AUDREY THOMAS, CSP, loves a
good checklist. Always on the lookout to
streamline a process, she loves teaching
others how to get more done with less
stress. She lives in Minneapolis and loves
being an empty nester. Learn more about her
With the nickname “Organized Audrey,” I am not a fan of surprises, because they make me feel out of control. So, imagine my surprise when I arrived
to an engagement wearing mostly black, accompanied by
my videographer, only to discover that the drape behind the
platform was also black. Not only did the participants in that
ballroom find it difficult to see me, I wasn’t able to maximize
the video footage either.
Soon after that event, I created our Meeting Planner Checklist.
It’s a form we use one week to 10 days prior to each event
during our client check-in call. When setting this up, we
describe it as a simple 15-minute phone conversation designed
to “cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s” so there aren’t any surprises on the day of my arrival. Included on this checklist is a
query regarding the color of the draping behind the platform!
Every client thanks us for this call because they want to avoid
last-minute surprises too.
A simple tool to avoid
BY AUDREY THOMAS, CSP
These are probably the most important things to review:
Confirm date and day of your presentation. Confirming
the day of the week helps the planner who is managing multiple speakers over several days. Note: We also include the
day of the week on all contracts.
Confirm presentation time. I was once contracted to
speak at 3 p.m., but during our check-in call I learned that
they had moved me up to 1 p.m. but had failed to tell me.
Confirm A/V and sound details.
Review travel details including air, hotel, and ground
Reviewing details prior to your arrival will be a win-win
for both you and your client. Avoiding last-minute surprises
makes my client look good, and I’m seen as easy to work with
and anything but a high-maintenance speaker.
Download the list (see instructions above) and take time
to customize it for your business, including the packing list
at the bottom. If you manage your events in eSpeakers,
include this form in the “Library” section of each event.
When it’s time for the client check-in call, you can print out
the form, write notes as you conduct the call, then take it
with you to the event. ■
To download a copy of
Audrey’s Meeting Planner
Checklist and customize it
with your own details, visit