Conferences Are Creating Toxic Events With Visual Logorrhea

ToxicEvent by Luca Rossato

Most conferences spread verbal diarrhea and visual logorrhea like viral diseases. We create toxic airborne events cluttering the conference experience with an overuse of monologues, panel dialogues and slideuments. Author Garr Reynolds coined the word slideument referring to presentations that have enough text that they can “speak for themselves.” While a presentation that speaks for itself seems like a good idea, the research shows that slideuments are a distraction for the audience. No … [Read more...]

When Speakers Truly Care: From Spouting Witty Repartee To Transforming Lives

2014.03.20_Pop!Tech 2008 - Tshewang Dendup

Our conferences and association education programming depend upon speakers as experts sharing their knowledge with the crowd. Yet, the education research is loud and clear that people talking at an audience does not necessarily lead to attendees' learning. Actually, there's more likelihood that you'll win a multi-million dollar Powerball lottery than telling leads to learning. Speaking, telling and presenting does not usually lead to learning. Nor does it lead to transforming lives by … [Read more...]

How To Be A Bodacious, Wicked, Totally Tubular Technical Presenter

2014.01.29_Gerry Visco, Inner Beauty Parlor  20090819.10D.51609  SML

Highly specialized technical complex topics are often associated with boring, butt-numbing, brain-draining, hum-drum, buzzkill presentations. So how do you tackle complicated technical content head on and still deliver an engaging, memorable and bodacious presentation? How do you move your audience from saying, “I thought that presentation would never end,” to “Booyah! That was totally awesomesauce!” Our Need For Technical Presentations Trade organizations depend upon accuracy, … [Read more...]

Conference Audiences To Speakers: It Is All About Me, Not You!

2013.11.11_50365 - So say we all!

Me, me, me, me, me! No, it’s not the latest Sesame Street song sung by Beaker. Nor am I talking about the “Me Generation.” I’m talking about today’s conference audiences focused on their own ROI and not the speaker as entertainer. Me, Me, Me! Today's audience's see conference keynotes and education sessions differently than in the past. The emphasis is shifting. We are shifting from a speaker-centric, expert-emphasis conference to attendee-emphasis and learner-centric … [Read more...]

The Job Of A Speaker Must Drastically Change For Successful Conferences Today

2013.11.05_Social Innovation Fellows Program - Pop!Tech 2008

Today's audiences expect more from a speaker than the traditional lecture. They want to be inspired, motivated, entertained and learn relevant take aways that they can apply immediately. They are not satisfied with sitting passively listening to monologues and panel platitudes. They want to actively participate in an education session. The End Of A Speaker-Expert Era For the past 10-20 years, the focus of conference education sessions and keynotes has been on the speaker. Speakers acted … [Read more...]

Conference Audiences Expect These Things [Updated]

2013.09.26_MoMA crowd

Conference audiences of days gone by were satisfied with the gathering of colleagues, a mediocre experience and a few useful tips. Today’s audiences are more demanding and sophisticated. They expect to learn practical and useful information that solves their individual problems. They expect speaker presentations that are compelling and memorable. And they expect to be entertained while having fun. Eight Expectations That Develop Rapport Your conference needs to have the right chemistry with … [Read more...]

Why Audiences Detest Presenters That Abuse Or Avoid PowerPoint [Revisted]

2013.09.19_1552 haywire

Revised and updated from original post about presentations and images published on October 25, 2011. Presentations are the business currency of today. PowerPoint is often the legal tender of those presentations. We trade and share PowerPoint presentations like baseball cards, stamps and money. And SlideShare is the largest online community for sharing great presentations! When you create a presentation using great design and learning principles, ande you upload it to SlideShare, your … [Read more...]

Presenter Tips For Audience Discussions


“Nobody can’t teach nobody nothing,” says O. P. Kolstoe, author of College Professoring. We need better presenters, as our conference attendees often suggest. Or we need better attendees as our speakers often state. I think Kolstoe hit the bull’s-eye. As a presenter, so also a learner--the conference attendee. (paraphrased Joseph Lowman, 1995). If there is not instruction and learning happening on both sides of the presenter-learner situation, then what we call education is insignificant … [Read more...]