Use checklists to help you take care of all the details

You don’t want to be setting up for your talk and suddenly realize you left a key item at home.

Here’s the 29-point checklist I use to ensure I’ve prepared for each talk. This includes items to have in my bag, and things I need to do beforehand. Customize this as you like.

I usually run through this a week beforehand with my assistant, and again a day or two beforehand to wrap up any final items. I keep this as a checklist in the Trello card-sorting tool, which makes it easy to duplicate for future events.

1. Clicker with USB drive
2. Voice recorder (to record myself, to listen to later)
3. Clock (to track time)
4. Folder with countdown (for organizer to display, to ensure I finish on time)
5. Speaker introduction printout (to ensure they use my preferred language)
6. Set up discount code for webinars (if I’m doing a promo for a webinar at this event)
7. Handout cards (with discount code for product)
8. VGA extension cable (to give me flexibility to see my laptop screen’s Presenter View in PowerPoint, in case their supplied cable isn’t long enough)
9. Lavaliere mic and base station (optional, if their A/V is iffy; also lets me record clean audio straight to audio recorder… but don’t start by spending $300 for this)
10. Bottle of water (just in case)
11. Set up the landing page (this is a page with a SlideShare embed)
12. Schedule tweets to go out during my talk (including UTM codes for links to my site, so I can track the lead source)
13. Update the post-event email template, for my assistant to send to people
14. Create + print surveys for attendees (at the right quantity based on estimated)
15. Print three award / prize certificates (my giveaway for audience participation)
16. AA batteries (for lavaliere mic)
17. AAA batteries (for audio recorder + clicker)
18. Audio speaker (for self-sufficiency on video)
19. Audio/headphone cable (for the video)
20. Short USB cable (to power the audio speaker)
21. Send invoice for speaking deposit
22. Send invoice for initial travel (e.g., booking flight in advance)
23. Send invoice for final travel
24. Send invoice for second 50%
25. Business cards
26. Update slides for specific location (I’ll change a couple slides if needed)
27. Update slides on Slideshare (to ensure those are current): http://www.slideshare.net/ksakas
28. Envelope for receipts
29. Load latest presentation files to USB memory stick

Be sure to modify your own copies to fit your needs, and seek professional advice as appropriate—I’m not a lawyer, and your mileage may vary (YMMV).

Want help applying this advice to your agency? Contact me for a free, confidential consulting estimate.

Done here? Head back to the main list of speaker resources.

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