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Public speaking

5 tips for presenting at big conferences

Last month I held a presentation at Weekend Media Festival in Rovinj, Croatia. Every year Weekend Media Festival hosts over 4000 media and communication professionals, who discuss the most current topics from the world of media, PR, marketing, and the entire communication industry. Read more about the festival here. As this, so far, was one of the most important presentations I’ve ever held, I’m sharing 5 tips on which you should focus while creating a presentation for a festival big as WMF.

1. Topic

Think about your audience. If you have different sorts of people attending the festival, try to pick up a topic that everybody can relate to. When you decide, research a little bit more. Think about your content and your presentation flow. You should be able to write at least 3 bullets about your topic before you get down to writing an intriguing headline and topic description.

2. Presentation

Besides my analytics skill, I also have a creative side. I always try to imagine how should my presentation look like when I start working on it. It’s cool if you can envision it in the beginning. At first, I like to keep it simple, black and white until I’m happy with the content and presentation flow. You can always add a design later.

If you have an hour or 45 minutes for your presentation, think about when your audience will lose attention. Spice up some things! Use multimedia, interesting quotes, videos, or in my case – juggle. But, everything you use on the stage should be relevant to your topic. Don’t try to be funny if it’s not connected. Only if you’re a comedian – you have a joker card.

Your presentation should have a good presentation flow. When you are going through your presentation, see if you have some slides that are not a great fit for the entire speech.

Your presentation is your story. You only got 45 minutes to tell it. Make it good. Make it colorful.

Include examples. Include your own experience. People love to hear what are you confronting in your daily work. Share your own opinion. Give them something to talk about.

3. Preparations

Think about different parts of the presentation where you can be a little bit dramatic or at least which you can emphasize. Try to speak in a way you will speak at the presentation. Work on your pronunciation.

Prepare for possible problems. Always have a backup plan. And a backup plan for that backup plan. Be prepared for anything to happen. You should always be able to talk more about the topic if necessary, so keep some examples in your sleeves.

4. Cold feet the day before

You will definitely feel cold feet. It doesn’t matter how many public speeches you have already held, you will be under some stress. Why? Mostly because you want it to be perfect. And since you worked so hard on it, you should wish for nothing less.

Some people like to relax before presentations, I like to go through the material once again. Pick whatever suits you better. Your body will tell you what is the right decision for you. Don’t try to pressure it if there is no point in doing so.

Try to go to bed early. At least get 6 hours of sleep. I know that can be hard to say to yourself when you’re stressed, but you will be really welcome when you wake up.

5. Day of the show

Get up early, read your notes once again. Eat a healthy breakfast (after the presentation, get some ice cream. That’s important. If there’s no ice cream, go for chocolate) and get to the festival zone in time. If you’re a coffee person, grab some. If you’re not, listen to something loud to make sure you’re really awake. If stress didn’t already make sure of that.

Think of this as your personal show. You are the only actor. And mostly you will hold a monolog. Ok, don’t forget about a few questions to the audience 😉 Watch your mouth and don’t rush it. The worst thing you can do is put a lot of pressure on yourself and rush during the presentation. Always stay calm – you got the entire day, no need for a rush.

Don’t fear the audience. Try to keep an eye on them. If you ask them a question and they respond in a not so active manner, ask that question again. You will see the difference and connect with your audience better.

Conclusion

If you are preparing for a really big presentation, do your research, prepare appropriately and stay calm. You can weather the storm!

If you would like to receive a presentation “Big bang of digital analytics” that I held at the Weekend Media Festival, please feel free to message me.

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