Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Congratulations! Your Abstract has been Accepted for the Conference! Now What?

Your Abstract has been Accepted for the Conference! Congratulations! What should you do next?

Now you need to define your goals and key takeaways from the event. To do that, we would like to put you in the other attendees’ shoes and use this as a starting point to help you make a great impression and achieve remarkable results from your speech at the event.

Why do you normally attend conferences?
To network with professionals from your industry from all over the world and to learn something new, right? At least this is something the majority of people would say.
Other responses may include promoting my company’s products/ projects/ knowledge, building my personal brand, visiting new places or just for the experience.

On the other hand, what do you most dislike about conferences? This one’s easy – nobody likes boring presentations that are difficult to follow, and most certainly nobody likes hearing direct commercial statements about how great you are especially if this is not proven with examples.

The latter will ensure you permanently lose the attention of those people that might potentially buy from you. 

Then, how do you explain how great you really are without making commercial statements? 
This is also easy:

  1. Invite a happy client to tell it to the audience, as they’ve really experienced it and people will believe them. 
  2. Show the audience the impressive results you achieved with an interesting case study; 
  3. Play that remarkably motivating video about your project that your marketing department spent so much efforts preparing. 
  4. Just think about what would motivate YOU to buy…even if you are looking to buy just a new phone or a new car, would you believe the salesman who tells you how great the product is, or would you rather trust those who have used it already. 
  5. Your potential clients are in this conference hall, do think twice how to make the best impression. Self-complimenting without real proofs is not the way.

Now that we all agree our common expectations about what delegates value, what they want to hear and what would be a valuable content are more or less similar, let’s proceed with the basics of preparing your presentation. They’re common sense but it’s still good to update our checklists from time to time:

Slides do matter – what not to forget while preparing them?

  1. Keep it clear – use an easy-to-read contrasting font on a light background.
  2. Limit the amount of text and bullet points on a slide – concentrate people’s attention on what you are saying rather than distract them with having to read long texts while you are presenting.
  3. A picture speaks a thousand words – so let it.
  4. Beware of too many heavy animations and make sure all graphic materials are with the highest possible quality and resolution. Always think of how to make everything easy to read for that one person with glasses on the last row!
  5. Avoid pre-designed PowerPoint templates – use your company template instead.
  6. Remember – you have 20 minutes or less to make that lasting impression and make sure people remember you by the valuable information you shared. Think, if you have more than 20 slides - is less than a minute per slide enough to achieve that?

Check some more professional tips on how to make the perfect presentation here:

Once you have the perfect slides and you’ve polished all the details - What to focus on before you go on stage?

See this important list of fundamental advice on public speaking from TED Speaker Gina Barnett:

Remember – the audience expects you to be nervous and they like and will support you by default whatever happens on stage. Our technical audience and all colleagues we worked with in the past 20+ years at EPC conferences all over the world have always been very friendly, positive, attentive and supportive. Don’t forget that, it will help channel your nervous energy into making a powerful statement.
Needless to say – put thought into every single message you include and practice, practice, practice.

To conclude, we know that your story matters and is to be remembered in the industry. Just think of that 1 thing you would like the delegates to remember as THEIR key takeaway from your presentation and present it to them.

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