Lecture Checklist

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

Once you have a lecture venue, make sure you find out the answers to the following questions, and follow the suggested timeline below.  Choose the questions that are applicable to your project and the venue.


(Choose the questions that are applicable to your lecture and the venue.)

• Date and time for the lecture.

• What is the honorarium or artist‘s fee?

• Who is your audience?

• How long are you expected to talk?

• Is the venue set up for questions from the audience?

• What are the responsibilities of the venue or gallery?

• What are your responsibilities as the artist?

• Who is the main contact person for the venue?

• What are the particular issues the venue expects you to address?

• Is there a stage or lectern? Microphone?

• Who designs and mails the announcement?  If the venue does, what is the deadline for information from the artist?

• What is the deadline for information needed for the press release and other publicity?

• What equipment and technical support is available?  Is there back-up equipment? 

• Does the venue have an e-mailing list for announcements?

• How many invitations will you receive as the artist?

• When can you sign the contract?


Talking Points:

• Your background, including any pertinent information that has influenced your work.

• Your background, including any pertinent information that has influenced your work.

• Your influences, such as other artists, events, elements of popular culture, etc.

• The materials you use, and any special techniques.  How do the materials lend to the content of the work?

• The content of the work, where your ideas come from, and sources of imagery.

• Describe the evolution of your work, and the history of your ideas.

• Who the audience for your work is, and how you would like your audience to respond to the work.

• Do NOT face the screen when describing your work, face your audience.

• Be enthusiastic and enjoy the presentation.   Connect with your full audience by making eye contact throughout the room, including those sitting in the back,.

• Project your voice.  If you have a quiet voice, request a microphone.

• When presenting the work, the audience likes to know what they are looking at, so include the title, date made, materials and other pertinent information.



• Consider making an outline for your talk.  You can set it up in various ways, such as chronologically, thematically, or as a narrative.

• Be selective about the amount of work you will show.  One slide tray is a pretty good guide.  You should probably keep the talk down to an hour and a half at the most, and make sure this includes time for questions.

• If you are new to this, is may be a good idea to do a practice session, and run through your presentation materials.

• Check all your slides by projecting them if at all possible.  It is embarrassing when you have upside down slides during your talk. (see information on slide labeling)

• Make sure you prepare for a wide range of questions, including those that you find difficult to answer.


Other tips:

• Be yourself, and talk with an authentic tone of voice. 

• You know your work best, so be truthful and enthusiastic.

• Sometimes it is useful to mingle with your audience before the talk.  It sets the tone, and makes you accessible to your audience.  Making connections with your audience is important.

• If you are nervous, don’t let it get to you.  You might admit it to the audience, as it tends to make them very sympathetic and generous.

• Be sure to allow your audience to ask questions, during and/or after your talk.  Create an atmosphere where there is an exchange with your audience.

• Thank the audience for coming, and thank the hosts.


Opening day of the screening:

• Check to make sure the equipment is working.

• Make sure your media is in working order, and your slides are loaded correctly.  Having your own slide tray preloaded is important.

• Show up on time to the event.  Allow plenty of time for set up and equipment and media check.

• Call any special friends or writers to remind them.


After the screening:

• Send any thank-you notes to the venue.

• Make sure to add your lecture to your resume.


Excerpted from Get Your Sh*t Together, an artist's professional development series produced by Side Street Projects, Los Angeles. Visit their web site to order the complete series on CD-ROM.

Published by CAR_Barbara on Tue, 01/08/2008 - 12:22am
Updated on Tue, 12/18/2012 - 3:28pm
Lecture Checklist | Chicago Artists Resource


The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.