I created the presenter checklist because more often than not I have run into situations where there is poor communication and poor support. If you are new to presenting at conventions, here is a checklist with my comments to help make your presentation experience more enjoyable. If everything goes wrong, despite all your preparation and hard work, know that someone else has already been there and done that. —Kat|
Before the presentation has been accepted
• Are there smaller conventions I can present at to: 1) gauge interest level in my topic, and 2) to see what types of questions people may have?
• How much time will I need for the presentation? If the presentation slot is an hour long, plan on at least 10 minutes for setup and 10 minutes for cleanup. However, sometimes the previous presenter runs over, and the setup time cuts into your presentation time.
• Do I want to have handouts, which is an out-of-pocket expense? Handouts and other giveaways can be expensive. One time I prepared for 300 people and less than 50 people showed up. If you can recycle your handouts for a repeat presentation, then that's great. If you can't, then it can be a costly loss in terms of wasted time and cash to make handouts.
• Do I have a website I can refer people to? (an alternative to handouts)
• Does the convention have an online forum/message board? (good for pre- and post-presentation comments and questions)
At the convention website|
• When will presentation applications be available?
• When will I know if my presentation proposal has been accepted? Sometimes you won't be told until the last minute. One time I didn't find out that my proposals had been approved until I surfed over to the convention's website and read the schedule.
• Will I receive a full convention badge/pass or a pass just for the day of presentation? It will usually be for only the day of presentation.
After the presentation has been accepted
• Where can I pick up my convention badge/pass? Bring your presentation confirmation/acceptance letter, photo i.d., and a business card.
• Is there a green room for presenters, or a room where I can review my presentation?
• Will lunch be provided? At one convention they provided complimentary sandwiches, snacks, and refreshments for the presenters.
• Will parking be validated?
• Is a projection screen available? Is the room equipped to project a PowerPoint presentation?
• Will drinking water be provided for the presenter? It's best to bring your own water bottle to keep your throat from drying out while speaking.
• How many microphones do I need? At the minimum, one for me, and a standup mike for questions from the audience.
• Do I need to bring my own PC, or can I bring a flash drive with my presentation on it and have AV assistance with the slide show?
• Know how to set up your own equipment, or learn how to. Check the setup. Don't rely on the AV staff to plug in your PC into the outlet while they're setting it up. Bring your own surge protector and/or extension cord with your i.d. on it.
• Have your PowerPoint presentation backed up on a flash drive or have backup visuals in case a problem arises with either your PC or the AV staff's equipment.
• If there is AV staff, what stage directions do they need, e.g., when does the music or movie come in?
• How many people can the hall accept?
• Where is the room? Don't wait until right before your presentation to go looking for it. After picking up my convention badge, I check to see where my room is.
• How soon before the start of your presentation will they let you in? Arrive at least 15 minutes before to check in with the AV staff, check your own equipment, and to start setting up.