I’ve created a list to help you prepare for your next speaking gig

I love a List.  I also love a checklist.  If you love checklists do read Atul Gawande’s excellent book – The Checklist Manifesto – definitely worth it.
Here's a list that you could turn into a checklist, of what you might want to consider when preparing for your next speaking gig:
1. Be Clear on what success looks like:

  • Clarify the purpose of your speech and what the client wants the audience to take away. 

2. Understand the Audience:

  • Research and understand as much as you can about the audience; demographics, nationalities, expectations etc.
  • Tailor your content and delivery to resonate with them while still delivering on the objective.

3. Prepare Your Speech:

  • Plan the structure of your speech with an introduction, main points, and conclusion.
  • Make sure your message is clear and focused and that it delivers on the objective.
  • Create visual aids or materials if needed.
  • Practice your speech to make it clear and easy to understand. 

4. Practice:

  • Rehearse your speech several times to build confidence and get the timing right.
  • Pay attention to your body language and voice.
  • Ask for feedback from others to improve.
  • Prepare extra material in case you need to fill more time and look at what you can cut if your time is reduced. 

5. Prepare for Questions:

  • Think about what people might ask and come up with good answers.
  • Listen carefully to questions and respond thoughtfully.
  • Stay calm and have an open conversation with the audience. 

6. Talk to the Organisers:

  • Talk with the event organisers to understand the details and what they expect from you.
  • Give them any information or materials they need.
  • Arrive early on the day of the event to get familiar with the location and meet the organisers. 

7. Dress Appropriately:

  • Wear clothes that match the event's dress code and make you look professional.
  • Choose comfortable clothes that let you move easily.

8. Technical Check:

  • Familiarise yourself with the venue and any equipment you'll be using.
  • Test microphones, projectors, or other tools beforehand.
  • Have backups of your presentation on different devices.

9. Deal with Nerves:

  • Find ways to calm your nerves before speaking, like taking deep breaths or imagining a positive outcome.
  • Remind yourself that you're knowledgeable and prepared.
  • Think positively and believe in yourself.

10. If there’s a Networking Opportunity:

  • Have a way of collecting people’s contact details, if you have theirs, you can follow-up.
  • Prepare a short and interesting introduction about yourself or your work but make it about outcomes and what’s in it for them, not all about you.
  • Make sure you are speaking less than they are, you’ve delivered your speech now it’s time to listen 😊

11. Follow Up:

  • Plan how you'll keep in touch with people after the event.
  • Do one or all of the following - send thank-you notes, share more resources, connect on LinkedIn.

Feel free to adapt this list based on your specific speaking engagements and preferences.  If you do I’d love to see it.

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