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Summer conferences – How to plan, design and deliver the perfect presentation

THE FIELDS ARE FULL OF FLOWERS. The streets are full of bare legs. And even the queue at the ice cream stand is starting to melt.

Summer has, most definitely, arrived. And while most of us would prefer to be swaying gently in a hammock in the dappled shade of an old tree, there is work to be done.

Trying to look cool

Not least for those involved with a summer conference. Especially the presenters: those brave souls who get up on stage, determined to remember their lines while keeping people engaged and trying to look cool all at once.

Of course, presenting is much more sophisticated than it once was. The way Steve Jobs used to reveal new Apple products to captivated crowds means our expectations have gone through the sunroof.

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Present like a pro!

But please don’t sweat it if you’re trying to put together a presentation with zing. We’ve put together six sizzling tips to help ensure you present like a pro.

PLAN
. Rather than sitting in an airless conference room, your guests could be outside, dangling their hot feet into a cold stream. So, even if you cannot make your presentation quite as refreshing as that, always remember that people’s minds are likely to drift off to a riverbank if you have not thought about what will appeal to them. Make sure you plan ahead to ensure you give people something memorable and well worth missing their vitamin D fix for.

STRUCTURE
. Nor should you allow yourself to drift around aimlessly. By structuring your presentation beforehand, you can give people a sense that you know what you are doing and your presentation has a beginning, a middle and an end. You’ll sound more confident if you present with purpose. And the audience will reward your confidence with their attentive eyes and ears while you’re up on stage.

REINFORCE
. Don’t forget to reinforce your company vision and goals. Clearly, you don’t want to be too forceful with this: nobody wants to sit through a presentation that is essentially a very long advert. But, subtle injections of company messages can add weight and context to what you are saying.

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INSPIRE. Clever visuals are - absolutely - essential. Ask yourself why, especially on a drowsy day, would anyone want to look at anything dull on a screen? Data alone can be less than inspiring. But, when data is transformed into insightful infographics, it can trigger "oo's" and "ah's" even from the toughest of audiences. Professional presentation designers, like those in our team at drp, can really enhance the information you want to share. 

BELIEVE
! Believe in yourself. Confidence on stage is as attractive as picnics to wasps. And you’re much more likely to be confident if you really connect with your audience. Reach out to them. Talk to them directly. Interactions can include a question or two which, if the budget allows, your guests could answer via a digital device. This means other audience members can see, via a big screen, what others think about a particular issue. And this means your presentation has really got people talking!

SYMPATHISE
! Don’t forget the weather! The sun is probably blasting through the windows. So, assuming you’ve provided drinks – and you really should have provided drinks! – they will warm up very quickly. So, before your guests’ thoughts go for a stroll along a tropical beach, give them a break! The words, “let’s take ten minutes” will literally sound like a breath of fresh air because, guess what… this is exactly what people will go out and grab if you allow them a little respite.

"Of course, presenting is much more sophisticated than it once was. The way Steve Jobs used to reveal new Apple products to captivated crowds means our expectations have gone through the sunroof."

Be memorable for all the right reasons…

All of which adds up to a much more pleasant experience, for you as well as all your guests. And the better your guests’ experience, the more memorable your presentation will be… for all the right reasons.

What do you think? Do you have any tips of your own?

Do you like what you’ve read? Or do you want more info on perfect presentations? Please get in touch with any questions or comments by emailing me at: nicola.ramsay@drpgroup.com

By Nicola Ramsay - Head of Live Graphics