Things to ask when you’re going to present

When you’re going to present with a new organization or on a new stage, there’s a lot you should check before arriving.  To make that easier, here is a list of questions you should ask your event organizers:

  • What kind of mircophones will be used?  Lavaliere, hand mic, over the ear?  Will surgical tape be available if over the ear?  (esp important for those of you who lack hair on your head)
  • Will there be a confidence monitor?  What will the confidence monitor show?  (that’s a screen in front of you so you don’t have to turn around to see when your slides change, frequently it’s just the view that is on the screen at the time.  Sometimes it’s the notes page view)
  • Will there be a tele-prompter for notes?  (perhaps your script could roll by?)
  • Am I allowed notes on stage?  (Do you need to memorize ro can you bring a paper prompt?  Notecards look better than actual paper)
  • What is the aspect ratio for the slides?  (If you design slides for 4×3 and you find out that ti’s a wide screen set up, your slides will look really messy when they convert.  You really need to design your slides for the right screen.  Which could be 4:3, 16:9 or 16:10, or something custom)
  • Will there be a podium?  Chair?  If there is a chair, what height will it be?    (you should rehearse in whatever set up is going to be provided)
  • Will I be allowed to walk as I speak or will there be a specific area for video?    (this has ramifications for rehearsal)
  • What color is the stage set up?  (this has ramifications on what outfit you choose)
  • Are there any preferences for my outfit?  (self explanatory)
  • Will I be videotaped?  (If yes, you should consider wearing slightly darker makeup than usual, and also avoid patterns)
  • When do you need by slides by?  (and please follow this, there is a lot that happens to your slides once you pass them onto the event organizers, just showing up with a thumb drive before you speak is disrespectful to and stressful for your organizers who only want you to shine)
  • Is there presentation coaching available?  Will there be a rehearsal?  (If you want extra help, find out if you need to arrange your own!)
  • Anything else I need to know?

Knowing these things sooner rather than later will cut down stress the day of your event.

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