Welcome back for more ways to rock your next conference talk. Read Part 1 of this series which includes important tips to help you take your talk to the next level.
Sharing our ideas helps others and it also helps us validate our own thinking. The more you share on a topic that interests you, the deeper your understanding will become. As you continue the cycle of learning and sharing, you will see your expertise grow on that topic. There is also that saying, we teach what we want to learn the most.
Here are more tips to rock your next conference talk:
Go With The Flow
Even with all the planning and preparation, there are things that are out of our control. There will be setup issues, room layout challenges, lighting, audio/video difficulties, etc. Expect things to go wrong so when hiccups happen you can quickly adjust to the situation and not let it frazzle you.
Tip: Memorize a joke or two to share in a situation like this. This will keep you calm and put the crowd on your side. Remember they are rooting for you.
Make A Connection With Your Audience
Make a personal connection with your audience through your message. Tell your own story and how it relates to your message. It’s ok to be vulnerable and share your challenges along with your wins. Talking about your challenges and how you overcame them will help the audience connect with you and your message. The audience came not only to learn about your successes but also how you rose above your challenges to get to the successes.
Tip: Write a short story about a challenge you faced. Did you fail or stumble along the way? What did you do to get back up? How were you transformed? Learn more about the Hero’s journey to understand this powerful storytelling technique.
Bring the Energy
Present your talk with passion as if you were talking to your best friend. Audiences pick up on energy levels, so to keep them engaged you need to bring all your charisma. This is the time to put it all out there. Having a hard time bringing the energy? Try taking improv classes or acting lessons to be ready on the spot.
Tip: Right before your talk run up and down stairs quickly to get your blood flowing. Pushups or jumping jacks work well too. Don’t over do it though. You don’t want to be out of breath or sweating before your talk.
Be Active In The Conference
Take an active part in the success of the conference. Make sure you go to the pre-conference speaker dinner. I personally have met some amazing people at these dinners. Making connections with speakers before a conference helps everyone relax because most likely everyone is a bit tense about presenting. Attend as many of the talks as you can during the conference to learn new ideas and support your fellow speakers. Meet new people, talk to the speakers, share your ideas with the organizers, promote other talks you find interesting. Have fun.
Tip: A smiling face in the crowd is always welcomed by speakers. When you meet another speaker who seems a bit nervous, let them know you will be there in the front rooting for them. As they talk you can smile and show interest which will help them relax and do a great job.
Feedback is a great way to help you identify areas of improvement. Without it, you’ll keep coasting along thinking you did great when in fact your message might not have hit the mark. Ask the audience for feedback by handing out feedback forms towards the end or provide a downloadable incentive for the audience to fill out an online feedback form. Nothing wrong with a little bribery, I mean incentive. ;)
Tip: Keep the questions to a minimum. You can ask for one area of improvement and one area where you did a great job. Keep it short and sweet.
Use Humor To Disarm
Want your audience to relax and enjoy your talk? Sprinkle in some humor. Self-deprecating humor is a good technique to show you don’t take yourself too seriously. This type of humor is disarming as it lowers the wall between you and the audience. Humor helps to loosen up the audience and will relax your nerves as well. Just remember that some audiences might not laugh out loud at your jokes but don’t worry they are all laughing on the inside.
Tip: Be on the lookout for humorous situations as you travel to the conference and all the way up to your talk. You will most likely find some comedy gold you can share with your audience there.
Read the tips in Part 1 of this series. That’s it, for Part 2. Stay tuned for more ways to rock your next conference talk, coming soon.
Do you have any tips you would like to share? Don’t forget to let share them in the comments below!