Conference Tips for New Presenters

Before every conference presentation, this is my (some would say slightly neurotic) list of must haves / to dos:

1. enough handouts for participants plus 5 more (if people miss your session but ask about it, you can give them a handout)
2. business cards – at least 30 for some weird reason
3. your presentation online (sent to yourself or DropBox), plus 2 versions on 2 USB sticks
4. a Word document of your slides and notes to keep with you – you can make these easily with PowerPoint by going to the File tab -> Save & Send -> Create Handouts
5. A back up and another backup – what happens if your slides don’t work? What happens if there are not enough people for tasks? What happens if someone disagrees with you? What happens if you rush or fall behind? Think about it before it happens.
6. a small mirror, a travel toothbrush, mints, tissues
7. make sure your contact details are on your handouts, slides, etc.

And for the presentation itself:

1. if possible, attach your business card to the handouts if there is no contact info on them
2. never tell people you are running behind / don’t have enough time / skipping a bunch of stuff – the audience hates it
3. express absolute confidence in what you are saying, but admit it when you don’t have an answer
4. if you are being videoed, when people ask a question, repeat it so that the online audience can hear it – you are the only one with a mike

I hope to see some of you at IATEFL! Good luck with your presentations and feel free to add any other helpful tips here!


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