I have been doing quite a few motivational presentations recently so here are my top five things to think about before you give a presentation:

1.  Check out your Audience – find out who will be attending, their backgrounds, interests, age, cultural backgrounds in fact as much as you can so that you can prepare your presentation to meet their needs
2.  Check out the Environment – get to the venue a bit ahead of time and suss out the environment.  Check the set up on seating so that people at the end of rows can still see the screen if you are using visual aids.  Ask someone to sit at the end and stand where you intend to present from and see if the audience can still see the screen.
3.  Check out the lighting and sound – if you are using powerpoint the organisers may decide to lower the lighting for the presentation – check this out and have a run through to make sure both you AND your slides can be seen.  In some venues there is no direct lighting on the speaker, so the audience might just hear a voice and miss your facial expressions if the lighting is low!
4. Check out the timings – whilst you may have been told that you have 20 minutes to speak, events can sometimes change at the last minute, and you end up with less time than you planned for. Speak to the oragniser and make sure you know how long you have to speak. If it is reduced, then make sure you can shorten your presentation, by taking out some slides rather than just speaking more quickly to get the same message across in a shorter time.
5.  Check out yourself – make sure you look good and feel confident, so have a quick nip to the bathroom before you start. No spinach in teeth – hair looking tidy – clothes smart – and you can have a quick read of your notes too to remind yourself of what you are going to say.

All of these small details will help you to give a great presentation, so make sure you get to a venue early enough to go through your final checks – pilots don't just turn up and fly the plane – so you should learn from them – small details make the difference.