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Three things event organisers need to know

Inspirational presentation trainers, Catherine Sandland and Karen Hands are the people to turn to for all things presentation-wise, but I thought I though share some  issues that event organisers need to consider.

Recently, I was at a half day event on collaboration tools. The two presenters were knowledgeable and engaging. But they were SO poor at time management, preparation and managing the audience comments. Have you ever been to an event like that? It meant that they horribly overran, we looked a lot at their backs whilst they were fiddled around logging into their computers, remembered their passwords, sorted out technical glitches…

One audience member overshared, hogged the questioning, acted as if it was a 15 minute one-to-one session just for them…

And in another recent talk, one of the speakers, who had been engaged to speak for just 20 minutes, was in full  swing 50 minutes later – morosely reading off densely written powerpoint slides.

So… what can we learn from these?

  • If you are regularly organising talks, you need to make sure your presenters are trained…trained… trained on:
    • constructing a presentation,
    • how to deal with hecklers
    • how to use presentation tools
  • Make sure you have some way to communicate with the presenters – to let them know how long they have left to speak, and a 5 minute wrap up sign
  • Give your presenters a clear brief on the type of audience and what key message you want them to leave with.

So this year, if you are coordinating an event at which there are speakers, spend time planning, training and briefing.

As an audience member, we might not remember a good speaker.. we might not even remember an average speaker.. but we certainly can all recall the dreadful ones. Which is perhaps not a great thing to aspire to.


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