Ten Tips for Conference Speaking

I recently had the chance to give my first conference talk, which I wrote about extensively in my last blog post, #TrustTheProcess: Preparing Your First Conference Talk. I would encourage you to read about it, as I had an awesome experience.

Here are ten tips from a first time conference speaker, to a first time conference speaker:

  • Start working on your talk early, as it will turn out much better and more smooth if you avoid cramming.

  • Save your talk early and often, and in multiple places. I would recommend one of these places being on some sort of cloud storage. I know I sound like a high school English teacher when I say that, but you’ll thank me if you open up your talk the night before your presentation and all of the pictures are missing. (Yes, this literally did happen to me.)

  • Don’t rely on having access to the internet the day of your presentation. This can really derail your presentation if technical problems occur.

  • Try to not include audio in your presentation if possible as well, as some venues may not have a way for you to project your audio. If audio is necessary for your presentation, do your research beforehand to figure out the logistics.

  • Consider doing a video recording of any demos. You can avoid any unexpected issues, know exactly how much time the demo will take up in your presentation, and talk through the video to deliver more quality content as people watch.

  • Shoot to complete your talk 10 days before your presentation. Most likely you will know months beforehand that you’ve been selected, so this should not be an issue with proper planning. This will give you time to get feedback, make changes and tweaks, and practice it a couple of times before showtime.

  • Demo your talk to a live audience twice before you actually have to give it. Giving it once to a non-technical audience and once to a technical audience will help you to get feedback on both the content as well as your delivery.

  • Consider including a personal sentiment or story that you weave throughout your talk, as this will help make it relatable and engaging to your audience. For instance, you could consider talking about a project that you personally used the technology on.

  • On the day of your talk make sure to bring a bottle of water, the power cord for your laptop, a flash drive with the talk on it, an hdmi connection for your laptop, a presentation remote, and business cards. The remote will free you up to move around the stage – you don’t want to to hide behind your laptop the whole time if you can avoid it.

  • Have fun and enjoy it! This is an awesome opportunity and an exciting experience. Remember – everyone in attendance wants to see you succeed!

Let me know below if you have any tips for conference speaking or how your experience was!

About the author: BK

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