Preparation is critical to avoid any mishaps with AV equipment. Do
you have an extra light bulb for your projector? Let’s even take a step
back and ask if you have your own projector. Will you need to bring
one? What about extension cords and screens? You can’t leave anything
to chance, you can’t assume when it comes to delivering the best presentation.
Have you physically been to the room where you are going
to present ahead of time? The preparation is not just walking in a few
minutes before the event. It is crucial that you talk with the meeting
organizer ahead of time and walk the stage well in advance. I recommend
when practicing on the actual stage that you give a large portion
of the speech, if not all, ahead of time using the live AV equipment.
Saying, “Test 1, 2, 3” into a microphone does not count as preparation.
Have you walked around the entire stage to ensure there are no
extra-sensitive feedback spots for the microphones? Your audience
will appreciate not hearing any high-pitched squeaks. I have a loud
voice naturally, so I also invest a lot of time testing the volume of the
microphones. You should also work with the organizers ahead of time
on microphone options. I personally prefer lapel or the ones connected
to the ear with the speaker near the mouth because I like to use
my hands, and for me it is worth asking ahead of time for one of these.
Have you emailed your material to the organizer? Are paper copies
ready and waiting in case of an AV failure, or can the material be
projected in another way? Do you have a thumb drive, just in case
something goes wrong with the organizer’s version? I know I am at
my best when I have tested and prepared for everything I can control;
therefore, my audience’s ability to receive my message should go up.
Finally, expect the unexpected. It is not a matter of “if ” something will
go wrong, it is “when” it will go wrong. Part of your preparation should
revolve around how flexible your presentation is without the audiovisual
equipment in case it doesn’t work.
Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):
- Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
- Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
- Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
- The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
- From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
- The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood
See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com. Book, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only) purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com