An expert in her industry, I met Jennifer at a conference where she was about to present her ideas in a workshop. She was very nervous. She said, "I hate these talks, my company keeps making me do them, I get very nervous and it takes up so much of my time to prepare for very little gain.”
My perspective was that Jennifer was a smart, savvy industry leader. After all, it is only top notch guest speakers who speak at industry events.
The biggest benefits in presenting at a conference is to share your experiences with your peers, elevate your profile in the industry, interact with vendors, to stretch your boundaries, take a risk and learn a lot.
Conferences often promote event guest speakers, their speaking topics and background on their website, print promotion and press releases. It really elevates you as an leadership expert.
As a meeting speaker you can be a break out session workshop or keynote speaker. The difference is generally the audience size, the Keynote Speech is for the entire audience and break out sessions are for smaller groups and the topic tends to be more specialized.
Share your Ideas, Stretch Your Boundaries
Public speaking is an art and the more you do it the better you get. Speaking is one of best self development tools you have. It dramatically improves communications skills, confidence and makes you a more proficient speaker overall. Presenting your ideas forces you to think about your work and industry in a new, more innovative way.
Here are some steps to consider:
- Decide on a seminar topic on something you are an expert in
- Prepare your talk thinking about, what do you want to motivate people to do differently?
- Allocate time for at least one call before the conference with your session moderator and/or fellow meeting speakers
- Stick to the time allocated for your presentation
- Provide your seminar in electronic form for distribution to the conference attendees before the conference begins.