Your conference presenters have tremendous power.
They probably have more power than the venue, the logistics, other registrants, the host organization, the schedule or the content on your attendee’s experience.
So shouldn’t conference organizers focus their energies on enhancing the aspects that truly make a difference in an attendees’ experience?
How many of your past conference attendees return because the logistics were so smooth? Or registration ran perfectly?
None of them! They return because the experience was valuable.
Focusing On What Matters Most
Conference organizers should focus a majority of their time on the biggest influence on a registrant’s experience–the presenter. We need to ensure that our presenters have a powerful and positive effect on our participants’ learning.
Poor presenters damage a conference experience. Status quo presenters keep the experience feeling lukewarm. Excellent presenters cause our conference participants to want more…and that’s what we want!
It’s time for us to direct our attention to higher quality presentations. Helping our speakers provide presentation excellence is the single most powerful influence you can have on your conference experience.
Six Traits Of Excellent Expert Presenters
Here are six traits that cause presenters to move from good or experienced to excellence!
1. Expert presenters are more responsive to attendees.
These presenters don’t walk into a breakout and just begin presenting their outline. They mingle with participants as they enter the room. They talk with attendees as they assess their knowledge, past experience and insights. They integrate other conference content with theirs providing context and relevancy.
2. Expert presenters spend more time trying to understand attendees’ problems that need to be solved.
They tend to spend a greater portion of their time understanding if their presentation is meeting participants’ needs. They ask for and seek feedback from their audience to improve their presentation, not just at the end, but throughout the presentation. They easily anticipate, plan and improvise to adapt to their participants’ needs.
3. Expert presenters are proficient at creating an optimal, safe, education environment.
They build an atmosphere where errors are welcomed, participants questioning is high, engagement is the norm and where attendees can easily become effective learners.
4. Expert presenters are proficient at observing and perceiving education situations.
Expert presenters are extremely skilled at scanning the room for attendee behaviors and inferring what participants need. They concentrate more on what the participant is doing than what they are saying next.
5. Expert presenters seem to have automatic, natural presentation skills.
Expert presenters have extensive practice presenting and facilitating. Their presentation skills seem effortless. Their brains have automated their learning routines. Their cognitive skills for delivering presentations and focusing on participant learning are so refined that their working memory can deal with more complex learning situations.
6. Expert presenters aim for deep learning.
Most conference presentations provide surface learning, the ability to recognize or “know of” the ideas. Expert presenters aim for deep learning where participants relate and extend the ideas and make relevant meaning of the content.
What are some other traits of expert presenters? How can conference organizers foster expert presenters versus industry speakers that they feel they must secure?