For conference presenters and planners, it can be difficult to get information from academics and scholars who are scheduled to speak. And, unfortunately, not all presenters have the foresight or the time to send in materials early.
Because presenters may have incredibly busy schedules, it can be difficult to get presentation materials beforehand.
So, how do you get presentation materials beforehand to help ensure a great presentation and a successful conference?
Nag the presenters.
It really is that simple…
To really get the materials in advance, you need to nag the presenters!
I know that this may, in some respects, sound terrible. But, most of the individuals whom you will schedule for a presentation, will have other responsibilities and so some gentle and creative nudging, or not so gentle, may be necessary. In order to get materials ready, you can start a small direct mail campaign where you send out reminder cards to all presenters on all panels, you can also email them with details and due dates concerning the event.
Additionally, sending presenters a little tip list like the one included here will also help to get the wheels turning and encourage these guys to send in their stuff.
Here are 5 Things You Should be Telling Your Conference Presenters:
1. Turn in your materials early.
Most conference committees, or POCs, ask to receive conference materials 2-3 weeks in advance so that they may make suggestions on audience and approach. While this may be difficult, you should try to send in your materials as soon as possible, so that organizers have time to make suggestions but also so that they can order printed materials relevant to your presentation. For example, things like signage, brochures, flyers, agendas and course materials will need to be ordered.
2. Consider creating a handout for your presentation.
Design a handout to accompany your presentation for those who may be interested but may miss your speech and for others to follow along while at your presentation. A nicely designed flyer can really enhance your presentation and also add an element of professionalism. (If you don’t have to skills to do this, don’t worry, CTR can design a handout for with your branding in mind. Ask us about our design services!) Send this in early too, to ensure that organizers have enough time to order the flyers and make suggestions, as needed.
3. Practice presenting your materials.
You should practice and then practice some more when preparing to give a presentation at a large annual conference or meeting. You will more than likely be surrounded by industry leaders in your field, so you should be prepared, assertive and most of all confident in your presentation materials.
4. Make sure you know your audience.
A majority of your audience may be industry peers, but there are often smart, general audiences at many annual conferences and meetings. While your presentation should be current, knowledgeable and informed, you also need to make sure that your presentation is free of industry jargon that would confuse a general audience. Also, keeping a more conversational tone can be more engaging with the audience, which will make it easier for attendees to take more away from your presentation.
5. Rehearse in the space.
One of the hardest things to control when giving a presentation is nerves. If you suffer from stage fright or if you are delivering your first presentation ever, you may want to contact conference organizers to see if you can scope out presentation space.. If it’s possible, you may want to practice your presentation, complete with slides, to ensure that you know how the equipment works.
To conference planners and organizers, feel free to take this list, edit it as needed, and send it to all of your presenters. It will encourage them to know their stuff, be professional, and turn in those materials early.
To presenters, planning an annual conference is challenging, and you can help streamline the process by turning in your materials early. You and the planners will feel more prepared and at ease.
By working together with well-designed and thought-out materials, conference planners and presenters can work side-by-side to ensure a successful annual conference.