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Explore The Venue


Techniques Public speaking > At The Venue > Explore The Venue

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Get to the venue early and explore. If you are staying there, start by checking your bags then go for a wander. Sometimes reception will give you a map of the place.

Find the room where you will be presenting and (if it is empty) go sit at various locations and imagine what the audience will see and hear. Look at the screen and wonder if they will be able to read your slides (if not, you may need to do a quick edit). Stand where you will present and imagine a confident presentation.

Find the toilets, restaurant and anywhere else that you or you audience might visit. Also find the fire exits and the routes to them.

Walk back and forth between reception, the main room and these other places so you have an easy feel for what's where. It can be useful also to find the stairs rather than rely on elevators that may get crowded.

If storage is needed, from coats to bags, check this out and that it will be sufficient. Of course talk to people at the venue too.


I am presenting at a conference in a hotel. I get there, check in a day early and just go for a wander first, to get the lie of the land. On the way I chat with staff and find where cloakrooms and so on are. I drop in on the restaurant and check opening times and what is on the menu for us. I go back to reception and check their arrangements for people arriving. I find the way to the main room and am able to set up and do a quick test of the visibility of my presentations. Back in my room I walk through the whole presentation again then go for a swim before dinner.


Orienting yourself can be a good idea as it will likely give you a greater sense of comfort as you reduce the confusion of not knowing what is where. It also ensures you can get to the room on time and can answer questions from delegates as to what is where.

See also

Workplace design

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