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How to Prepare a Room for Public Speaking Success


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So, you’ve prepared all your presentation materials and even rehearsed a few times. Ready to go? No, not so fast. Your speech is only as good as the venue allows it to be. Set the room like a good director sets the stage – put everything in place for a successful delivery.

You may have prepared a witty speech or an informative presentation, but if the audience can’t hear you well or see you comfortably, much of your hard work will go to waste.

And if the audience is suffering from an air-conditioning system that doesn’t work, you might as well let everyone head home early.

Check the room:

1. Does the room have windows? If glare poses a problem, shut the drapes.

2. Does the hotel ballroom have unwanted mirrors in back of your lectern? (This happens more often than you might realize.) You don’t want a full-view reflection of your backside to reveal any fidgeting. Insist that the hotel either block the mirrors with a decorative screen or move your lectern.

3. Does the lectern have a light? Is it plugged in and ready to go? Is a spare light bulb handy? Does the lectern have a shelf where you can stash a cough drop, a handkerchief, or a glass of water?

4. Does the seating work for you or against you? Arrive early and adjust the chairs if needed. If you expect your audience will be smaller than the number of seats in the auditorium, take ribbon to rope off the back rows.

5. Is the room soundproof? You don’t want to make your most important point, only to have the audience distracted by a noisy meeting next door.

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