5 tips for business event speaking.
This blog was inspired by a business event I attended which had three 10 minute breakfast speakers.
They were each sponsors of the event and had been given the 10 minutes as part of their package. So almost inevitably they talked about their organisations.
I made some notes and from those created 5 tips for Business Event Speaking which will help you, when it’s your turn to speak at a business event, deliver an engaging and confident presentation
5 tips for Business Event Speaking:
- Check the venue in advance either in-person or through communication with the organiser so that you know what the layout of the room will be, where you will be speaking from and if you are planning to use slides how big and frequent the screens are. At this particular event the main screen was very small and was directly behind the speaking position so of the audience of around 200 very few could actually see what was on the main screen. There were a couple of TV screens halfway down the venue but overall the screens were totally inadequate. If I had been the speaker and known this I would have immediately decided not to use any slides. What you don’t want on the day are any surprises about the size of screens that you are going to have to use.
- You can talk about your company during your presentation but do it in such a way that it appeals to the audience so use two or three stories to describe things you’ve done. For example you may want to promote a particular product or service so instead of talking about it as though you are dictating your brochure bring it to life by sharing an example of how an unnamed client actually used it and benefited from it.
- Don’t use big notes. If I’m a member of an audience and I see a speaker arrive on stage with A4 notes, particularly if it is a relatively short 10 or 15 minute presentation, I immediately think one of two things – firstly the speaker doesn’t know their subject so will have to refer to the notes and/or secondly they simply haven’t bothered to put any time into practising this presentation which I have given up my time to listen to. If you use A4 notes you will simply read from them thus reducing significantly your eye contact with the audience. You know your stuff so one postcard with one or two prompt points will more than suffice.
- If you use slides don’t make them look too full. Many speakers fall into the trap of using very complex looking slides which can confuse the audience, particularly if the speaker is talking about something other than what is on the slide. And check your spelling particularly if you use product, people or place names. one of the speakers I saw made a big point about pronouncing local place names correctly for her team and then on her slides three well-known local place names were spelt incorrectly.
- Practice so that you run on time. There should be no excuse for running over on your time slot. If you been given 10 minutes don’t take 12 or 13 or even 15. the way to ensure you run on time is to practice delivering your presentation in 80% to 85% of the allocated time. So if you have got 10 minutes for your presentation in practice deliberately somewhere between eight and eight and a half minutes. No one will mind if you run under time that you won’t be friends of the organiser or the audience if you run over time.
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