A public presentation is a great way to share your expertise in a field or simply spread information on a subject you’re passionate about. Though public speaking continues to be a great fear for many people, planning and giving a talk doesn’t have to be nerve-wracking. With careful planning and a little creativity, you can schedule and host a successful public speaking event. These steps can help get you started.
You should have at least two venues in mind when planning an event. No doubt there’s a location that you believe would be perfect, but it’s important to have a backup plan just in case something doesn’t work out. Look up the contact information for these venues and call or e-mail them well in advance of when you wish to hold the event. Explain what you have in mind, what it entails, and approximately how many people you think will attend. Also be sure to address any special equipment the event may require. Once you find a venue willing to host your event, you can begin to finalize details like dates and times.
Do Your Research
When giving a talk or presentation, the information you present must be both accurate and currant. You should be prepared to answer questions and able to cite sources. When gathering your information, be sure to double-check everything. Some sources, especially on the Internet, won’t always offer unbiased or even correct facts. Keep a list of all the places you get information so that you can amass a proper bibliography when your research is complete. Having a comprehensive bibliography gives you something to refer to if someone asks where you found certain facts.
There are many innovative ways to promote events these days, especially with the continued growth of social media. When planning your event, consider where most of your intended audience gets their daily information. If you’re targeting the younger generation, the Internet might be the best place to put the word out. However, many older people still use the newspaper as their primary insight into what’s going on locally. Small regional publications may be perused by all ages. Depending on the subject and contents of your event, some or all of these may be viable options for promotion.
Once you have determined what forms of promotion will work best for you, set aside time to contact the necessary people or post information online. Making a Facebook event page for your event doesn’t take much time, but getting a hold of the editors and staff at a local newspaper may require more leg work. Make sure that you begin promoting in a timely enough fashion that anything submitted to publications will appear well in advance of the date of the event.
Plan For a Crowd
If your promotional tactics work, people will show up. Don’t sell yourself short; plan as if you’re expecting a crowd no matter what the size of the venue. Prepare handouts, refreshments, and seating accordingly so that you don’t have to scramble to provide attendees with anything. Make it your goal to have everything laid out as it should be before anyone arrives so that you can begin your presentation on time and without hassle.
In the days before your event, take the time to finalize everything. Even if you feel that you have everything under control, double-check. Make sure that you have all the necessary information and materials put together and ready to go. If any electronic equipment like computers or projectors will be used, take time to test them, preferably under the same conditions they will be used in during your event. Consider making a final call to your venue the day before to ensure that everything is in working order on their end. By addressing all of these things, you’ll help insure that the event goes smoothly.
By paying attention to detail and aiming to be as prepared as possible, your public speaking event can easily go off without a hitch. Rather than worrying about being in front of a crowd, watch everything fall into place as you focus on making the whole event the best that it can be.