We understand that making a presentation for a big meeting or conference can be more than a little anxiety provoking- that’s often why people turn to Haiku Deck in the first place. Regardless of the software you choose, we’ve combed our creative community to find best practices from conference keynote speakers, meeting organizers, speech writers, and others… All as part of mission to make presentations 10x faster and easier. Hopefully we can make them 10x less nerve wracking too. From figuring out what you’re going to say, to designing your presentation, to delivering your talk, these tips and tricks are just what you need make the most of your next conference presentation.

10 Tips for Nailing Your Conference Presentation – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

  1. Consider your audience first. Too often, speakers start by asking, “What do I want to say?” Instead, experts recommend that you think about what your audience hopes to get from your presentation. Even when you’ve got your own important agenda , putting your audience first it will help you frame the message to better connect and have greater impact.
  2. Create an outline. Organizing your ideas in an outline before you get down to presentation creation is a great way to save time. Not only do outlines force you to get your thoughts organized, but this way you avoid the distraction of formatting and image selection before it’s time. Think about the one important thing that you want your audience to remember at the end of your talk. Try to organize around this theme and build your outline to support your big idea. Of course, once you have your outline, you’re welcome to use Haiku Deck Zuru to convert your outline into a deck. Most of the time, Haiku Deck Zuru will get you 50-80% of the way from outline to presentation in just a few minutes.
  3. Boil it Down… 1 idea at a time: Perhaps the biggest mistake conference speakers make is trying to share too much all at once. Remember: Even the most important and interesting information has to be shared at a pace that the audience can absorb. Think of your slides as billboards on the side of the highway. They should include few words that reinforce the ideas that you’re sharing. If your slides have too many words, your audience will have to choose between either reading what’s on the screen or listening to you. Our brains cannot read detailed information on a slide and listen at the same time, so try not to force your audience to make this choice.
  4. Choose evocative images: The research shows that people remember pictures better than words. When your slides include evocative images that illustrate your idea, it creates a tool that your listeners can fall back on for remembering what you said.  That’s why beautiful imagery is at the center of Haiku Deck presentations and why we recommend choosing a mix of images to stimulate your audience and deliver impact.
  5. Tell a story: More than anything, Listeners remember how you make them feel during a presentation. That’s because humans are hardwired to engage with and remember stories more than other information. Creating an emotional connection between your idea through a well told story is the number one way to make your conference presentation more powerful. If you can illustrate your story with relevant imagery or a physical artifact, all the better.
  6. Engage your audience: One great way to engage an audience or to reengage an audience in the middle of your talk is to ask a question or encourage audience participation. Talking with your audience helps to draw them in and breaks the pace of a talk, even if just asking for a “quick show of hands” can make a difference. Encouraging the audience to ask questions or discuss via social channels like Twitter can also be a good way to extend the reach of your ideas beyond the room where you’re speaking.
  7. Think about transitions between topics: Even the best outlines can have some rough transitions as you move from one part of your talk to the next. The best way to handle these transitions is to practice them in advance. We also recommend thinking the use of stories and audience engagement as tools for moving the audience from one part of your presentation to the next.
  8. Remember the Golden Rule: Do you like listening to someone read off their slides word-for-word? Neither do we.. Same goes for tiny font, mismatched colors, obnoxious animations, and horrible clip art. If you’re using Haiku Deck, we know you’re not doing this, but just in case you’re new here, please do your audience a favor and treat them the way you wish to be treated when you’re the listener.
  9. Craft a strong finish with an inspiring call to action: If your speech ends with, “…and that’s all I’ve got, any questions?” then you’re doing it wrong. In addition to summarizing your big idea as a reminder to listeners, think about ending your talk with a provocative question or call to action. Inspire your audience with a solution that can be achieved with their participation.
  10. Share your deck  through social media: To get the most from your hard work, be sure to share your deck through Twitter, Facebook, email, and any other channel you can. To maximize the reach, remember to include the event hashtag to achieve maximum visibility for your work.

Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t share with your our Killer Speech template, embedded below, which anyone can open, copy, and edit as their own.

Killer Speech Template – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;