A lesson in being prepared


Last night, I spoke at a function in Cape Town, and I was almost in big trouble.

Now, I know the venue very well, and I know how long it usually takes to get there. So I left from home, planning to arrive at the meeting at least 45 minutes ahead of schedule, which would give me plenty of time to setup. But three things happened:

  • Firstly, one of the main freeways into town was closed due to roadworks. This resulted in a massive traffic slowdown on the other roads.
  • Secondly, there was another large function on at the venue, so I struggled to find a parking spot.
  • Finally, the meeting was running way ahead of schedule, so while I was expecting to arrive before their coffee a break – during which I would setup – and then speak at 9:15pm, they were already on their break at 8:40pm when I eventually arrived.

That gave me about 10 minutes to setup and test my equipment before speaking. In the end it all worked out fine. I got everything working in good time, and my presentation went very smoothly. But it was too close for my liking. I did not have time to mingle with the delegates beforehand, or to gather my thoughts.

Even though I thought I had plenty of time beforehand, I didnt. So, what did I learn?

Give yourself plenty of time to arrive and setup beforehand (at least 1 ? hours). No matter how well you know the venue/route/meeting arrangements, things can and will go wrong to derail your plans. Arrive early, and be prepared.

One thought on “A lesson in being prepared”

  1. Glad it worked out, Craig! Don’tcha hate it when you’ve done everything right, but screwy stuff still happens? You just have to keep your cool and do what you can.

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