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...]

Three Conference Speaker Ahas You Need to Know

2013.11.06_Jess Scully  TEDxSydney 2013

How does your conference speaker selection process compare to other organizations? What’s working and what isn’t when it comes to selecting and securing industry and professional speakers? The Use Of Professional And Industry Speakers The past summer, Velvet Chainsaw partnered with Tagoras, a leading market research and consulting company for learning, to survey conference professionals about their use of speakers for our second speaker report. This research was initially conducted in … [Read more...]

Conference Speaker Benchmarking Report – Last Chance


Are you responsible for designing the education program for a conference that attracts 500 or more attendees? Does your organization contract professional speakers? Do you manage a call for papers or abstracts? If you answered YES to two or more of the questions above, we encourage you to take 10 minutes and contribute to the Speaker Report Survey. The survey is live through the end of the day on Friday July 12. The responses will be compiled, analyzed and made available to the industry … [Read more...]

Your Conference Speakers’ Skills Gap Is Causing You To Lose Money

The majority of your conference speakers have a major skills gap! They are relying on pedagogical mimicry--presenting the same way that their teachers taught them. That causes you and your conference to rely solely on a foundation of mimicry for education success. And this foundation is the exact the opposite of what your speakers should be doing if the goal is learning! Your dependence on this approach is ultimately causing you to lose money as it does not meet your attendees' needs and it … [Read more...]

Speakers Required To Promote Your Conference In Social Media Must Follow FTC Endorsement Guidelines

2012.10.03_crime scene

We've come a long way, baby! ~ Loretta Lynn The times they are a-changing. ~ Bob Dylan The catch-phrases are abundant that our world and work continues to evolve. The Ever-Evolving Conference Speaker Contract Nowhere is this evolution more evident than some conference speaker contracts. I have personally seen a change in some conference speaker agreements that I sign. I am often now required to do more than just show up and present. I'm being asked to blog on the event, create … [Read more...]

Our Ability To Learn Has Deep Roots In Our Ability To Talk To Others

Listening is often the only thing attendees do in formal learning environments. Speakers talk. Audiences listen. They listen to keynote speakers at conferences. They listen to presenters in workshops. They listen to industry speakers in education sessions. They listen to staff in HR trainings. The truth is that all that listening amounts to very little learning or change in attitudes, behaviors and skills. Talking Is More Important Than Listening Listening should actually be the smallest part … [Read more...]

Why Do We Start Conferences With General Sessions?


Most conferences kickoff with an opening general session. Why? What's the point? What's the purpose of a general session? Back To Presentation Basics What' the purpose of a speaker for any presentation? Nancy Duarte, author of Resonate says it best, Presentations are most commonly delivered to persuade an audience to change their minds or behavior. At its basic level, presentations are to persuade. Some may say that presentations are to inform. I typically respond with, "Inform for … [Read more...]

Leveraging Professional Speakers For Conference Impact

Most conference expense budgets are tight and limiting. Technology innovations, including Skype, Snagit, DIY screen capture and affordable video editing tools, can help you bring more thought leaders to your conference experience. Increasing Conference Value With Professional Speakers Professional speakers are often the most remembered, valued and polished elements of a conference. Typically they are reserved for general sessions. What if you could add a dose of their thought leadership to … [Read more...]