Monday, October 14, 2019

Physical Preparation for a Speaking Event

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

Are you worn out? Perhaps you’re thinking, Is there no end to the preparation for a speaking event? 

I understand. In my early training to become a speaker, I once threw my arms up in the air, looked to the sky, and said, “Gracious, does it ever end?”

In my spirit, I sensed the answer: It will end when you breathe your last earthly breath and your first heavenly one.

I recommend that you follow the guidelines listed here.

Physical Preparation Before an Event
To build your platform and to strengthen your website, explore branding headshots for your website, One Sheet, and social media profiles. A headshot is a photograph of someone's face, especially a promotional photograph of an author, a speaker, a model, or an actor. Branding headshots are specific to your individual mission, goals, products, and tagline. You can also use the headshots for email, flyers, bookmarks, and stationery.

Both Carol Kent’s SpeakUp Conference and Blue Ridge Mts. Christian Writers Conference have excellent people you can consult with. 

Stay within your budget by tapping into your local networks. 

Branding Photography
I chose branding photographer Kim Brundage, who lives in the Richmond, Virginia area. Many of my colleagues recommended her, and she’s not that far away from me. 

Kim explained that the appointment would last four hours. She studied my website and told me what props to take.

During the four hours, Kim’s fashion consultant, hair stylist, and makeup artist got me “camera ready.” Then Kim took the branding headshots and showed them to me on her laptop. I made my selections and returned home. 

Find out more at  

Makeup Artist
Work next with a makeup artist to ensure that you select the proper colors for your skin tone and hair color. You also want to take care of your skin year-round with or without a speaking engagement. I chose Makeup by Holly in the Richmond area. Because Holly works on her own, she feels no pressure to recommend what the store sells or to push the most expensive cosmetics. Learn more at

If you don’t have a makeup artist in your area, you might consider a reputable department store that sells various brands of cosmetics. If you have sensitive skin, you might consider Clinique, which is for sensitive skin. You can also find makeup for sensitive skin online.

Without camera-ready makeup on, you will look pale, and your nose will shine during TV, Zoom, or Skype interviews or during presentations on a stage with bright lights.

Fashion Consultant
If you struggle to select the clothes that flatter your figure and bring out the best in you, ask a fashion consultant for advice. That person works independently and won’t try to convince you to buy something in the store where she works. 

Shari Braendel on faculty at the SpeakUp Conference is considered America’s #1 Christian Image and Style Expert. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina and is the founder of Fashion Meets Faith. She provides several online services. You can hear her on FMF (Faith Meets Fashion) Podcast. Learn more at

I had a surprise interview at a conference on a day I wore a royal blue blouse that had raglan sleeves. It was washable and lightweight — a plus for traveling. Royal blue is a great color for me, but those raglan sleeves weren’t flattering. I wish I had looked in a mirror while seated before the interview. I would have rescheduled it. 

A fashion consultant would have had me stand and sit in the blouse to see how it looked on me before buying it. 

Height of the Stage
The height of the stage can determine what you wear for the sake of modesty. Find out how high the stage is before you go. Long pants are safe for getting on and off the stage and for your modesty. Long skirts are good for modesty but can be dangerous going up and down stage steps, especially steps without a rail to hang on to. I’ve seen women get their skirt caught in the heel of their shoes and trip. 

During the Event
If you wear a watch, a necklace, or earrings, you may want to take off those items before you speak. Jewelry can hit against the microphone and be disruptive. At one event, I had my watch on. I used my laptop to present a PowerPoint show, and my watch kept hitting the keyboard on my laptop. Thoughts of how many scratches that watch would leave on my laptop made me sick to my stomach.

Before you speak, ask a friend or someone seated near you to check you from head to foot for anything that might be showing or out of place. 

After the Event
Take notes of what went right and what didn’t. Make yourself a checklist for your next event.

If your nose shone on stage or in an interview, put powder on your list of items to take with you next time. 

Consider the purchase of a small jewelry tote bag for your items while you speak. It will protect your watch and jewelry from scratches and keep them from hitting against the microphone. 

To wrap up, physical preparation for an event requires a checklist:
  • Before: branding headshots, a fashion consultant, makeup artist, and hair stylist  
  • During: a cosmetic bag for your jewelry and watch and asking someone to check you over before you speak 
  • After: a checklist for your next event

Follow those recommendations to ensure you’ve done what you could to speak with confidence and polish. 

Follow those recommendations from @YvonneOrtega1 to ensure you’ve done what you could to speak with confidence and polish - on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Yvonne Ortega walks with a small footprint but leaves a giant imprint in people’s lives. This power-packed package is a professional speaker and the author of the Moving from Broken to Beautiful® Series through cancer, divorce, forgiveness, and loss. Learn more at

Yvonne speaks with honesty and humor as she shares her life and struggles through presentations that empower women to find peace, power, and purpose through God’s Word. 

Yvonne’s background as a licensed professional counselor brings a unique perspective into the heart of women. She’s a speaking and writing coach and the owner of Moving from Broken to Beautiful®, LLC. She belongs to the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, the Christian Authors Network, the National Speakers Association, and Toastmasters International.

She celebrates life at the beach, where she walks, builds sand castles, blows bubbles, and dances. 


  1. A most informative post, dear Yvonne! Thank you for sharing this important, helpful information. Blessings!

  2. Thanks you for sharing this unique useful information content with us. Really awesome work. keep on blogging Christian Speaker For An Event

  3. You're welcome, MaryAnn Diorio. Thank you for your kind words.

  4. You're welcome, GOA Speakers, Christian Speaker for An Event. Thank you for stopping by and for your encouragement and support.

  5. Yvonne, thank you for your practical reality. Extremely valuable. :)