Presenting at a business conference can be a brilliant way to establish yourself or your company in an industry. Conferences are an opportunity for all stakeholders in a sector to network, learn and discuss. Thus, putting your company on a pedestal by contributing to the proceedings is an invaluable opportunity to achieve a number of business objectives. Whether you are looking to develop your network, generate leads or raise awareness, conferences are a fantastic tool to attract positive attention to your company.
However, attracting the right sort of attention is easier said than done. If you give a poor presentation or fail to positively contribute to the proceedings, then you may just do the opposite. Therefore, it is essential that you do the following.
The worst mistake you could make is to be unprepared. An unpolished presentation or hesitant delivery will only convey a sense of incompetence and will foil your attempt to appear as an expert in a particular field or industry. To avoid this, rehearse your presentation alone and in front of others to allow a chance for constructive criticism and subsequent modifications. Furthermore, prepare for any questions that you may be asked – your answers to these will give a clear indication of your expertise on a subject matter.
To ensure everything goes smoothly on the day and to avoid any disturbances, plan your transport and itinerary in advance. If you’re talking at a conference in London, for example, get a good night’s sleep in one of the city’s many serviced apartments. Allow yourself to focus on your task and the rest should fall into place.
Make it your own
The last thing that any conference attendee wants is a regurgitated and generic talk that fails to inspire. Be sure to put your own spin on visuals and talking points, this will ensure that people see your company as a thought leader and not a proverbial sheep. By offering new perspectives you will also appear authoritative and this is essential if you want to continue to grow your reputation.
Aside from just business, attendees want to be entertained and so delivering a unique and enthusiastic talk will make you more personable and should elevate your standing as an individual. People don’t want to sit and read off a slide, so keep your visuals simple but captivating.
Know what you want to achieve
You should be arriving at a conference already knowing what your objectives are. If you want to increase brand awareness or generate new leads, then tailor your materials or conversations to achieve this. While an overly promotional or obvious presentation may damage your reputation, subtly driving listeners to where you want them can be achieved with thoughtful planning and delivery.