You’ve got a killer script, your slide deck smashes it and you’ve practised your delivery until it’s really slick. You’re ready to connect with your audience, raise some eyebrows and stimulate some minds. But you aren’t finished prepping just yet…
A critical element of preparation for giving a presentation is de-risking your performance. There’s a lot happening on the day of an event so you’ll want to be familiar with the environment you’ll be presenting in and have faith in the technology and people supporting you.
Show up to the venue early and push for an early rehearsal slot if possible, that way you won’t get bumped by someone senior or lose out if everyone else runs over their allotted rehearsal times.
Familiarise yourself with how things are planned to work. Are you controlling your own slides or cueing an operator backstage? If it’s the latter, go and find them and say hi. They’ll care more about your presentation if they can put a face to a slide deck and you’ve met under calm circumstances rather than meeting under time pressure when you need to make a last minute change.
Listen to the presentations before yours and if possible, refer to them in yours. You’ll seem more on the ball and better connected to the overall content of the day.
Don’t assume you will have internet connectivity. If you’re planning on running a video that is streaming live in your presentation, one word of advice. Don’t! Even if it plays ok in rehearsals, once the room is full of people sharing the same bandwidth, it will more than likely fail. Remove this risk by downloading the clip and embedding it beforehand.
Take your laptop power supply. This is a common, painful mistake. Chuck it in the suitcase just in case…
And finally, take a USB stick. You may well end up using someone else’s laptop to run your presentation on. The humble USB stick is still the simplest and most reliable method of saving off a presentation. Don’t assume someone else will have one.