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Four Pros Share Their “Getting Ready” Routine Before a Speaking Engagement

Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a new to speaking at conferences and association meetings, the success of your talk itself will rely heavily on how you prepared even months prior to taking the stage. It’s not simply a matter of practicing as much as possible- there are many, finer details that need to be considered before you stand in front of your peers.

A speaker’s routine varies but there’s one thing for sure: having a standard routine to ensure you are as prepared as possible is essential.

Attendees at Catersource 2018 in Las Vegas enjoying their session.

For some, it begins with your overall look and how you plan to present yourself. “My getting ready routine begins at home to ensure that I have an outfit appropriate for the audience and that makes me feel comfortable,” says CeCe Todd, owner of CeCe Designs.

She adds that this extends to the day itself. “I always ensure that my hair and makeup is done to give me all the confidence that I’m presenting myself in the best manner in public.”

Confirming your audio visual well in advance allows you to avoid any last minute changes or surprises. As one continues to speak more, they’ll quickly find that they’ll have an opinion on what works best for them. Todd explains, “Prior to arriving at the speaking event, I request a headset microphone rather than handheld because I am animated and like to move around the stage.”

“In the days leading up to my speaking engagements, I dry run my presentation aloud with my eyes closed. I also vividly image a room full of conference attendees, which helps me get over any stage fright and locks in my flow.”—Bron Hansboro

If speaking away from home, packing will be equally as impactful with the success of your talk. “In preparing to travel for a speaking engagement, I always make sure that I pack the following: my computer with a charger for my slides along with the assumed converter, flash cards to assist me in staying on track, business cards, a gift for attendees that ties into my speech (something to inspire them on their desk!), and a power outfit,” says Jaqueline Hill of Jacqueline Hill Events and Designs.

Speaker Joe Mineo teaches a Lunch & Learn session at Catersource 2018.

Practice always makes perfect, says Bron Hansbro, owner of Flowers by Bron. “In the days leading up to my speaking engagements, I dry run my presentation aloud with my eyes closed. I also vividly image a room full of conference attendees, which helps me get over any stage fright and locks in my flow.”

Even on the day of the event, a quick run-through can make a world of difference. “Before I get ready to go on stage, I practice my presentation one more time in the hotel room to build confidence,” says Hill.

When you arrive on site, one of the first priorities will be to check in with your audio visual team. Sandy Hammer of AllSeated agrees, sharing, “First, I always test the demo and set up to ensure all technology is connected properly and working.”

Hammer also prioritizes the opportunity to wind down a bit before taking the stage. “I also love to go online to watch an episode of Seinfeld in order to relax—and maybe even gain a new idea for a joke opening to my speech!” she adds.

Hill leaves us with the perfect little pep talk before you hit the stage. “Be confident and humble that those in the room are waiting to learn from you! You are a big deal - you got this!”

So, at your next speaking engagement why not take a few tips from these pros to shake up your getting ready routine and you might find that it will enhance your performance.

Catersource Call for Speakers is now open! 

Are you interested in presenting a knowledge session at Catersource? A talk about current trends? Click on this LINK to get more information. Deadline is May 25.

Meghan Ely

President, OFD Consulting, Richmond, VA

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. 

Photo: Melody Smith Portraits