15 useful tips for conference presentations

When you’re putting together a presentation for your conference, a lot will be going through your mind. With so many moving parts, it can be challenging to keep track of all your visual and audio elements while creating engaging and insightful content for your presentation.

If you’re struggling to create an engaging presentation that captivates the audience and distributes all necessary information, don’t panic, you're not alone. At DEXON, we understand the importance of successful conference presentations and appreciate that they can significantly impact your business progression.

With that in mind, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to an effective conference presentation, with 15 valuable tips that we think will take your presentation to the next level.

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How to deliver a good, effective conference presentation?

Before we get into the specifics of conference presentations, let’s briefly discuss why it’s crucial to implement the following steps into your presentation strategy. Firstly, a successful presentation will dictate your conference's success, so it’s integral to provide an engaging presentation that sets the tone for the rest of your conference.

Suppose your attendees leave a presentation feeling inspired and engaged by a presentation. In that case, they’ll likely have a much more positive outlook on the rest of the event and be more receptive to your messaging. Secondly, your presentation will significantly influence how your audience views your business or brand. They might have more confidence in your business if they experience a well-thought-out and professional presentation.

Thirdly, your presentation needs to inspire a call to action, and to do that, your presentation requires intensive thought and preparation. Without this call to action, your audience won’t spring to life and act on your messaging, so it’s vital to implement the following 15 steps to create an impressive conference presentation.  

1. Know how much time you have and prepare material

Before you begin creating any presentation slides, it’s imperative that you first determine how much time you have to put your presentation together.

Understanding how much time you have to prepare the relevant materials, liaise with vendors, contact AV professionals, and secure the correct technology will ensure you allocate your time effectively and avoid leaving essential planning stages until the last minute.

Once you have determined how much time you have to prepare, you can map out your content creation time and plan how much time it’s likely to take to create slides. This will help you allocate enough time to review your slides and improve them before your presentation.

Conference presentation

2. Aim to be consistent and simple

When you’re designing your presentation slides, try to remain consistent. We’re referring to content consistent with your business image, previous messaging, and core ethos when talking about consistency.

With consistency, your audience may understand the direction of your presentation. Try to maintain consistency and continuity throughout your presentation slides too. This gives your presentation clear direction and ensures that your presentation tells a story instead of providing conflicting information.

Another essential thing to remember when generating your presentation slides is to keep to a simple structure and avoid overloading your slides with complex information. Doing this ensures your audience's attention remains on you throughout the presentation. 

3. Understand your audience

One of the key ingredients to a successful conference presentation is understanding your audience and their requirements before generating any content.

You should determine why they’re attending the conference, what they’re hoping to gain from experience, and what they expect the conference to contain, adjusting your presentation content accordingly.

Tailoring your content to your audience in this way will ensure you can hold their attention throughout the conference and may inspire them to act on your call to action if they’re feeling engaged and inspired by personalized content.

4. Rehearse a lot

Like all forms of public speaking, rehearsing your presentation is central to your presentation's success. Rehearsing a lot allows you to identify areas that are successful in your presentation and opportunities for improvement.

Doing this can help you further optimize your presentation content, allowing you to create a more successful presentation overall. Additionally, during rehearsals, you can identify opportunities to interact with audiences to improve engagement.

During rehearsals, try to mimic the conditions of your conference as much as possible by having the correct lighting, venue, and AV technology so you can see whether your AV elements are well coordinated. 

5. Use the right AV technology

Having the right AV technology for your presentation is crucial to your presentation's success. Including the correct technology can help your presentation run much smoother, ensuring you can coordinate all audio and visual elements of your presentation. To ensure you have the right AV technology, consider what’s necessary for your tech to run optimally.

For example, if you’re choosing to use a video wall as part of your display to use multiple screens and dynamic display options, you’ll need the corresponding technology. This includes video wall matrix switchers, controllers, and video wall processors. Securing this technology early in your presentation planning process ensures you can guarantee their arrival before your conference, avoiding last-minute scrambling for equipment.

Try to match the AV equipment you use to your project's complexity to avoid being unable to use specific technology. For example, consider using controllers, switchers, and processors from Dexon if you have a particularly complex presentation, as our equipment is designed with complexity in mind.

6. Have a backup

As with all things, it’s always best to plan for the unexpected such as missing equipment, system errors, and other faults that could crop up on the day. Consider investing in backup equipment such as microphones, speakers, and monitors for the day of your conference. Not only will this ensure you’re not caught short in a technical fault, but it will also decrease your anxiety, knowing that you’re covered in an emergency.

Some other equipment you should bring backups for include cables such as HDMI, CGA, or USB cables with adaptors to ensure you can adapt your equipment to your venue’s outlets. This is especially important if you’re planning to use the venue’s equipment to save yourself money.

7. Use visual technology as much as possible

Your presentation visuals will play an essential role in your presentation’s success. This is because visual elements generate high engagement, meaning your audience is more likely to be in tune with what you’re saying and act on your call to action. Without engagement, your conference and presentation may not have the desired effect.

