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Prepare the room for a speech

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Feel confident and prepared by getting the room ready before a speech. Check these items before a presentation:

  • Walk with the microphone. Don’t just tap and test “1, 2, 3.” Simulate what it will be like during the presentation. If you are using a lapel or an over-the-ear mic, try it on and walk around while you test it.
  • Check the lectern’s height. While you likely won’t want to stand behind it the entire time, when you do stand there, you want to ensure that the lectern is not too high or too low for you.
  • Do a practice run with all technical equipment. Do more than just turn it on. Flip through a few slides. Listen to something with volume, and make sure the placement of each piece of equipment is just right. Have your presentation saved in multiple formats—USB drive, Dropbox and so on—in case one way doesn’t work.
  • Take note of the environment. Are there wires that you may trip over? Is it too hot or too cold? Are the chairs too close or too far from where you are speaking? Check the entire space, and adjust the items that you can control.

— Adapted from “Six Ways to Be an Amazing Public Speaker,” Deborah Jacobs, www.forbes.com.

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