Having presented at a conference (Gitex) for the first time a few months back I came away with a bundle of little lessons – and thought I’d share them.
Creating your slides
- Write a speech quickly freehand to storyboard it – and THEN convert it into a PowerPoint presentation. Otherwise you can sit staring at a blank template for ages. Think about key soundbites and then find images to fit.
- What is your key message when you are interviewed? Or what is it you WANT people to tweet?
- Use great imagery – and don’t steal off Google Images, buy stock photos. They’re cheap, copyright-free and you can safely share your slides! (Remember, even if you don’t share them, everyone has a smartphone and a social media account and can share on your behalf these days…)
- Don’t be too corporate – use other people’s examples as much as your own
- It’s traditional to put contact details at the end but put your Twitter handle (and the event hashtag if you know it already) on the first as well as last screen, so people can quote you.
- Save your presentation as a .pps (or PDF) as well as .pptx – it’s lighter to send and can’t be accidentally edited or re-used. Email it to the organisers in advance – they’ll thank you. Bring it on a USB as a back-up.
- Be confident, be succinct and speak more slowly than you normally would or than actually feels comfortable – it’s amazing what impact it can add and you don’t want people to feel you’re just zipping through. So many presentations are lost to nerves, mumbling or people reading off the screen at full-speed.
- Don’t just read your slides out – people can read off the screen. Write yourself notes, ad lib (not too far off-piste!) and go beyond the slides.
- Think beyond the room – everything you say could be photographed or quoted, so be comfortable with all of it. And that’s why you don’t ad lib too much…
At the event
- NEVER assume anything is private unless Chatham House Rules are stated.
- Get there early, make friends with key people involved in the events such as organizers, moderators, chairs and PR.
- Find out the hashtag for the event and be a key tweeter.
- Be prepared to comment on tweets you’re tagged in – fast – if you feel you have been misrepresented, before they are re-tweeted. If you can, have someone else check tweets about you while you’re on the stage.
Put your slides up on Slideshare and/or LinkedIn (or, even better, before) – remember, people can take photos and tweet them, so you may as well be the first to publicize your own work!
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Locke Digital Ltd disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.