Visual technology such as video walls and clever lighting can engage your audience, immersing them in a cinematic experience and making them feel more connected to your presentation. They might gather a more positive image of your brand, contributing to your success.

Consider using innovative visual technology such as interactive whiteboards or video walls to use multiple monitors and input signals for a more dynamic and exciting display. Using this instead of a standard single monitor will transform your presentation into a cinematic experience.

Visual technology

8. Present to a friend

Before you launch your presentation in front of a live audience, consider enlisting the help of a trusted friend or colleague to view your presentation and give you feedback. Presenting in front of other people will help you identify any opportunities for audience interaction to boost engagement in your audience.

Doing this will also help you identify areas of your presentation that don’t have the desired audience impact. Monitoring your friend or colleague’s engagement levels throughout these rehearsals will give you a clear indication of what parts of your presentation are a success and what parts require improvement.

At the end of your rehearsal, consider asking for in-depth feedback to understand what needs to change in your presentation. You can also ask them which parts of your presentation were successful to help boost your confidence and reduce your anxiety about presenting in front of an audience.

Present to a friend

9. Pay attention to your body language

During your rehearsals, pay attention to your body language and ask yourself some questions. Ask yourself whether your body language makes you appear open, friendly, and interactive with your audience or whether your anxiety about public speaking makes your body language appear stand-offish or nervous.

Body language plays a significant role in presentation success, and the more relaxed and open you appear, the more comfortable and receptive your audience will be. While you should over-gesticulate, you should ensure that you move your hands and arms when explaining vital information to make yourself appear more friendly.

Your audience will likely connect to this and pay more attention to you if you’re animated and enthused about your presentation content.


10. Consider encouraging your audience to interact with you

An interactive presentation is a successful one,  and when you don’t interact with your audience, they’re likely to switch off or be disengaged with your conference content.

The best way to ensure that your conference and presentation are as interactive as possible is to allot specific time for audience interaction. Consider implementing a Q&A section into the session, going into the crowd and asking for audience participation, or conducting a brainstorming session with your attendees.

Incorporating these elements into your presentation will ensure your audience is switched on and ready for the next opportunity to express their thoughts. This will also leave them with lasting memories to take away from their experience, meaning your presentation and business will be memorable.

11. Create a schedule that your audience can follow

Consider creating a program with a clear schedule if your presentation is part of a huge conference with multiple events throughout the day. Giving your audience a clear indication of timings allows them to plan their day more effectively and prevents them from getting distracted by confusing timings or missed events.

Creating a straightforward program with a small introduction to your presentation conference also portrays you as professional and highly communicative, a significant value your audience may seek.

Create a schedule

12. Try not to focus on the audience too much if you have anxiety

It’s no secret that public speaking can make our stomachs turn, but it’s important to take constructive steps to overcome your anxiety for a successful conference.

If public speaking and presentation anxiety is a significant concerns, consider trying not to focus on your audience outside of the audience participation sections of your presentation.

To do this, try to find a focal point in your venue, such as a wall section, or identify a person in the crowd and focus on them. Doing this ensures you’re not focusing on being scrutinized by lots of other people-which may calm your nerves.

13. Try to make full use of the presentation space

Sticking to one part of your stage can feel impersonal and robotic, so consider interacting with your set by moving around as much as possible. Not only can this significantly impact your body language and give you more opportunities to interact with your audience, but it can also help to calm you.

When we’re nervous, we may feel inclined to tap our feet or keep our hands busy to redirect our energy and self-soothe. Moving around your set and interacting with the space is an effective redirection of nervous energy that disguises your fear, making you appear and feel more relaxed. 

14. Consider getting help from AV professionals

One of the best ways to guarantee a successful conference presentation incorporating visual and audio elements is to seek help from AV professionals like AV integrators. These professionals can help you optimize your use of AV technology and provide you with a simple interface that gives you more control over your technology.

This can help you better coordinate your visual and sound elements, creating a smoother presentation. Seeking help from AV professionals is a must if you’re confronting a large AV project with lots of conflicting AV technology, as AV integrators can find ways of making this more manageable and help you achieve your presentation goals with the help of technology.

AV professional

15. Gather feedback

Lastly, the key to a successful presentation lies in acting on feedback. The best way to improve on future presentations is to implement the feedback from your audience and find ways of better catering to their needs.

To do this, consider asking your audience to provide feedback with an online survey to help you identify areas to improve in the future. This also allows you to celebrate presentation successes by identifying what your audience enjoyed, making you feel more confident in your abilities.

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Final thoughts

If you’re looking for ways to turn your conference and presentations into a cinematic experience for all, check out Dexon’s products now. We stock an impressive range of controllers, switchers, and processors that can help you create more dynamic displays that your audiences will love. Check out our product family now, or contact us to find out how we can take your conference presentations to the next level.

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