The Importance of Checklists

This story illustrates the necessity of confirming all dates, times, and locations. Once again, never assume anything when you are planning a speech or presentation.

  1. Prepare Enough Copies of Your Handouts – Confirm the number of people attending your session. Either bring extra copies with you or make arrangements with the hotel or convention center to have copies ready when you arrive. If you chose the latter route, send copies of your materials to the appropriate person at least a week prior to the event. Include a cover letter asking the hotel to hold the materials for you for the particular date.

Call to follow up that the package arrived, and get the name of the contact person. Always put yourself in the audience’s mind. I have attended seminar where there were not enough handouts. I felt cheated, and it did not leave a good first impression with me.

When I am the speaker, I call the day before to confirm the number of attendees and add a few extra copies just in case additional people decided to show up. Walk-ins can account for 30% or more of your attendance. I always take that factor into account and bring 30-50 percent more copies. Also, there will be times when your session runs concurrently with other sessions and participants may want handouts even though they cannot attend your presentation. To accommodate them, leave extra copies at the back of the room.

Making a Packing List

  1. Make a list of everything you need to bring with you for your presentationI advise doing this least at least three days before the speaking engagement. Check each item off the list as you pack it. In doing this, you know everything is packed and ready to go and you won’t panic on the day of the presentation.

Bring a copy of the checklist with you. When you unpack you can check that everything made it into the box. If you are driving yourself to the presentation, load the materials into your car the day before. If you are flying to the location, have the materials shipped to the location at least one week ahead of time, so in event the boxes are misplaced or lost, there is time to track the shipment. Always send a tracking slip with the shipment and keep and copy for your records.

Very important! If you are sending materials to a hotel, call the hotel and ask where shipments are stored and with whom you should speak to confirm the arrival. Call one more time – on the day or evening before your presentation, call you contact person, meeting planner, or hotel staff member to confirm that there have been no changes, such as room location or starting time of your presentation. It is not unusual for times and locations to change at the last minute. For example, I was hired as a speaker for an association meeting where the number of people who registered was higher than originally expected and the location had changed to accommodate a larger group.

When you arrive at the hotel, double-check one more time. Also, the number of attendees had increased beyond the 30-50 percent you anticipate, have additional copies made of your materials. (NOTE: Be sure to bring a copy of the master with you for this purpose). If the hotel can’t make the copies, ask if there is a local copy center nearby so you can arrange to have more copies made in plenty of time.

From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


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