Lights! Camera! Content! What some conference presenters miss out on is the opportunity to take their content offstage! If you find yourself presenting, know that your impact and content can live on long after your hour is up. How do you do that? Well, it’s showtime!
Bring Your Best. Your mom was right. If you dress your best, you feel your best. Pack your “interview outfit” or your new team polo, and don’t be afraid of options. Say you get to the conference and find that every backdrop is royal blue and you brought exclusively royal blue tops. “It’s a brand color though!” you might say. Great thought, but always have options. You’re making first impressions here!
Are you familiar with the Savannah Bananas and their owner Jesse Cole? He’s hard to miss in the bright yellow suit. While I might not recommend going to that extreme, dressing your best can do wonders for both your mood and performance. Be sure you have gum or breath mints and don’t forget the speedstick. Oh, don’t forget the comfortable shoes! (Most conferences will have you moving and grooving A LOT).
The Content. Dun. Dun. You’re dressed, smelling good, and ready to go. Now it’s time to flip through that deck one more time. So let’s talk content.
While you may have a product or service to market, the potential value of your session needs to be there too in order to attract attendees to choose your session in the first place. Is your presentation description enticing enough without being too vague or giving too much away?
Presenters are expected to be thought leaders in their industry. Prepare a presentation that is of value to your audience. Do you have an ice breaker that’s always a hit? A productivity hack you learned in high school that’s still applicable? A killer old fashioned recipe? What can YOU bring to the table the your audience can implement into their own processes? That is what will take you from “that one presenter in Cleveland” to a genuine connection.
As for the presentation itself, nothing is worse than a session that feels like an Econ 101 lecture (sorry, finance folks). Be sure to include “tweetable” quotes, photos, or memes. Leverage video and engaging media or involve your audience in your presentation when- and wherever you can. Connection can start right when you’re there on stage.
That slide at the end of your presentation with your contact information? Include that! In addition to your contact information, list your social profiles (yes, all of them!) too! Most folks are way more likely to tap a follow button or start a DM than take down an email address, pocket and not lose a business card, draft a message, and not-get-distracted-enough-by-their-inbox to send it. Make it easy on your attendees and just ask that they follow you. I mean, do you not want to grow your social media following? Encourage the connect after your presentation.
And it doesn’t stop there! Most often, presenters have one or two – maybe three, but that’s pushing it – sessions per conference, so what are you going to do with the rest of that time? Connect!
Attend other sessions. Meet attendees and other presenters alike! See what juice you can squeeze from the conference, and make yourself open and available for connections of all kinds. You might just find some other speaking engagements or professional connections that can be of use to you in coming months.
It’s important to note that often going hand-in-hand with sponsoring a conference (check out THIS blog if you’re on the fence), many conferences will offer a presentation slot to their premier sponsors… certainly something to consider!
If you or someone on your team likes – or at least isn’t terrified by – the spotlight, consider presenting! It’s free* face time with your target audience!
This blog was our final installment in our “Conference Content” series. You can find the previous blogs here:
Conference Content: How to Plan & Perform
Conference Content: To Sponsor or Not to Sponsor?
Conference Content: How to Bring Your Best!