Get to Your Room Early
Things can and do go wrong. You must get to the room where you’re doing your event at least an hour ahead of your scheduled start time, two hours early in the case of a larger or longer event. If you’re handling registration yourself, you should be there an hour before registration is set to open. If you’re at a hotel and your program starts first thing in the morning, see if you can get in to see the room the night before.
Why are you there that early? For a number of important reasons.
First, you have to check all of the audio and/or video systems you’ll be using. If it’s a crucially important event it’s important that you have back-ups for all of your systems. If are selling video tapes for example, you’ll need to have a backup video recorder. If you’re selling the audio tapes you’ll need a back up audio recording device.
If you’re using any visual aids or computer equipment, check the hardware you’ll be using to make sure it’s working and how to make things happen.
You’ll also want to get a “feel” for the room. Walk around the room. Check the microphone to find out where the “hot spots” are. Hot spots are those places where your microphone will give you a ton of feedback when you walk under them. Walk up the stairs of the stage or risers. Get a feel for the space that you’ll be in soon.
Water is important. Make sure there’s a pitcher of water at or near the podium. I like to have the water at slightly cooler than room temperature. I also like to squeeze a few lemons into the water before I start. Experts tell us that ice water is very bad for your voice, so avoid using it during the seminar. You’ll undoubtedly find a water system that works for you.