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Easy Tips for First-Time Conference Speakers

Some individuals are naturally born entertainers while other will struggle with even the most basic presentation to a group of colleagues. However, there is no doubt that learning how to address an audience is what tends to define the memorable conference speaker. Audiences are expecting to be entertained as well as informed. The main issue is that those who may be approaching this task for the first time are likely to feel overwhelmed. Indeed, there can be many intimidating factors associated with a keynote address. Let us examine some professional tips which will capture the attention of attendees while successfully conveying the main points of the speech itself. 

All About the Presentation 

We mentioned the concept of entertainment before, and for a good reason. A conference speaker needs to be able to present even potentially unexcited information in a manner that will proactively engage all participants. In fact, this is what is likely to make the event itself memorable. Speakers which fail to recognise this point are likely to fall upon deaf ears. You, therefore, need to interact with the audience and speak to them in a manner which illustrates that you care about their opinion. 

Related: Tips for Poster Presentations

The Benefits (and Dangers) of Slide Shows 

Slides and similar infographics can be excellent methods to punctuate a particular point. These visual aids will likewise help the keynote speaker since the audience will remain interested for longer periods of time. Slides can also be crippling to conferences. Too much information will confuse the audience, and as a result, they will lose interest in what is being said. Overly complicated images are likewise best to avoid, as they will only serve to muddle the presentation. It is best to use between one and two slides for every minute of the presentation. However, this can apparently be modified when addressing more in-depth or pertinent topics.  

Choosing the Appropriate Presentation Equipment 

One common mistake is that a first-time speaker focuses solely on the presentation alone. However, what if there is a large crowd and the microphone fails to work properly, or the laptop crashes during a key point of the presentation? Make sure to connect with the organiser, the Professional Conference Organiser (PCO) and the A/V professional, as they will allow you to focus on the presentation itself. It is evident that choosing the most appropriate audio-visual equipment is essential if you expect to leave a lasting impression. 

The Personal Touch: Leaving an Impression 

It is vital for speakers to connect with the audience from the very beginning. The ability to develop a tie with attendees is arguably the ultimate determinant in regards to whether or not the event is determined a success. Adding a piece of humour into the mix is not necessarily a bad thing, but always relate this back to the overall topic.  

Related: 5 Technology Trends in the Meetings Industry

A first-time conference speaker will often rush through topics and sections simply to be able to leave the stage. Not only will this alienate the audience, but also it could even detract from the quality of the topic being illustrated. A simple advice: practice your speech during the days leading up to the conference and pace yourself accordingly.  

Always leave a time for questions and answers. It is a good idea to devote the last quarter of the presentation to this concern. This is an excellent way to drive home the finer points as well as to develop a final link with the audience. Do not linger on any one specific topic for too long and if you are unable to address all queries, keep in mind that this is quite normal. 

Do not expect to get everything right the first time around, as this rarely occurs. Still, adhering to these tips will provide you with the insight required to shine while on stage.

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Congrex Switzerland is an internationally operating agency delivering integrated solutions, especially for non-profit clients. This encompasses the overall organisation of conferences including the management of hotel rooms and the strategic consultancy of associations. Annually Congrex Switzerland organises approximately 33 conferences with over 73’000 delegates. Amongst our clients are international associations, governmental organisations and corporations.

If you wish to receive additional information about Congrex Switzerland, please feel free to contact us.



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