I’m teaching my first class for the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research tomorrow in Seattle. The class is for Certified Insurance Service Representatives (CISR) and I’m at the stage of the process to teach the first half of the class. Presenting in front of a group has never been an issue for me; however there are a couple areas that have me nervous.

I’ve got a brand new laptop and projector with great slides that my daughter, Mindy helped me put together. The problem is I’ve never used either in a formal presentation, so I spent all Saturday night making sure I knew how to connect the laptop to the projector and make sure I knew how to use the wireless mouse and laser (I’ve never had control of a little red dot on a screen, but it’s pretty cool). Still, using new gadgets for the first time in a live presentation always makes me a little uneasy. You never know what challenges you will run into with the configuration of the room, the positioning of outlets, or a just Murphy showing up and imposing his law on you.

Being prepared for a presentation is really vital. It shows that you are a professional and ready for the unexpected. Have you ever been to a presentation where someone’s batteries died and their remote no longer worked? How about having dry erase markers that were out of ink (or whatever that stuff that is). I was at a presentation recently where the presenter’s batteries died and I had an extra set for him. Now, I need to remember to replace them in my briefcase!

I’ve tried to learn from experience to bring extra things just in case – batteries, dry erase pens, Kleenex…you never know what challenges you will have to overcome. Once, I had to bring in my own television to show a video clip because the room’s television didn’t accept my CD!

Remember, those people in your audience deserve your best. Make sure you come prepared to give it to them!


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