Tips for speakers

Mostly as an aide memoire for myself, but perhaps these might be useful to others too.

  • Be the one thing an organiser knows can’t go wrong. Bring a laptop, a charger, a reliable dongle. Buy a clicker. Don’t borrow one. Don’t use a mobile app. Buy a clicker.
  • Move a handheld mic as you turn your head, dammit.
  • Run lapel mic wires underneath your shirt.
  • Assume a mic is live, except when you want it to be.
  • Make sure you’re muted before that nervous pre-talk pee.
  • Put your wallet, your lanyard, your phone, your watch into your bag. Hide the bag out of sight.
  • Put your laptop into Do-Not-Disturb.
  • Back up your presentation to Dropbox, USB, or both. Fonts and videos too.
  • Ask for water. Drink it onstage.
  • Get there early to reassure the organisers you’re there. Walk around the stage to get a feel for the room.
  • Speak slower. Pause. Control the presentation.
  • Rehearse. Again. And again.
  • Q&A is awful: avoid if at all possible.
  • Ask for money. Try 5× the ticket price as a rough guide (for a single-track event).
  • Don't be so precious about money that you won't negotiate.
  • Favour events that have a Code of Conduct.
  • Soundcheck.
  • Present off your own laptop or risk disaster. 
  • The latest version of Keynote is fine now.
  • Don’t drink too much at the speakers’ dinner. But one extra at the after-party is fine.
  • When someone tells you they really enjoyed your talk, smile and say thank you.