Speaker checklist for presentations

Several years ago I was asked to give a crisis communications presentation for a group to which I did not belong. It was, however, a group of professional communications so I was confident that everything would run smoothly.


Computer, presentation remote, jump drive

Having the right tools is essential to your success as a speaker. (Photo by Cynthia Price)

Overall, it did run smoothly except that the podium with the laptop and keyboard sat further back from the audience and there was no remote clicker. The result was that I needed to remain tethered to the podium so I could advance the slides. It was frustrating.

The next weekend I went out and purchased a presentation remote so that I would always be able to advance my slides.

Many facilities provide the projector and computer, but  I have run into problems with a jump drive not working on the provided computer. The result is that I bring my laptop and a jump drive, knowing that one will work. I’ve even emailed my presentation to the facilitator as a third back-up.

I always plan my outfit in advance. I need to stand out but not to the point that the audience is distracted by the stripes on my suit or by dangling earrings. It’s also important to ensure that you are comfortable in your clothes. If you are tugging at your top or grimacing because your shoes are too tight, it will show in your presentation.

Most organizations have water available for their speakers, but just in case, it’s good to bring your own.

Finally, be sure that your contact information is easily accessible. My final slide isn’t “Questions,” but rather my name and contact details, including email and Twitter handle. It’s also my first slide so that individuals who want to tweet during the presentation can do so. I also have business cards available. I set them out on a table so that individuals don’t have to wait in a line to ask me for my card.

2 thoughts on “Speaker checklist for presentations

  1. Avril says:

    Hi Cynthia – like you have given more presentations than I care to remember but it is so easy to forget something. This is a really handy check list.

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