such as where the plugs are
  13. Ensure that you know how the microphone works
  14. Ensure that there is a NEW battery in the microphone
  15. Test all equipment beforehand
  16. Switch off screen-savers and power-saving options on your laptop
  17. Don’t run a laptop off the battery – use the AC power
  18. Give yourself plenty of time to setup – you don’t want to be setting up when the audience starts to arrive
  19. Have a bottle of still water handy (pref. at room temperature) – it is great to moisten your throat
  20. Have a backup plan for when things go wrong, and sooner or later they will!

What tips should I add to the list?

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