I might sound superstitious, but I’ll tell you this: Having a ritual before a big event has been very helpful to me. When you’ve been working so hard toward an event, and the time has finally come, there’s a lot to think about. Are you prepared? Do you feel great? I think that feeling great is a must. So I have a checklist. Maybe you do, too.
1. Try to live healthfully.
When your clothes are a little tight, you're always a little self-conscious. After eating a little too well a few weeks before a recent business trip, I was reminded of this. I felt unprepared. A little exercise never hurts. When there’s so much else to do, it can be easy to push aside, but doing that is unwise
2. Get a haircut.
What’s your style? I’ve learned to get my hair cut about a week before an event. No one likes his hair cut too short. If you’re thinking about your hair, you’re not focusing on things you should be.
3. Pay attention to your hands.
I used to bite my nails, and of course as a result my fingers always looked like a mess. Now, I take great pride in making sure my fingernails are properly groomed. That's been a big step for me. I have a little kit. When I'm done using it, I feel good. I’ve heard that the younger generation is more accustomed to getting manicures -- good job!
4. Think about your wardrobe.
What’s appropriate? Make sure you look your best. Clothes make the man or woman. A big event is a great time to dress to feel good. Always dress for your audience. Buying something new can feel fantastic. Stay current. Between discount outlets and the Internet, being fashionable doesn't have to be about spending a lot of money.
5. Familarize yourself with your material.
If you’re marketing yourself as an expert, know your content forward and backward. Let’s hope to God you don’t need notes, let alone a teleprompter. Instead, relax. Practice. But when it gets down to just a day or two before the event, stop practicing. You want to seem natural.
6. Shine those shoes.
I grew up watching my dad shine his shoes. And I do this myself the night before an event. To have that extra polished look? Why not? I was always taught to look at someone’s shoes to see how well he or she was kept up. Why? That person needs to have an appreciation of, and the discipline for, fine details.
7. Remember those business cards.
Is your information up to date? Bring more than you think you will need -- just in case. If you’re planning on bringing other marketing materials, make sure they function the way you want them to. If I’m a speaker, I bring an extra copy of my PowerPoint presentation.
8. Remember that charger.
I pack my charger and make sure my contacts have my telephone number. Because things can change, and everyone should be kept in the loop.
9. Put yourself in the right frame of mind.
Take a little time to yourself. Enjoy the things you love, be it music or reading.
10. Arrive early.
I review transportation details and figure out how I’m going to arrive early. Being punctual puts me at ease.
Finally, feeling like a million bucks is priceless. And it never hurts to be prepared for any situation. We all have different ways of preparing for a big meeting, maybe a conference, or giving a presentation, an interview etc. What’s your checklist? How do you prepare?