by Terry Jones | February 01, 2014
I've been a professional speaker for more than a decade and have made countless presentations to attendees worldwide. I know planners spend endless hours working to select just the right speaker for their group. Unfortunately, that time (not to mention money) can be wasted if some details necessary for ensuring a great performance are missed. Following are my recommended tips to ensure that presentations are flawless.

Have a Speaker Pre-Con
Be sure to arrange a pre-conference call with the speaker prior to the event. Let him or her know exactly what the meeting is about, what the goals are and what's on the audience's mind. This may seem obvious, but I've seen planners skip this crucial step.

Pay Attention to the Podium
Many times production companies will build a very cool podium to compliment the stage set. Make sure it is functional as well as attractive.

Use Professional Projectors
The difference between a professional projector and the one from the office conference room really is night and day. With office projectors, images will be dim and out of focus when blown up to ballroom size and won't look at all like those in your conference room.

End on a High Note
A good speaker will leave the audience on their feet, clapping and begging for more. Attendees should walk out of the room raving about the speech and, more importantly, about the key things they learned and can take home and put into practice. So don't break the spell. If you need to make housekeeping announcements, do so before the speaker begins. If there must be a concluding announcement, keep it to a simple, "Thanks for a great talk, and now let's take a break."

Terry Jones is the Lake Tahoe, Nev.-based founding chairman of and the founder and former chief executive officer of