- Audio-Visual services are a major component in implementing successful meetings and events.
- Conferences, meetings, and events vary in size, structure, and content, and so do their audio-visual requirements.
- There are three core components to the Audio-Visual portion of a meeting: Meeting Manager, Equipment and Technicians.
- Identify your presenters’ audio visual requirements and communicate these needs to your room scheduler and AV service provider.
- Select a venue that is well suited to the presentation requirements.
- Where multiple AV providers will be involved (as when the presentation will be video recorded), make those introductions.
- Confer with your room scheduler and AV service provider to determine how the event will be staffed: by a member of your staff, the AV provider, a third party, or some combination.
- It is helpful to have one staff member concentrate on the presenters while others follow through on room set-up, catering and other logistics. Two units are required for redundancy.
- Work with your room scheduler to assign times to activities.
- Set up time for the building staff to access the room to set up the chairs, tables, and other set pieces.
- Schedule technical set up time once room is in readiness so that AV and other specialty providers can set up.
- Set Tech Check time when technical set-up is completed for planners and presenters to review their presentations and learn about equipment and room controls, often scheduled 30 to 60 minutes before the event start time.
- Set the actual start time of the event.
- Determine the actual event end time.
- Set the strike time for providers to remove furnishings and equipment.
- Circulate the event logistics to the relevant providers to insure that they will have staff and equipment available for the event. Make adjustments where necessary.
- The cue sheet is a timeline of activities within the event (sessions, order of presenters, breaks) and should include any same day, pre-event requirements for the providers and presenters.
- The cue sheet should also list the key event staff and their contact information.
- Circulate the event cue sheet to all presenters and providers.
- Review the cue sheet and any room layout diagrams in the venue with the room scheduler, AV provider, and other providers. .
- Identify and assign responsibility for any loose ends.
- Speak clearly and louder than usual to project your voice and reduce the chance of any audio feedback
- When creating a presentation, envision yourself receiving the information and asking yourself if the information is interesting.
- Do NOT wear a cell phone if you are using a wireless microphone.
- If the stage is lit, ask where you should stand, taking note of the "NO ZONES" that do not have enough illumination.
- Know where the lights are when on stage but do not stare into them or you will be temporarily blinded.
- Wear clothing that allows you to clip on a microphone in the upper middle portion of your chest such as a blazer or button-placket shirt or blouse. Avoid solid-material shirts and blouses and t-shirts.
- Avoid using your hand to shield yourself from lighting sources because it is very distracting to the audience.
- Do not read from your slides; use a teleprompter, confidence monitor, or other device to look out toward the audience.
- Familiarize yourself with the presentation controller device, i.e., clicker or remote so that you can move through your presentation fluidly.
Avoiding "Death by PowerPoint"
- Stand 10 ft. back from the screen to see if the content is easily read.
- Avoid busy or cluttered slides.
- Avoid type fonts smaller than 20 pt. because they will be too difficult for the audience to read.
- Keep a "Safe Area" around the edge of each slide because the images projected on screens is less than what is displayed on a laptop or desktop screen and material at extreme edges may be lost.
- Use colors that complement each other, using a light-colored font on a dark background and a dark-colored font on a light background.
- Know the transitions and builds in the PowerPoint to understand if they are automatic or need to be clicked.
- For General Session presentations, expect to have your presentation loaded onto a show computer at a backstage location, not at the podium.
On Camera Tips
- Your outfit is not what you want people to remember about your television or personal appearance so please dress appropriately.
- White shirts reflect too much light so choose a subtle color like light blue or beige.
- Choose an outfit that looks good when you are standing and comfortable when you are sitting. Remember that cameras are sometimes placed at low levels so slacks, knee-length or longer skirts are recommended.
- Refrain from wearing distracting trims like large bows or numerous ruffles.
- Remove pens and eyeglasses from pockets.
- Avoid small, high-contrast patterns or lines such as herringbone or bold checks and plaids. Solid colors with a colorful scarf or tie look great.
- Mild or pastel colors and subtle patterns work best under television lights.
- Avoid pure white and black clothing, as they make skin tones appear harsh.
- Bright reds and oranges sometimes "bleed" or smear on television; avoid them.
- Avoid shiny, reflective jewelry; it reflects light and can damage cameras or create a flaring effect.
- Choose solid colored accessories or ones with simple patterns that don't appear too busy.
- Keep jewelry simple so it does not make noise when you move your head or body.
- Avoid dangling earrings which can distract viewers.
- For women, use foundation and lipstick to help keep you from looking tired or washed out.
- Don't wear dark, heavy makeup colors because television tends to create unnatural shadows.
- For men, shave before appearing if you have "Five O'Clock Shadow" or use a powder close to your skin tone to lessen the appearance of your beard.
- A light powdering on balding heads can prevent shiny spots as well.
- In order to appear confident and comfortable, be sure to smile and avoid nervous fidgeting with pens, glasses, change in pockets, etc.
- Be aware of your posture and keep your shoulders relaxed and both feet on the floor.
- Maintain eye contact with your interviewer even if someone else is talking because the camera is still on you and you may be appearing in the shot
- Continue to participate in the conversation by using body language to show your interest.