Ready for the real silly season? Your 2019 who, what, where, why guide to event presentations
The countdown is on. Are you ready? Forget December; March is the beginning of the Silly Season, says Emma Bannister. For many marketers, event season is the biggest time of the year.
This article was sponsored by Presentation Studio to let readers know about its writing, designing, training and stakeholder management event solutions »
Last year saw a dramatic increase in the number of events, conferences and forums – and this year is shaping up to be even bigger. Whether you are invited to present at an event or eager to seize the opportunity of running your own, event presentations are an art form. The danger can be falling into the trap of seeing it as a sales pitch and putting pressure on the ROI of the event. While events can indeed be a great tool for exposure, your presentation has a much more profound purpose. This is the time to establish yourself as an expert in your field and share content of genuine value.
This, therefore, is not an opportunity to be wasted.
Yet, many of us are still leaving our content creation until the last minute. Rehashing presentation slides from existing decks, googling stats the day before and creating a mish-mash PowerPoint that is an obvious race to finish line. Audiences are savvy, and despite your best efforts to fool them, they can smell a half-baked attempt a mile off. The guts of your content might be there, but without carefully considering the relevance to the event in question, your content will fall flat and your presentation will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
So, with that in mind, here’s your 2019 guide for preparing for your next big event:
Why have you chosen to present at this particular event? Why are you presenting on this particular topic? Considering the reasons behind your upcoming presentation is the key to connecting with your audience and making a real impact. Choose content relevant to the context of the event. Personalise every element to harness the ‘why’ behind what you do. That is a sure-fire way to ensure a passionate presentation.
Your audience is the most important element of your presentation. Don’t neglect them! You should spend as much time thinking about your audience as you do your content. Who will be attending the event? What are they there for – education or networking? Present with their needs in mind, every step of the way.
Now is the time to put your presentation in its place. Research the event carefully. Consider location, history, theme and your fellow presenters. The key to event presentation success is crafting a presentation that fits the context of the event but also stands out from the crowd.
Know your content inside out. You are the expert in the room… so look like it! Rehearse your presentation until you know it inside out. Work hard at the nitty gritty and you will reap the benefits!
Events demand additional attention to detail. Knowing the tricks of the trade can do wonders for your presentation. Ever wondered how those star event presenters get it perfect, every time? It’s simpler than you think and all in the details.
- Create a document version for sharing afterwards – let your message be remembered by taking the time to craft a great hand-out or leave-behind.
- Check your bio – your audience’s impression of you begins with the MC’s introduction. Be sure to write a bio which is up to date and creates a connection with your audience. If you don’t provide a bio, the MC will copy and paste it from your website or LinkedIn – which may or may not be ideal!
- Get the best brief possible – when you are invited to present, get as much information about the event as possible. The devil is in the details so be sure to get a clear brief and ask about the screen size, audience size, time of presentation and audio set up. It also pays to see if you can you rehears on site/check out the stage before – all so you can hit the mark.
A powerful presentation at an event could be your making. Pitch yourself and your business as the experts and share your knowledge, with passion. By examining the big questions behind your presentation and keeping your audience in mind, you will be the biggest star of the show.
Emma Bannister is the founder and CEO of Presentation Studio
Image credit:Priscilla Du Preez