You have a completed business model, you are making the most of all your marketing tools and your staff are trained to the max. Now it is time to get up and speak in front of an audience, using your online presentation to try and reach more clients. Nerves may be the feeling at the forefront of your mind but have you got your tools ready at hand and working efficiently? Here are my top tips on how to plan a successful event:
Plot how the day will run
Whether you use a good old fashioned spider graph or you make bullet points or write in full detail. You need to plan exactly what it is you want to happen and when. Include times, venues, refreshments options, staff who will be on hand, possible guest speakers and who you are going to invite.
Invite relevant clients and customers
Get the right people in through the door. This may take months of careful planning and negotiating but without the right faces in front of you, you may well be wasting your time. Send invites with your agenda for the day, your key points, what you will be offering and how you may benefit them.
-This needs to be accessible for all- is there wheelchair access?
-Is there enough seating?
-Is there enough space for your equipment?
-Is there a plug socket where you need it?
-Do they provide a screen? What is the size and what is the optimal resolution?
– Is there Wi-Fi?
– Do they have microphones or do you need to provide your own? If they do have them please check the quality before you turn up on the day.
– Is there a sound system?
-Will they be able to provide refreshments or will you need to supply this too?
You need to take all of this into careful consideration before booking somewhere. The venue needs to work for you as much as your presentation does.
Time your presentation
Have a run through in your office with your speech and your presentation. Work out your timings for each slide. Also, include moments for questions and answers. If you are streaming a video take this into consideration when planning the event. You want your times to be as spot on as possible, people are often a little put out if events considerably overrun.
Are all fonts and media embedded in the presentation file?
Does your audio work?
Does your video stream?
Have you scanned the presentation file for viruses with an up-to-date antivirus scanner?
Have you done one last spell and grammar check?
Does it look the best it can be?
Do you have your key points, your business proposals, your up to date statistics and other relevant information within your slide deck?
Have you used eye-catching graphs for your statistics?
Have you included cleverly placed transitions to hold your audience’s attention?
To overcome your nerves and to ensure you come across as confident on the day you need to rehearse your speech until you know it inside out. If you show that you know your business and you have a clear message you will be gaining your audience’s trust and hopefully winning some new contracts.
Make sure that every piece of equipment you are going to be using is in tip top working condition on the day. I would also test run it at your chosen venue before the event to make sure you understand how theirs and yours work together. It is easy to sort a problem in advance, you certainly don’t want to be tackling those on the day itself!
Turn your laptop screen saver off and any notifications that may come through. Disable any scheduled tasks and remove any unwanted messages such as those pesky anti-virus pop-ups’. Clean up your history browser and keep any irrelevant tabs closed.
You may choose to allow others to guest speak at your event. If this is the case you will need to run through the list above with them too. The day is a reflection on you and your company and any mistakes will fall on your shoulders, not the guest speakers. Ensure that you have their files and that they use your equipment. You do not want to be switching devices part way through a presentation. I would also double check their speech, their presentation for errors and rehearse together prior to the day. Make sure that they come across as professional as yourself.
Good luck with your event and I hope my tips will help you be the success you know you can be.