It goes without saying that preparation is an essential part of delivering a powerful presentation but preparation goes beyond creating thoughtful content and rehearsing your speech. Another very important part of preparing for a big presentation is familiarizing yourself with the room where you will be speaking. Avoid surprises by checking out the venue ahead of time and making notes of how it is arranged. It’s important to do as much advance checking as you can to ensure you have everything you need to pull off a successful presentation. Here are just a few of the reasons why it’s so important to know your venue.
Leave Nothing to Chance
You will already be nervous enough on the day of your big presentation so you certainly don’t need additional stress when you realize chairs are missing, the microphone doesn’t work, and there isn’t a screen to display your slideshow. Make it a point to visit the venue a day or two prior to your presentation to ensure everything is in order. You never want to assume that chairs will be ample and electrical outlets will be nearby. You won’t have time to improvise on the day of your presentation so it’s always a good idea to check things out in advance.
You Can Get a Feel for the Layout
How is the room arranged? Is it auditorium seating or classroom seating? Are there enough seats for the expected number of attendees? Will you be on stage or on the floor? It is important to note the arrangement of the room so you can be prepared to address your audience in the most engaging way. Will you be able to walk around the room? Will you be speaking from a podium? You want to get a feel for the layout so you know what to expect on the day of your presentation. This also gives you time to make changes to your presentation if needed or move seats around to be sure everyone can see easily.
Check the Microphone and Sound System
There is nothing worse than dealing with technical difficulties during your presentation. If you plan on using a microphone, laptop, screen, or any other device, you want to make sure everything is in working order. Never assume that someone will be available to save the day if the sound system doesn’t work. Make it a point to check everything a few days in advance and familiarize yourself with how to work the equipment.
Rehearse in the Venue
Even if you know your presentation forward and backward, it’s still important to practice it in the actual venue where you will be speaking. You can get a feel for the microphone to see how loud you need to talk and you can see if there are any other noises or distractions that might affect your presentation. You can look at your screen from various places in the room to ensure it is visible from every angle. You can also check the temperature of the room to make sure it is comfortable.
It Will Help You Relax
Every presenter deals with nerves before a big speech but you can alleviate a great deal of stress by checking out the venue in advance. This will help you visualize yourself giving your speech and allow you to get a feel for the layout ahead of time. You will feel more comfortable knowing that everything has been checked and is in working order. You can make sure lights, props, equipment, and seating is exactly the way you want it. While there will always be a certain level of paranoia, seeing the venue ahead of time can help you relax and feel more confident about your presentation.