Public Speaking Tip #27 The Setup

Preparation for giving a speech doesn’t end until you’ve checked out the venue. Fail to do that and you could be headed for disaster.

TRANSCRIPT: No amount of preparation will be enough if you aren’t familiar with the venue where you are speaking.

Walking in cold is a sure way to push your nerve levels into over drive.

Allow time to check the venue whether it be on the day or even beforehand.

Is it a big room or a small room? The size and layout can affect the way you deliver your presentation. A small venue is more intimate and your movement and gestures should reflect that.

A large room with a bigger audience allows you to be more expansive and theatrical. Small gestures in a large hall will be lost – big hand gestures and body movements are more appropriate.

In a small venue the audience is closer they will see a half smile, rolling your eyes but in a big auditorium that would go unnoticed.

Small details, but used properly your performance will improve markedly.

While you’re there, check the stage – is there a lectern – how’s the lighting. Too late to be introduced on stage only to find there’s no lectern for your notes or the lighting is too poor to read them.

Do a mic check to make sure you can be heard at the back of the room.

A check of the setup is your responsibility – don’t rely on the organisers to have it right for you because once you’re on stage the audience will blame you, not the organisers. if you are struggling to be heard or see your notes.

Doing a location check will also give you confidence because you will be familiar with your surroundings which gives you a feeling of control and will help calm the nerves.

A good public speaker leaves nothing to chance.