Tip #91: Preparing for a Conference Presentation

Before The Presentation:

  1. Recognize that everything that can go wrong will go wrong.
  2. Call a week before the conference:
    1. Find out the number of workshop participants, if available.
    2. Confirm the building, room and time of your workshop.
    3. Confirm the audiovisual equipment you will need.
    4. Find out important names and both work and cell phone numbers of people who are responsible for audiovisual equipment and room scheduling.
  3. Bring more than enough handouts, but also bring the masters in case you need to make more. If you have sent your training masters ahead to be duplicated, bring additional masters in case there is a slip up in printing.
    1. Ensure that your handouts are professional in quality.
    2. Remember that your handouts will serve as a marketing piece. Have your contact information (name, phone number, and website) on them.
  4. It may make your life easier if you bring an LCD projector and extension cord with you.
  5. Always bring extra pads of paper, pens, name cards (if you use them), magic markers, masking tape, and other tools of your trade.
  6. Check out the room and layout well in advance of your workshop. You can often call the host hotel to get this information.
    1. Be prepared to move tables and chairs.
    2. Be prepared to track down audiovisual equipment.
    3. Check out electrical outlets.
  7. Be aware that you may have little time to set up for your workshop.
  8. If there has been a room change for your workshop, be prepared for confusion.
    1. Clearly identify the title and topic of your workshop in writing on the door and in the room. b. Reconfirm the title and topic of your workshop before you begin, in case some participants have confused the room. c. Recognize that some participants may hold you responsible for the inconvenience created by the room change.
  9. Bring a extra introductory paragraph so that the person who introduces you has accurate information.
    1. Give thought to what you would like the participants to know about you.
    2. Ask the person what s/he will say.
    3. Make sure the person knows the correct pronunciation of your name and your correct title.
    4. Find out the extent of that person’s duties; for example, will s/he be handing out and collecting evaluation forms at the end of the workshop?
    5. Negotiate how much time the person will need at the beginning and end of your workshop.

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