I wrote earlier that speakers need to plan to fail in order to succeed.
It helps to plan to succeed as well.
Here’s a working checklist that I use: (in no particular order)
1. Water – I need to drink a lot, but not too much. Getting old and all that comes with it. But I also need to have a water bottle on stage with me. 20-30 minutes in and I get dry-mouthed.
2. Arrive early to make sure things work – pc, projector, clicker, embedded videos …
3. Brain dump – make a list of things that are on your mind and pocket it. That way you know you don’t have to remember anything, at least for the time being, and you can concentrate on now.
4. Contact a friend – talk to somebody who has been where you are. Email them if you are on a ship. No agenda. Just share.
5. Rehearse your opening line – again and again and again. I pace, think out loud so I can get those first few words right.
6. Exercise – hit the gym, the track. Work up a sweat as close to the time you go on stage as permits. You will feel lighter on your feet and have a clearer mind when you get up on stage.
7. Plan to have fun – it might be work, except when it’s fun, too. Confucius said, “Find a job you love to do and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
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