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MonthJune 2017

10 Tips for Nailing Your Next Conference Presentation

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;

Conference Presentation Tips for attendees, speakers, and organizers

If you’re speaking at conferences or events this season, we know conference presentations are never easy. Your audience will thank you for using Haiku Deck to simplify your message. But even if you’re not the one taking the stage as a keynote speaker, there are tons of ways to make the most of a conference experience using Haiku Deck to learn, spread ideas and build your network.

As we look forward to this month’s I.S.T.E. conference (see you there?), we wanted to share some tips and tricks to help conference presenters and even regular conference attendees make the most of the experience.

Before the Event

Haiku Deck is a great way to drive awareness and excitement for a conference ahead of time. You can easily embed Haiku Decks in your blog or website and share them on social channels. Don’t forget to use the event’s hashtag! Here’s a Haiku Deck we made to build buzz for the ISTE2017 conference:


ISTE 2017 – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Tips and best practices:

More “before the event” Haiku Decks:

During the Event

You can also use Haiku Deck as a fun and unique idea-sharing tool, to capture quotable gems and circulate them with your networks.

You can create a Haiku Deck recap of a particular talk, like this one by Haiku Deck Guru Wendy Townley at the ALT Summit:


Alt Summit SLC 2013: Personal Branding – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;
Another approach is to create a “highlights” Haiku Deck, with sound bites from a wide range of speakers. Here’s an example we made while sitting in the audience at the XConomy Mobile Madness Northwest Forum:


XConomy Forum Sound Bites – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

Tips and best practices:

  • Consider creating the first few slides of your deck to set context in advance, so you can give the speaker(s) your full attention.
  • If there’s an event hashtag, keep an eye out for photos attendees have taken that you can incorporate into your deck, or sound bites you might have missed. (Bonus: Tweets are usually short enough to fit on a Haik Deck slide.)
  • You can even make a Haiku Deck of sound bites if you’re following along virtually, via Twitter and an event hashtag–I created this one, of the closing keynote at IntegratED PDX, on the train since I couldn’t be in the room during the talk.

More “during the event” Haiku Decks:

Post-Event Haiku Decks

There’s no better way to share what you’ve learned, key observations, trends, or things that inspired you than with a Haiku Deck wrap-up for your colleagues who couldn’t attend. As you review your notes, you can build a deck that captures your experience, like this one by Haiku Deck Guru Simon McKenzie:

How to Enrich Conferences and Events with Haiku Deck

Click to view the full Haiku Deck with notes

Tips and best practices:

More “After the Event” Haiku Decks:

The Main Event

Of course, if you are up on stage, and you are using Haiku Deck for your slides (Hai-5!), don’t forget to share them with the event attendees using the social share and embed buttons–and with us! Send a link to your deck to gallery@haikudeck.com, and we’ll consider them for our Featured or Popular Gallery.

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