presenting at Conference can be this easy!

Presenting at Conference can be this easy!

So you submitted an abstract

Then your abstract was accepted – HUZZAHH!!!

Your session is listed in the Conference Programme

And you’ve booked your flights and accommodation in Christchurch.

But the last few nights have been horrible.  You’ve tossed and turned, driven away your partner, counted all of the rivots in the ceiling, and sweated through your favourite pyjamas.

You tried to attend a Conference Presentation Session but they were always the same night as your Star Trek marathons, or the local “stitch and bitch”, and it was just too dark or too hot to get off the couch… 

Now EEEEKKK!!! Conference is only a few days away.

What will you say?  How will you say it?

What if the delegates all get bored to sleep by your powerpoint?

Before you find yourself rocking under the table, here’s something that may help.

Moira Fraser and Paddy Plunket ran a series of workshops during May that focused on how to deliver great presentations.  Their top tips are:

  • Always focus on telling your audience something that will be important or interesting to them. 
  • Start by telling your audience WHY you think what you have to say will be  important or interesting to them.  This is a useful statement to work out in advance because it helps you stay focussed on your “value proposition”.  Audience members that know why a presentation is useful will pay attention to it differently and remember it better. An example of this kind of statement is “I hope that by the end of my presentation you will have a good understanding of some of the things to do, and some of the things to avoid, when starting up a new service for elderly users”, or “this will give you a framework for designing an information literacy programme in any kind of library or information service”.
  • Audiences remember better the more involved they are in the presentation.  In the hierarchy of involvement listening is near the bottom!  Quizzes, practical exercises and discussions require the kind of involvement that helps people to remember.
  • Your voice and your body are the most important and sophisticated delivery technology available to you.  Work on delivering your presentation in a confident and engaging tone and with strong body language.

Aoraki held a session in April during which Sally Thompson and Aurelia Arona (amongst others) spoke generally about doing a presentation and what to put on your powerpoint.  Their powerpoints are available online on the Conference Slideshare and contain many good ideas. 

But if you’re still chewing on your computer keyboard, there may still be time to register for the LIANZA Ikaroa presentation skills session.  It’s being held next Tuesday (29 September) at Massey University.  See their page on the LIANZA website for more information and to register online.

If all else fails, don’t forget, the delegates are interested in hearing what you have to say, and they are not there to give you a hard time.  They will forgive you your stumbles, and the odd powerpoint slide.  And there’s always light at the end of the gin bottle…

Do you have any other good ideas?  Post them here and we can share them.

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