Speakers are, for the most part, road warriors. Few of us have the luxury of speaking only in our home towns; the rest of us have to travel extensively to and from speaking engagements. And as every frequent flyer knows, it can be maddening to arrive at your destination only to discover that a key piece of equipment you thought you had packed is still sitting at home. The checklists on the following pages will help you think through your packing process.
_____ Travel documents: airline tickets, government-issued ID, frequent flyer ID number for all airlines (in case you end up on a different airline than you intended).
_____ Hotel information: reservation confirmation number, street address, telephone number, and driving directions.
_____ Rental car information: reservation confirmation number, pick-up location, frequent-renter ID number.
_____ Mobile phone, with fully charged battery and battery charge adapter or cable.
_____ Laptop computer, complete with fully charged battery, AC adapter / battery charger, Ethernet cable for wired communications, USB flash drive, blank DVD-R disks, wired or wireless mouse.
_____ Handouts, including not only a printed copy but a backup copy of your handouts in your laptop computer and a second backup copy of your handouts on disk.
_____ Cables and wiring, including video cable(s) with a HDMI, USB, or other appropriate interface to connect your laptop computer to an LCD projector, and a multi-outlet power strip.
_____ Essential office supplies, including legal pads, note cards, paper clips, pens, pencils, highlighter, mini-stapler, calculator.
_____ Large-display LCD travel clock to keep your presentation on time in rooms in which wall clocks are not visible.
_____ Resource material, including free items as well as items you may have to sell.
_____ Sales material, including credit card imprinter, charge slips, order forms, merchandise bags.
_____ Repacking material, including sealing tape and shipping labels.
(Check the following well before the audience arrives.)
_____ Is the volume and tone adequate?
_____ Are there feedback or radio frequency issues?
_____ Will you be sharing a microphone with the person who speaks immediately before you?
_____ If sharing a mike, how long you will have to make the transfer of equipment?
_____ Does the lighting illuminate you in the best possible manner?
_____ Are there dark voids in the speaking area?
_____ If the lighting will be adjusted for your presentation, where are the dimmers/switches?
_____ If the lights will be adjusted as you speak, who will assist you with the task?
_____ Have you supplied a printed, large-type printout for your introducer?
_____ Have you verified that the introducer can pronounce troublesome words?
_____ Have you determined if the introducer will wait center stage for you to arrive at center stage?
_____ Is the room a comfortable temperature?
_____ Are the seats arranged for an optimum speaking environment?
_____ If you are the only speaker, have you arranged the room to suit your needs?
_____ Have you taped off the last few rows of seats to "encourage" attendees to sit at the front?
_____ Is your lectern properly set up with any material you may need as you speak?
_____ If you have resources to sell, have you set the table in a high-traffic area?
_____ Do you have appropriate signage?
_____ Are prices clearly marked on individual items and multi-item packages?
_____ Do you have an assistant who can help with sales?
_____ Will an assistant be able to watch your table to prevent "five-finger discounts"?
_____ Do you have free items on the table to encourage traffic?
In the crush of activity as you conclude a presentation, it is easy to overlook many items you brought in. We recommend you ask your host to assign one person to be responsible for gathering the following at the end of your presentation:
_____ Any item left on the lectern, including notes, clock, remote controller for mouse, any props or remaining giveaway items.
_____ Any speaker gift you may have been presented.
_____ Laptop computer, including your remote control receiver (attached to a USB port), LCD cable, multi-plug power strip.
_____ Unused handouts in the seats
_____ Unsold resource material from the back of the room, including resource order forms, credit card slips, credit card imprinter.