The Well-Traveled Speaker

You may be thinking this blog will share how to become a speaker that travels the world. While we will broach that subject in the future, today we will discuss how to travel well as a speaker.

1) Always have the contact information of the meeting planner who is your liaison for the speaking gig. That means cell, home, work and venue phone numbers, emails as well as a back-up person to reach if you can’t reach the primary contact. Have this in your phone and on paper as a back-up and carry it on your person. I am speaking from person experience. I had a speaking opportunity where I met with the Program Director of the event to go over the details at her home. On my way to event, I was in a car accident and was delayed. The phone number I had was her home phone and she and the entire audience were at the venue waiting for me. When I arrived an hour late and explained the situation, thankfully they were kind & understanding, but It took awhile to warm up the audience. Here’s the funny part. The topic I was delivering that day was “Stress…How Do You Spell Relief?” Needless to say, I could speak from the heart on that subject on that day!

2) Invest in a durable, easily identifiable, carry-on luggage to travel with. Some luggage has built-in charging station for your phone and laptop. This suitcase should be able to stand out from the hundreds of suitcases on the luggage carousel, so you can grab it and be on your way to the venue without delay. I recommend that you travel light with carry-on, if possible, to avoid the extra time at luggage carousel and the possibility of lost luggage.

3) Try to schedule your travel the day before the event. That way you can get to your hotel and relax before you speak. It also affords you to visit the venue the day before to check out the room layout and get your bearings. This will also protect you from any travel delays, which might make you scramble to get to the venue.

4) Carry your presentation with you in as many different formats as possible…on paper, on a zip drive, in a PowerPoint on your laptop. Many times, due to equipment malfunctions, you have to be flexible and ready for anything that comes your way. At our last Engaging Speakers Boot Camp, one of our scheduled speakers had to be taken to the hospital that day. One of our Engaging Speakers Members, Tajuana Ross, the LinkedIn Professor, had all of her presentations on a zip drive in her laptop bag, so she was able to jump in and fill in that gap in the speaker roster that day. Also, carry any possible applicable cord with you, so you can adapt to any projector.

5) Have your two speaking outfits packed in plastic dry cleaning bags on hangers in your luggage. The plastic bags help the clothes from wrinkling and a ready to wear when you are ready to get dressed. I suggest that you wrap your shoes separately in a soft cloth bags to avoid scuffing as your suitcase is being jettisoned from the plane by the baggage handlers.

I am sure that you have experienced travel horror stories or have heard for stories from others. Please share them with me and they may become the topic of a future blog.

If traveling as a Speaker is your dream, then join us at Engaging Speakers where you can learn from National and International Speakers who are willing to mentor you to speaking success.

Gail Brown, Founder of Engaging Speakers, gail@engagingspeakers.com

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