I was invited by the organisers of the London Climate Technology Conference to emcee this important conference that included many distinguished speakers and panelists. It was a packed agenda over a two day period and I would like to share with you five more tips that I hope will help you if you are a public speaker or the opportunity arises to participate in such an event. I wrote an article for speakers recently (see HERE) and I thought that I would build on that based upon my experience as a professional speaker, moderator and emcee.
1. Herding cats – one of the greatest challenges of conference organisers is speakers going walk about. I was fortunate to have a team of ‘runners’ whose job it was to track down speakers and get them to the AV desk on time. It is easy to be distracted and time passes quickly as we get involved in conversations with exhibitors or other people. It is quite common for speakers to turn up at the last minute or as the previous speaker is just finishing. This presents a challenge as you have to be fitted with a microphone which takes a couple of minutes leaving the emcee to entertain the audience and then has you rushing to get on stage which is not a great start. I suggest that you identify where the AV desk is, introduce yourself to the team, check that they have your slide deck or anything else you need including clicker. Be there at least ten minutes before you go on stage which will give you time to settle yourself and arrive on stage relaxed.
2. Talk title, the novel – I often see talk titles that are long winded and confusing. What is the title of your talk and can it be said in as few words as possible. The audience should get it straight away.
3. Please don’t sell – many speakers see the stage as an opportunity to sell their products and services and this from my experience turns the audience against you. Nobody wants to be sold to particularly when they have paid for a ticket and are giving their time to hear you speak. You can achieve the same goal by delivering valuable knowledge and being seen as an expert in your particular sector. Your company and name will be mentioned in the introduction and there is no harm mentioning that you can be seen at Stand XYZ in the main hall if that is relevant.
4. Leave them with a clear message – many speakers try to get too much information across to an audience and as a result fail to deliver real value. You should have a singular message that leaves your audience;
1. Thinking differently
2. Behaving differently
3. Feeling differently
What is the call to action? Now you are having an impact.
5. Panel strategy – I was moderating three panels over the course of the two days on topics that I would not be overly familiar with. Equally, I had never met the panelists before. I arranged a Zoom call well in advance of the show to discuss the topic, what each panelists hoped to get out of it and to agree a series of questions in advance. Ideally it would be nice to have the audience ask all of the questions however, that is not always the case. Questions prepared, agreed in advance and asked by the moderator can prompt the audience into engaging with the topic. Using a plant in the audience works equally well.
These simple tips will make a substantial difference to your speaking experience.
If you are running an event or you have been invited as a speaker and would love to engage your audience with more impact please call me on +353 87 271 1955 for a ~FREE no obligations chat or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a call HERE
As Past President of the Professional Speaking Association, Ireland I can introduce you to the world of professional speaking.
My offerings include;
1. Emcee for that professional event
2. Panel Moderator
3. Keynote Speaker
4. Speaking Coach
5. Presentation Coach
Here is a link to my weekly business radio show.