How to make a presentation at a conference if you have never done so
For consultants, speaking at specialized conferences is part of the job, but now I stopped being a consultant, and it turned out that speaking to my new colleagues is a challenge. This article is not about how to “save” the audience according to all the rules, the goal is to describe a simple algorithm for preparing a speech at a conference. To prepare an excellent report is very non-trivial, but to make a good report is not at all difficult.
Typical performance organization
A typical scheme for speaking at a conference involves the following steps:
- The decision to speak at the conference is approximately 3 months before the conference.
- Submission of the topic of the speech and a brief annotation (including format and duration), as well as a resume - about 2 months before the event.
- Providing a finished presentation, extended annotations, resumes and photos - a month or closer to the event.
- Publishing an accurate program is good if a week before the event.
- Actually performance.
- Backstage communication and organization of contacts at the event.
- Recording of the performance results - within 3 days after the event.
At the request of the speaker or according to the specifics of the event, the terms can be proportionally reduced.
Preparation and performance algorithm
Each of these steps requires some preparation:
- It doesn’t matter if you have a mega-idea or material for a speech, they are not required to make a decision on a speech.
- The need for a speech can be external (company advertising, PR, etc.) or internal (need to share experience, self-promotion in the professional community, etc.). For making a decision, the presence of any need is important.
- After making a decision on participation, find yourself a listener (“issuer”), preferably with experience in public speaking, and agree on when and how much you will attract him (help in choosing a topic and title, proofreading the presentation and annotations, 2-3 long meetings to “run” the speech closer to the date of the conference).
- We formulate with one or two sentences the key idea of the report in the user story format (not a name, but an idea). Choose for yourself 2 half-hour “windows” on one day, on the first “throw in” ideas, on the second, specify the wording. Example “I, as a person who prepared a lot of speeches, I want to talk about unobvious steps in preparing a report so that more people are not afraid to speak.”
- After the key idea is formulated, we begin to think about the name and annotation. To do this, read the program of the event (past years / similar events) and annotations to your favorite reports. This is necessary so that your name does not stand out from the general theme. Write out 3-4 names you like or close to your topic on the sheet. In the column next to it, “generate” your own variants of the names, based on the first part of the key idea (“I want to tell ...”). Try to avoid exact names, leave yourself room for maneuver. For example, the title “A good report on instructions” is better than “7 steps to a report for beginners.”
- Do the same with the annotation. Just take the second half of the key idea ("in order to ..."). The abstract should contain a description of the problems that the report solves, and not what you will talk about. Example “Many of us are afraid to speak, and often this uncertainty is associated not so much with the public’s fear, but with a lack of understanding of what to expect from the performance, how to prepare. Am I doing everything right? In this report I will tell you how to get confidence in the preparation. Confident and trained people always like the audience. ”
- When preparing your resume, indicate your current place of work and 2-3 sentences on how your experience matches the current topic of the report. You can write not a position, but responsibilities. "Vasily Hayet, a business process specialist, formerly the head of the ITSM consulting department in the system integrator." You can replace your experience with a companionable one: "Valya Uvalova, tutu.ru - the largest Russian tourist portal, since 2000 of the furry year."
- If you have received confirmation of your inclusion in the list of speakers, congratulations! Now you can relax and gradually begin to prepare mentally and prepare material for the performance.
- Preparation is divided into preparation of materials - presentation (including speaker notes), pictures, diagrams, data, and presentation preparation - extension of speaker notes, runs, preparation for a “panic attack”, appearance and “complacency”.
- Since the preparation of the presentation greatly depends on the topic of the presentation, audience, etc., it is worth reading various materials from the Internet on the topic, choosing the ones you like. I note only a few points:
- Do not overestimate the importance of the presentation. If you have a choice: devote time to a performance plan or design a slide - select a plan.
- Number the slides - the number should be visible on the projector.
- Write “speaker notes” - a story plan for each slide, key sentences in full, the jokes you want to include, and the topic for the next slide. You need to print out the notes and take them with you to the presentation (or download them somewhere). Do not duplicate the text in the notes from the slide. All this is necessary in case of an unexpected panic or passive audience, in an extreme case, read out your notes.
- Presentation time can approximately be estimated at the rate of 1-1.5 minutes per slide.
- After the presentation is ready, but no later than a couple of days before the submission deadline, arrange a meeting with the “issuer” for 3-4 times the planned duration of the presentation:
- Tell the presentation to the “issuer” - if you are confused or talking, mark the slide and briefly mistake. Do not interrupt the story for a long time, do not skip the slides in the style of "well, I know what to say here, it's a long time."
- The issuer does not talk until you are done.
- After you are done, discuss the general impression and the points for adjustment.
- Correct the presentation if necessary.
- Repeat the run in the same format.
- After publishing the program, write down your time for speaking and carefully study the topics of parallel reports and reports before and after you. This is necessary to roughly imagine the audience.
- Decide in advance what clothes and shoes you will wear, come up with a backup option.
- Prepare business cards and / or QR code with your mail on your smartphone.
- In the break before the previous report, stand in the speaker’s place, look at the audience, choose a place where it’s more convenient to stand (spotlights do not shine, wires do not interfere).
- Stock up on water, do not drink coffee immediately before the report.
- Listen to the report in front of yours.
- Immediately after graduation, go to the technicians to check the presentation and tell you where to talk.
- Speak to the audience the rules of answering questions that are convenient for you (during the report or after). Follow them.
- Actually, the performance.
- Congratulations - you did it!
- Now answers to questions and world fame.
- Write for yourself and the “issuer” a short report on the performance, what happened, what can be improved, why are you done, for example, on social networks.