PQF #3 - ‘Arrive Early’
Updated: Mar 5
There is no magic. I can guarantee you that your presentation performance will improve simply arriving early at the scene.
My experience tells me that at least some 30% of the difficulties encountered by people in the presentation can be avoided by having enough time to prepare on site. Let me just name a few benefits by being there early:
Nervousness - The more time you are in the venue before it starts, the more comfortable you will become. You will get used to the temperature, space, etc. Well, from another angle, in the case that you feel uncomfortable when you arrive, you will have time to change the environment as you arrive early e.g. re-arrange the room setting, or even change the room if you are, say, in a hotel;
Knowing your audience better - Being early there, you will have time to greet and chat with the early-arriving audience. This will be good additional knowledge on top of any understanding on the audience which you find out before the presentation or training date. You will be surprised sometimes. For example, I once found out by chatting with them that quite a significant portion of the participants will not be able to come. By knowing it earlier, I had time to re-adjust the training activities accordingly;
Let the audience knowing you - This is equally important. Let them know you as a person. You can gain rapport better this way. Well, at least those who have talked to you will be more willing to ask question / respond to your questions as the presentation starts.
Equipment - One major source of trouble in presentation comes from the equipments themselves. Whilst they are supposed to help, they create trouble equally. Still remember the last time when you arrived 10 minutes before the presentation started, you realized that your laptop re-booted by itself, or the projector did not show the image properly, or there is no ink in the flipchart pens... Well, Murphy Law always applies, especially when you are short of time.
So, a quick-fix to improve your presentation is simply to arrive early. For me as a trainer, I always arrive 1 hour in advance.