A couple of years ago I wrote Nine Questions to Ask Before You Accept That Speaking Gig – (go read it, it’s full of great information!) this is a much overdue follow up.
1. Start working on your presentation now! Even if it is six months out, at least start taking notes!
2. Know yourself and your presentation style. Some people use a slide for every minute or two of speaking, some for 30 seconds or less.
3. Put together a good presentation. You were invited to be there, maybe even paid. Make sure your slides and the presentation are worthy. Practice your talk.
4. Find out what type of mic you’ll be using. This makes a huge difference, it may mean you are tied to a podium something that’s awkward for someone like me who moves around a lot while talking. Request your preferred mic if you can. Adjust your presentation if need be.
If you would like some tips on putting together a great presentation Ned Potter has put together great presentation with great suggestions.
5. Know how you’re getting from the hotel to the airport. I know someone who arrived at a small airport in a small town with limited access to taxies and there was no one there to pick him up – don’t let this happen to you. Sure it would be great if the organizer were on top of this, but trust me you want to take are of this yourself!
6. Know how you’re getting back to the airport and the time you need to be there and travel time. Especially if you’re flying out after your presentation. It can be easy to get caught up in answering questions or talking after you present, make sure you don’t miss your flight.
7. Know the amenities your hotel offers. Internet access, breakfast, gym, pool, room service – all matter especially if you’re there for more than one night. Use them.
8. Know your schedule. Know where you need to be and when. Know how you’ll get there.
9. Know when and how you are eating. Know if meals will be provided during the event. Will there be a breakfast before? An organized dinner that evening? Or the evening before? As a speaker I’m often invited to dinner the evening before and after, this gives me a chance to know the organizers and attendees better and have some great conversations!
10. Be budget conscious. If you are being reimbursed for travel, meals etc. be conscious of what you’re spending. Don’t park in the most expensive airport parking, don’t get a steak, don’t get the most expensive rental car, don’t check a bag unless you absolutely have to, don’t book the most expensive flight, you get the idea. You should have discussed what was covered in expenses before agreeing to speak but these are little extras that it’s nice to avoid.
11. Make a check list, especially if you’re just starting out. Or even if you aren’t.
- Computer and charger
- Any necessary adapters
- Presentation remote
- Flash drive with presentation on it for back up
- Extra batteries for your remote or mouse if you pack one.
- Paper notes – if you’re using them
- Back up battery to charge mobile or other devices
12. Dress to impress. Yes, put on some nice clothes, professional attire. You’re being paid to be there, dress, and act like it. Leave the t-shirt and jeans at home, and the turtle neck and jeans, you’re not Steve Jobs.
13. Show up early – at least a half an hour early. If someone else is transporting you, insist they take you early. This will give you time to get set up, make sure your equipment works, make sure their equipment works and familiarize yourself with room.
14. Know the schedule of the day. Are you on first? Last? Somewhere in the middle? How will you keep track of time? You should have timed your presentation already but if you get started late or there are a lot of questions you’ll need to know the time. I don’t wear a watch so I rely on my phone
15. Respect the time limitations – it’s not cool to steal time from other presenters.
16. Know your stuff.
17. Know it’s ok to say when you don’t know. Say something like – you know, I can’t answer that question off the top of my head but if you give me your contact information I’ll find out and get back to you. Then do exactly that.
18. Share your slides. This really depends on why and where and who you were presenting for and you. Some people don’t share their slides for a variety of reasons, this is up to you . However the organizer might request them as a pdf, or want them uploaded to slideshare and some places don’t want them public. You should have agreed on the terms when you accepted the gig.
19. Share any links, references or resources. If you demoed sites or created any handouts make sure the organizer has that information. If you’re blogging add these there too.
20. Send a thank you. Choose your method but send one.
Ok what did I forget, miss, and/or overlook? Let me know!
- Presentation Zen – a whole blog devoted to given effective and good presentations
- The Eloquent Woman: Inspiration, ideas and information to help women with public speaking techniques, eloquence and confidence. – this blog is targeted towards women but guys you’ll get a lot of good advice too.
- Better Beginnings: how to start a presentation, book, article…
- Stop your presentation before it kills again!
- HOW TO give a good presentation
- Giving Effective Presentations
- Presentation = Speech + Slides
- Nine Questions to Ask Before You Accept That Speaking Gig
- Presentation Pressure? Too Much? Not Enough?
- MLA Presentation