When you are scheduled to give a presentation there many physical considerations that you need to contemplate in advance. The size and demographics of the audience, who is responsible for providing the projector, the printing of your handouts, the length of time you have to speak etc... must be addressed prior to your arrival. Other specifics, such as the area you have to walk about and the setting up of any props, can be reviewed and adapted moments before you take the stage.
At the time you are contacted about giving a speech you should have a series of questions that you discuss with the person who has extended you the invitation. The details they provide will help you plan for the talk itself and allow you to avoid any mis-communications that could derail your presentation's effectiveness.
While you will have other areas of importance that are particular to your requirements, here are several questions that will help you in planning for the logistics:
- How many people will be in attendance?
- How will the audience members be dressed?
- What type of people will be there (industry, job title, gender, age, etc...)?
- What is the topic you want covered in the presentation?
- Can I (Should I?) use PowerPoint? If yes, who will provide the laptop, projector and screen?
- Will there be a remote control for advancing slides? (all speakers should own there own "clicker"!)
- How long will I have to speak including Q & A?
- Will there be a microphone? Will it be stationary or will it be a lavaliere microphone?
- Can I place handouts at each seat?
- Will there be other speakers at this event? If yes, whom and what are there topics?
- Are there any other details that I need to know about this event in advance?
Managing the logistics can make the difference between a successful speech and one that leaves you and the audience frustrated. While there will always be last minute surprises to which you will need to adapt, being prepared will help you avoid the common mistakes.
Invest the time up in understanding the event, audience expectations, physical space and and audio / visual equipment and you will find less stress from the unexpected.
Have A Great Day.