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​Get a standing ovation: How to prepare and deliver a killer conference talk


There’s often a lot of uncertainty and fear around speaking at conferences because it’s very easy to end up being just another boring speaker the audience had to endure.

You want to give the talk that leaves the audience yearning for more, wishing you had been allocated more time to speak. You want to give the talk that becomes the talk of the town, right?

Well, Drew Banks, Head of International at online presentation platform Prezi shared the following four tips with Anthill on how to deliver a killer conference talk.

1. Know your audience

A common mistake that conference presenters make is overestimating, or even underestimating, the extent of knowledge that their audience has on a topic. Assuming that your audience has more knowledge than they actually do will generally lead to confusion and disinterest.

On the flip side, assuming too little knowledge will bore them. Do thorough research to ensure you deliver valuable information that’s catered around what is most relevant to your audience.

2. Revamp the style

Conference talks tend to follow a standard format of text-heavy presentations and stock images. Consider ramping up your presentation with engaging visuals — such as videos, gifs and images. Interact with your audience. Reading directly from a screen, while easy, won’t leave a good impression.

3. Get the timing right

While conference talks have the potential to be insightful, their value is often compromised by a presentation that goes on far too long, causing the audience to lose interest. Less is usually more in this case, particularly when it’s a complex topic.

Spend time going through the content of your presentation to remove unnecessary or irrelevant information. This will ensure that you devote your time effectively and draw your audience’s attention, to your key messages.

Go through your presentation with a friend, colleague or family member and get feedback from them about what they felt didn’t add much to the overall presentation

4. Engage with the crowd

Complex conference topics can be difficult for audiences to digest, particularly if the presentation is delivered poorly.

To capture your audience’s attention and deliver an engaging presentation, break down complex jargon and use simple terms to explain your ideas.

Use real life examples that your audience can relate to and tell interesting stories to bring your ideas to life and ensure your messages stick.

Prezi have also put together this cool little Prezi with tips on how to put together and present a killer conference talk. You can take a look below.