The 10-Step Routine Guaranteed to Prepare You For Your Next Big Event

Haircut? Check. Business cards? Check. The right frame of mind? That's the really important one.

learn more about Stephen Key

By Stephen Key


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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.

Related: Top 10 Ways to Make Your Presentations More Memorable

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.

Related: Tips for Delivering Kickass Business Presentations

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?

Related: 8 Pro Secrets to Delivering a Knockout Business Presentation

Stephen Key

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Co-Founder of inventRight; Author of One Simple Idea Series

Stephen Key is an inventor, IP strategist, author, speaker and co-founder of inventRight, LLC, a Glenbrook, Nevada-based company that helps inventors design, patent and license their ideas for new products.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Everyone Wants to Get Close to Their Favorite Artist. Here's the Technology Making It a Reality — But Better.
The Highest-Paid, Highest-Profile People in Every Field Know This Communication Strategy
After Early Rejection From Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She Did It.
Having Trouble Speaking Up in Meetings? Try This Strategy.
He Names Brands for Amazon, Meta and Forever 21, and Says This Is the Big Blank Space in the Naming Game
Business News

These Are the Most and Least Affordable Places to Retire in The U.S.

The Northeast and West Coast are the least affordable, while areas in the Mountain State region tend to be ideal for retirees on a budget.

Business News

I Live on a Cruise Ship for Half of the Year. Look Inside My 336-Square-Foot Cabin with Wraparound Balcony.

I live on a cruise ship with my husband, who works on it, for six months out of the year. Life at "home" can be tight. Here's what it's really like living on a cruise ship.

Business News

'I Don't Feel Like It's Unreasonable': A-List Actor Refused Service At Hotspot For Not Following Dress Code

Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe had quite the afternoon after trying to stop at a Japanese steakhouse in Melbourne, Australia following a game of tennis.

Business Solutions

Master Coding for Less Than $2 a Course with This Jam-Packed Bundle

Make coding understandable with this beginner-friendly coding bundle, now just $19.99.

Business News

The 'Airbnbust' Proves the Wild West Days of Online Vacation Rentals Are Over

Airbnb recently reported that 2022 was its first profitable year ever. But the deluge of new listings foreshadowed an inevitable correction.


5 Ways to Build Grit in Times of Uncertainty While Growing Your Business Faster Than Others

Perseverance and grit are essential traits for any entrepreneur. By nurturing grit, you will become a better leader, grow your business faster and outperform your competitors.