For first-time speakers in need of some advice and tips on presenting at this year's UKOUG Conference.
Here at UKOUG, new stories from new speakers are crucial to keeping our events fresh and relevant. They enable the community to hear diverse content in current or unexplored topics areas and allow users to gain a better understanding of the operations in other businesses.
There’s plenty of new faces on the agenda this year, so we wanted to share a few tips we’ve learnt over the many years of running our annual conferences to help you and your audience get the most out of your presentation.
1. To kick things off…
Once you’re up on stage, those first few minutes are going to be the most crucial in engaging your audience, but don’t let those nerves get to you! There’s no harm in practicing your opening lines before your big moment.
How does it sound? If you sound professional, approachable and interesting, you’re on the right path. Think outside the box and come up with something unusual that will grip their attention from the offset. Then it’s just a case of practice, practice, practice.
2. Stand out from the crowd
Body language is just as key as verbal communication in a presentation, if not more important. Standing still and hiding behind a podium won’t make for the excellent delivery you’re aiming for. Attention spans only stretch so far when you’re sitting and listening, so make sure your audience are doing more than just that.
Move around, keep the focus on you, make eye contact, smile, vary your intonation and remove all physical barriers like a podium. Engage your audience with a question or two. Ask them - what are your thoughts on this? What’s your experience? Get a few hands raised and turn your one-way presentation into a two-way conversation.
3. That big screen behind you
There are endless amounts of tips out there on making your presentation slides engaging, but it really is just that – a big screen behind you. You are the source of the information, so make sure you’re doing more work than your slides.
Avoid graphs and charts – you want to be spending more time talking about the importance of those figures than reading them out to your audience. There’s millions of creative ways to turn your stats into a beautiful infographic that will get the point across seamlessly while you share your knowledge.
If you’re using PowerPoint, it’s a wonderfully versatile piece of software that’s not to be feared! Make use of templates and themes, big font size, colour and images. Here’s a fantastic example of what you can do that really puts the ‘Power’ in PowerPoint: https://goo.gl/Lt7WSd
4. How long should your presentation be?
Presentation slots on the agenda range anywhere between 10 minutes to 90, but one top tip that applies to you regardless is to keep it as to-the-point as possible, and to even finish early. Leave the audience wanting to hear more of you, rather than having heard enough of you! Which leads on to the next tip…
For any UKOUG event, we love feedback! We greatly encourage our delegates to give you guys the constructive criticisms and thumbs-ups that make our speakers the stars that they are. So, if you do finish early, leaving your audience hanging on the edge of their seats, invite them to come over and let you know how you did, or just talk about what you love and expand your network!
6. And finally…
Be passionate! You’re presenting to an audience that have come to learn more about your mutual interests, so don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm. They have it too - they’re just missing out because they’re not up on the stage like you!
Original article here.