The Devil in the Conference Details

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The Devil in the Conference Details

The Devil in the Conference Details

William Shakespeare penned the now famous phrase “All the world’s a stage” in his play “As You Like It” way back in 1623. Truer words were never spoken, and that phrase still resonates today, especially when it comes to conferences! Let’s face it, at conferences the stage is your own private world where your message should ring loud and true, front and center.

But does it? Are you confident that you attendees are understanding and digesting your message? Too often organizations have excellent content filled with valuable information and stellar ideas but decide to cut some corners in the presentation of their information. They may do this for a number of reasons ranging from “we think most of the attendees already know this” to “maybe the content is too detailed”. This small detail of cutting back on the information is a huge mistake and just one of many ways to go wrong. And these “wrongs” all add up to big distractions, lack of interest, and lost messages. Why go to all the trouble to have a conference if you’re not going to plan it to be a success?

Patrick Dixon, a futurist keynote speaker, author of 15 books on global trends and chairman of the trends forecasting company Global Changes Ltd., released a short video that points out conference missteps. In his 3-minute video “Avoid Conference Event Disasters!” Dixon quickly points out a multitude of small issues that get ignored, ultimately hurting the credibility of the conference. Watch the video and see if you’ve been guilty of any of the missteps Dixon points out.

You’ve attended conferences. Have you ever been to one that had a boring PowerPoint presentation? Or the lighting in the room made you want to take a nap? Or the projector screen was so poorly lit that rather than get eye strain you decided to look away? All of these are distractions…distractions that will result in your attendees losing attention and becoming bored. contributing editor Geoffrey James has a few suggestions on how to make make sure your presentation holds your audience’s interest. In a nutshell, he suggests that you keep your content relevant and begin your talk with an interesting fact or insight. He also suggests that you simplify your graphics so that they are easy to focus on and to be sure to use readable fonts!

When planning your next conference, remember the pitfalls Dixon shows in his video and be sure to speak to the audience, not to your notes or slides (nothing is more boring than a speaker who reads from their slides using a pointer); and  stay focused and streamline your presentation.

And most importantly, work with your production company and take their advice. Remember, they’ve done this more than a few times and will have valuable insights and tips. Their goal is to make you look good!

Geoffry James source: