I’ve been hosting the Women’s Business Socials since February 2009. Before starting my company with Jason, I organized over 50 Getting Things Done seminars for the David Allen Company throughout the country during my 7 year stay there. I tell you all this to justify my need, actually, it’s more of a LOVE for lists… and checklists.
Today is special because I’m speaking at a Women’s Forum within a private company in New York City. So I’m sharing my list that helps me get to where I’m going in my best possible condition.
Here’s my Checklist for What I Do on Presentation Days:
- I actually start the night before, with getting extra SLEEP. I know I’m sharper, more engaged and more articulate if I’m rested.
- I EAT well, starting with breakfast. Some work days I skip breakfast, even though I know better. But not on presentation days. Remember food = fuel. I don’t want to “run out of gas” half way through my day. *Also, presentation days are not the time to try new foods, not a day for me to give up coffee, or anything else that may backfire with unpredictable side effects. The last thing I want to is be dealing with body issues on a day I need to be fully present.
- I review my NOTES: if I’m presenting a workshop, I review my notes and slides. If I’m on a panel, I brainstorm key points that are relevant for the specific audience. I actually LOVE speaking on panels because it’s more of a conversation with the audience. I’m not “teaching” but I am sharing my experience. It’s also unpredictable, so I have 3-5 key points with relevant stories that demonstrate that point.
- I review the other speaker BIOS. Especially if I’m on a panel, I like to who I’m with. I look them up on LinkedIn, review their websites, and have an idea of something we can talk about. Sometimes I write on an index card the people’s names and 1-2 words about them to remind me. *FYI, I typically look up other speakers on LinkedIn as soon as I get the agenda from the event organizer. I sent them a connection request and write a short note on how we’ll be speaking on stage together soon.
- I set ALARMS on my phone: time to wake up, time to stop working on other stuff & get myself ready, and time to leave. Sometimes I lose track of time, especially when I’m writing. Presentation days are not the days to space out or show up late. I have enough adrenaline pumping through me, at the thought of speaking on stage, I don’t need the “Oh sh*t, I’m late!!! adrenaline” too. I’m learning to love that natural “high” and manage it with grounding self-care behaviors.
- I have a PRINTOUT of where I’m going: either from Google Maps or a note card with the subway number and exit. I’ve been burned before by assuming I’ll be able to pull up a map en route only to discover that there’s no wifi. Another trick is to search on Google maps, then take a screenshot so it saves a picture of the map with your other photos. (for iPhones, you can do this by pushing the round Home button and the On/Off on button on top at the same time.)
- I visualize my own private REHERSAL: I run through the event in my mind to think about anything I might do, need or share during that time. I make sure my phone is charged, I have my laptop/powercord/data connector, I have the directions to the event including what floor or room it’s in, I bring a change of shoes (flats for afterwards), I have a big stack of my business cards, and I have my own little first aid kit with band aids, tampons, breath mints and tissue. My mom raised me with the Girl Scout motto, “Always be prepared.”
- If possible, get a PHOTO at the end of the event with the other presenters and/or participants. I find this kind of social proof is so helpful for reminding myself what’s possible on days when I’m not feeling it. And times when I think I’m in over my head. It’s important to track the victories, the wins, the successes along the way.
Here’s a photo that I’m SO grateful for… it’s from the very first Women’s Business Social, Feb 2009.