Ah, the keynote speaker… In a perfect world they’ll arrive long before they’re expected on stage to run through all the necessary details that come with being the keynote. In reality, we don’t always have this luxury. Here’s a quick checklist to run through with your keynote (or any speaker for that matter) if you have just minutes to connect with them before they head on stage.

Microphone: If you’re using a handheld, let the speaker know where it’s located (if on-stage) or request that they don’t turn off the body mic while waiting to go on stage. Double check the mic he’ll be using (A, B, C… 1, 2, 3…) if your event has multiple microphones.

Time: Show the speaker where a clock is located so he can keep track of time, or where your timekeeper is located if you have one. Remind him that he has X amount of time to present, and X amount of time for Q&A (if there is one). You do not want a speaker to go over his allotted time.

Entrance: Let the speaker know who will be introducing him, the host’s name and anything else that might occur while he takes the stage (music, lighting, etc…).

Exit: Explain what you expect to happen once the presentation concludes. Will the MC regain control of the stage, or is the speaker expected to introduce the next person or session?

Controls: Show your speaker where any remotes are on stage and how to use them. This is important for slideshow presentations or anything where the speaker is expected to drive something on-screen.

The Speaker: Finally, before sending him on stage, ask if there is anything he needs (water, tea…). You want to ensure your speaker is comfortable and confident before taking the stage.

Again, in a perfect world we have some time with our speakers to show them the ropes. In the off chance they arrive late, you’ll want to make sure to cover the most important details before sending them on stage.

Do you have a keynote nightmare? Share it with us!

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