Here are the guidelines we recommend speakers refer to when planning what to speak on and designing the content for their talks. Most of the guidelines below are common sense and should serve as a framework for the content you are putting together.
- Be authentic! Your peers need original presentation ideas that focus real-world scenarios, relevant examples, and knowledge transfer.
- Give your talk a simple and straightforward title. Clever or inappropriate titles make it harder for people to figure out what you’re really talking about.
- Plan very carefully what you can cover in the allotted time. You have 30 minutes for the talk with 10 minutes for Q&A. We will have to cut you off if you attempt to exceed that limit.
- Keep your talks free of marketing and sales content at all costs.
- Design your slides with a large room and the audience in mind. Use large fonts so your slides are visible from far away. As a general principle, don’t put too much on each slide.
- Keep the audience in mind: they’re professional, and already pretty smart.
- Given the time limit there’s simply no way you can present all the important concepts on your topic of choice, so don’t even try.
- Think of your talk as an advertisement — your goal is to entice the audience into wanting to explore the topic in more detail and reach out to you for more information.
- Motivate the audience and engage them through the entire session
- Do not assume that your company’s name buys you credibility. If you’re talking about something important that you have specific knowledge of because of what your company does, spell that out at the start.
- Don’t put everything you want to say on your slides and then read them during your talk, you will bore them to death. Instead captivate your audience by forcing them to listen to you, looking at the slides only for cues and diagrams.
- Keep your examples simple, emphasizing the main points, and give the audience enough time to digest each example.
- It is strongly recommended that you practice your talk several times, especially if you haven’t given many talks in the past. Time your runs; get your friends to listen and criticize.
- If you are not a native English speaker, make an effort to speak slowly and clearly enough for a large audience to understand you. Even if you are a native speaker, you will need to speak loudly and clearly.
- Position yourself carefully with respect to the screen — be sure not to block the audience’s view.
- During the question & answer session at the end of your talk, be sure that your audience knows what question you are answering — repeat a question if not everyone was able to hear it. It’s often a good idea to repeat questions regardless, to make sure you have them right and to give yourself a moment to think.
Most of all, have fun, and remember — your talk serves as an advertisement for your organization and everything it stands for.