COVID-19: Essential information for public speakers


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If you’ve been watching the news at all, COVID-19 is probably on your mind. You may be wondering what you should do as a public speaker. We have drawn together some resources to help.

A number of organizations are taking matters into their own hands by canceling their events, suspending unnecessary travel by their own teams, and finding web conferencing or “online-only” solutions. 

Those organizations with events that cannot be canceled should be taking extra measures to prevent unnecessary risk to attendees, speakers, and teams. Ask your event organizer what precautions they are taking. 

Essential advice

1. Don’t panic. 

2. Don’t travel if it’s not necessary. 

See what options are available for web conferencing, and if you do have to attend in person, remember to ask what precautions your event organizer is taking. Be aware that there are high-level travel warnings for 

  • China

  • South Korea

  • Japan

  • Iran 

  • Italy

3. Be diligent about adhering to health advice

Top advice to follow:

  • Stay at home if you are sick. 

  • Avoid close contact with people. This is especially true for people who seem to have cold/flu-like symptoms. 

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing.

  • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, or ears if you may have touched a contaminated surface.

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and dry them thoroughly: 

    • before eating or handling food or drinks

    • after going to the washroom

    • after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, or wiping a child’s nose

    • after caring for sick people (please note: in this situation, you should also wear a mask, and learn how to properly wear and dispose of it.) 

    • after touching surfaces that are a potential risk, for example, a standing pole on public transport. 

Key resources 

If you need to travel to give a presentation, learn more about the outbreak in the country or cities you are travelling to:

  • COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak Stats and Locations 


  • Updated WHO recommendations for international traffic in relation to COVID-19 outbreak

Addition helpful articles about the coronavirus

What business travellers need to know about changing or canceling travel plans as the coronavirus spreads

David Heymann’s TED Talk: What we do (and don't) know about the coronavirus

South by Southwest becomes latest coronavirus cancellation. Here's the full list.

How to cope with coronavirus anxiety, according to psychologists

The best response to the coronavirus? Altruism, not panic

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Average: 5 (2 votes)


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