- This article is primarily for presenters using technology *
What is the Advance Check and why do you need to do one?
You need to do it because it ensures that the hours of effort you’ve put into your preparation and rehearsal is not undone by needless logistical problems. So what does it entail?
It’s the part of your preparation that has little to do with your content and delivery, but everything to do with logistics.
The first part is your bits and pieces. The best way to transport your collection of small stuff is to keep it all together in one small bag designed for a quick search without having to empty it out each time. The best way to check it is to have a check list. The best place to keep that list is in the notepad in your phone.
Typically this bag may contain:
- Cables and connectors
- Spare batteries
- Remote mouse
- Memory sticks (one with your presentation back up)
- Spare markers
- Elastic bands
- Pocket tissues
- A pen or two
- Energy sachets
- Emergency medication (eg. headache tablets)
It’s also important to check on the day that you’ve packed this little bag into your main bag and that it’s not parked on a chair in your hotel room as you scamper off in a rush to catch your taxi!
Have you checked the flow of your slide show?
Does your first slide have the date and event of your last presentation? Often this final check reveals other little things like poor transitions that seemed like a good idea at the time but when you go through it afterwards proves otherwise. You might also find unnecessary headings, extra clicks or bits that can be deleted. As a rule, the less clutter, the better.
Be careful of planning to do this during the hour you have at the venue prior to your presentation time slot. More than once I’ve been caught out having arrived early to be told that since the speaker before me hasn’t arrived yet would I please go on early?
Of course you should always arrive well in advance on the day of your presentation.
Having pre-planned your mode of transport, do you know
- Exactly where you need to go
- How to get there
- How long it will take at that time of day
- Who your contact person is
- Their phone number.
- Do you have this information to hand?
We tend not to forget the big stuff. We usually remember to get dressed and to take the laptop and our phone with us. It’s things like the charger that can get accidentally left behind.
When we have a weak start it’s seldom because we didn’t know what to say. It’s more often that we were dealing with other unnecessary distractions.
Top Tip: The best remedy is always to have a spare 15 minutes at your disposal. This may seem excessive, but there is no better peace of mind than having the luxury of enough time to ensure that you’ve packed every little thing you need for your presentation. This leaves you free of worry to focus on the real job at hand – to dazzle your audience and get their buy-in.
After all, that’s the main purpose of your presentation, isn’t it?