This exercise of creating the proper setup before you deliver your speech can be said to be the beginning before the beginning.
A proper setup ensures that you can cruise smoothly during your presentation, excepting of course, any unforeseen circumstances.
In fact, a proper setup can almost ensure that little or no unforeseen situation occurs!
That is a joke! But then, I was also trying to emphasize the importance of a proper setup.
If possible, try to gather information beforehand from the organizers about the hall or the room where the meeting will take place and about the audience you are going to address. This will help you to plan your presentation accordingly.
On the day of the presentation, if you have access to enter the hall, get there early.
Check the seating arrangements. Try to get the rows of seats arranged along the length of the room if the room is a long one.
This way you shall have the audience closer to you. There can be a middle aisle and two side aisles so that the audience can reach their seats easily.
There will be less distraction if someone has to leave (maybe to go to the washroom) or take (has returned from the washroom or has arrived late) his or her seat in the middle of your presentation.
Check the sound system. If you have some music to play, see if the cassette recorder or the CD player you have brought can be connected to the PA system. If not, you have to do with by playing it in front of the microphone.
The microphone will be your good friend during your speech. Therefore, it is better to strike a friendship with it before the people come trickling or streaming in.
Adjust the height of the microphone. Speak to check if there is any feedback. Speak to check if the volume level is okay for all the parts of the room. You have to have somebody to help you with this.
This same person will also help you by telling how much to adjust the focus of the overhead or any other projection machine that you might be using.
He/she will help you to adjust the placing of the projection screen, that is, he/she will tell you the best location for the screen to be placed so that all the members of the audience can have a clear view.
See if you can give a very brief dry run of all the machines/instruments you are going to use.
After you have completed these adjustments, thank your helper.
Check the temperature inside the hall. A cool atmosphere relaxes the audience and helps them to listen to and concentrate on your presentation better.
I would suggest that the temperature be left on the cooler side. When the hall is filled up with the audience, the cold will be absorbed and the temperature will gradually settle down to a comfortable one.
I think that I shall not be very demanding if I ask you to do a bit more. (I know, I know, that there is not much time left for the show to begin, but this is very important. What is there left to be done after all these setups? you might ask.)
But you have yourself to set up. You deserve to relax after all that work.
Sit down. Eat something very light if you are hungry. Have a drink. Only water. No caffeine and no alcohol, please. You don’t want to ruin your show, do you?
Relax your body. Take deep breaths. You might even listen to some music if you like or have the time.
Music or no music, just relax. Feel comfortable. It is nearly time for the audience to arrive gradually. You are now fully equipped with the proper setup for the show to begin.