The Essential Speaker Checklist

“Good checklists […] provide reminders of only the most critical and important steps — the ones that even the highly skilled professional using them could miss. Good checklists are, above all, practical.”
-Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

With a million things to remember before your presentation, forgetting a key element can put you off kilter, and even jeopardize your ability to deliver your talk.

With this in mind, we have drawn on our collective experience here at SpeakerHub to create this useful checklist for public speakers.

We wanted to convert these ideas into a very practical format, so we created a one-page PDF checklist that you can print off and change to suit your needs.

Items are grouped by category, and you can add your own items and notes, as well as some of the finer details for the event.

Click here to download a printable speaker checklist PDF, or see scroll down to copy and paste the list below.

The Essential Speaker Checklist

Presentation:
Venue:
Audience:
Date/Time of Presentation:

1. Travel

  • Directions to venue / map / distance from the hotel
  • Passport and airplane tickets
  • Online check-in and print boarding pass (if required)
  • Public transport schedule, fare and location
  • Back up plan in case first transport choice falls through

2. Communication

  • Mobile phone / charger (incl. adapter for the destination country/continent)
  • Phone numbers of contacts at speaking venue
  • Business cards
  • Brochures / Samples / Promotional material
  • Pens / Pencils
  • Notepad / Post-it Notes
  • Finalize participant numbers, timing and profile of the final audience
  • Send pre-invoice or deposit payment request
  • Check final agenda of the event

3. Venue

  • Visit venue
  • Review floor plan
  • Review photos of room
  • Confirm equipment at venue
  • Remote control for presentation
  • Extension cord
  • Adapter to connect computer to beamer, especially for Macs
  • If local computer is required to use:
  • How it renders the presentation layout
  • Does Prezi, Keynote or other run on it smoothly
  • Video playback and sound system
  • Confirm Internet at venue

4. Equipment

  • Laptop / charger with local adapter according to the country/region
  • iPad / Tablet charger with local adapter
  • Timer
  • Voting gadget or other technical equipment
  • Remote control of the beamer

5. Presentation

  • Written introduction for person presenting you
  • Your Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube handles/channel highlighted
  • Speaking notes
  • Backup of presentation:
  • on email
  • USB(s)
  • Alternative Slide application (e.g. Prezi converted into PDF)
  • Dropbox or Google Drive
  • Hard copy of presentation slides / Alternative way of presenting without slides (e.g. iPad offline version)
  • Props (if any)
  • Markers for flipchart / whiteboard
  • Evaluation forms for audience

6. Before the presentation

  • Arrive at least 2 hours before the presentation time
  • Meet event organizer
  • Meet stage technician
  • Test presentation equipment and run a sound check
  • Prepare speaking area (lectern, walking space, flipcharts, etc.)

7. After the presentation

  • Remind participants and organizer about your social media presence
  • Send public version of the presentation to the organizer for distribution
  • Ask for feedback, testimonial and referral from organizer
  • Request event photos for social media and personal website
  • Send invoice

Click here to download a printable PDF of this checklist.

This was originally posted on the SpeakerHub blog.