In order to remove the need to worry about what I need for my talk I always bring the same things with me to the stage
I am very keen on reducing the number of decisions I have to make when preparing to give a talk. Presenting can be a highly stressful event, and the fewer things that you need to worry about, and potentially forget while under stress, the better. In order to remove the need to worry about what I need for my talk I always bring the same things with me to the stage. Along with my laptop and power supply, I have a little pencil case type bag which comes with me to every event - even the ones who tell me that they absolutely have everything I will need on stage. This is what you will find inside.
My presenter remote
I like to have my own remote, the one I’m used to, where I don’t need to think about which button is forward and which back. I currently use the Logitech Spotlight which charges via USB, when I used a remote that took batteries I carried a couple of spares.
Projector Adaptors for my laptop
Conferences usually have their own, but on more than one occasion the third party adaptor they were using didn’t work with my laptop. I like to have the ones that I know work for me as a backup at least. As I have also ended up loaning them to other speakers having a problem with the conference provided ones, I have stickers on them so that I know they are mine.
A pen and a few post It Notes or a piece of paper
Somewhere to make a quick note can be useful - before the talk when you are suddenly asked to make an announcement, present a prize. Afterwards when an audience member asks a question you can’t answer off the top of your head and you want to note their email address or Twitter handle.
A small pack of tissues
As no-one wants the speaker sniffing through their talk!
That’s it! That little bag comes with me on every trip, the items never leave it and so I just need to make sure I grab it before leaving the house or my hotel room and I know that I have everything I need. Your essentials kit might look different, depending on the type of events that you do, however it is well worth while to collect it all together and give yourself one less thing to worry about on the day.