by Gilda Bonanno LLC http://www.gildabonanno.com/
Here are some things for you to think about in the dress rehearsal for your presentation:
Where will you present? The room should be arranged so you can see everyone easily and so you won't trip over any computer cables or have to cross frequently in front of the projector.
How are the lights and heating/cooling system controlled? If you're using a projector and screen, does the lighting allow the audience to see the screen and also have enough light to stay awake? What is going on in the room next door or outside the window? If you have to compete with a jackhammer, frequent sirens or cute kids on the playground outside the window, you should be prepared for it.
COMPUTER (if applicable)
How will you advance the slides? If you will be standing to deliver your presentation, I recommend using a remote control (inexpensive and easily available at office supply or electronics stores) so you are not tied to your computer.
Do you have a long-enough power cable or enough battery power? Have you disabled your computer's automatic updates so your computer is not automatically shut down and restarted during the presentation? (This actually happened to me a few minutes before I began a training session - luckily, I had time to restart the computer).
WHAT TO WEAR
Wear something comfortable AND powerful. To take an extreme example, pajamas are comfortable but they are not powerful. Clothes can help you communicate the professional image that you want to convey. Your clothing should have nothing you have to tug at, pull at, fix, etc., that will distract you or your audience. And your shoes must be comfortable even if you're only presenting for a few minutes.
Get enough sleep the night before you have to present. Make sure you have time to eat whatever food you need to present effectively - you don't want to be overfull, but you also want to avoid a growling stomach or light-headedness.
WHAT'S IN YOUR KIT BAG?
Do you have everything you might need with you - things like cough drops, antacids, other medicines, glasses in case you get something in your contacts, etc.? This is the time to think like a Boy Scout and be prepared. If you're speaking in front of the entire department, including management, at an offsite retreat, wouldn't you prefer to have your glasses with you in case you lost your left contact?
If you're not in your regular office building, who is your onsite go-to person in case you need something? When I was stung by a wasp for the first time in my life shortly before I had to present a workshop at a new location, I needed my on-site contact to get me medical attention quickly to ensure I wasn't having an allergic reaction (she was great and no, I didn't have a reaction).
Yes, thinking about these environmental factors and preparing for them takes time. But like a dress rehearsal, it's time well spent. As a result, you'll be comfortable enough with your environment so you can avoid preventable glitches and deliver your presentation effectively - and handle any unexpected obstacles with ease.
Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com
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