How to Present at a Market Research Conference Like a Pro!

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Check out our tips to rock your presentation!

So, you’ve been asked to speak at an industry conference or other event and you feel nervous or worried? We’re here to help! Members of the Veylinx team have presented at major consumer insights conferences all over the world, and now we’d like to share with you some secrets to being confident and well-prepared so you can get the most out of the experience. 

Step 1: Know your audience (and co-presenter!)

The first thing to do is to know who will be attending the event where you will speak. This will allow you to prepare material that will be relevant and interesting for the audience. To do so, access the attendee list that most event organizers share and then browse their LinkedIn profiles or the activity area of the listed companies.

Once you know your audience, make sure that you can answer these two critical questions before you begin building a storyline or a slide deck: 1) What is the goal of the presentation? 2) What do we want the audience to take away from this or talk about after the session? 

If you’re co-presenting with someone else, be sure to coordinate with them to make sure your presentation goals are in complete alignment and that you are in agreement about any confidential information that should not be disclosed. Make sure you know in advance if someone from the PR, Marketing and/or Legal team at your company or your co-presenter’s company needs to review the content—and plan accordingly. Decide who will create the slides, and when drafts and final versions need to be ready.

Step 2: Prepare your materials and yourself

When preparing your presentation deck, avoid overwritten and cluttered slides. Use only keywords and numbers instead of sentences and paragraphs. And remember, images speak louder than words! Aesthetically-pleasing slides that mix words and images will appeal to the audience and will be more memorable and engaging than dense text and graphs. This should be obvious, but at every conference half of the slides are filled with 12pt text that no one in the audience can read. Your slides should also align with your company’s (and/or co-presenter's) branding, be simple, and act as a teaser to maintain the audience’s eagerness to learn more. 

Practice is another key element in your preparation, of course. Rehearse live in front of an audience and be sure to time yourself. This is very important! Most sessions at industry conferences have strict time limits, and you want to be able to get through all of your content. Be sure to dedicate time to practicing with your co-presenter(s), too. And don’t forget to leave time for questions within your allocated time slot. 

Finally, everybody loves free things, so bringing goodies is a worthwhile idea to consider—especially if you can tie them into your presentation. It helps attendees to remember you and your session, especially if you have something special or unique to hand out. 

Step 3: Rock your presentation 

The key to rocking your presentation is immediately gaining the audience’s attention and then holding it throughout. Do not be afraid to include a humorous anecdote or interactive icebreaker at the beginning of your presentation. It creates a fun and friendly atmosphere and may revive an audience that is tired after a long day of presentations and networking.

Using storytelling helps to captivate the crowd, especially if you can include some real-life examples of successes or failures, such as launching a real product or starting a new activity. Make it relevant and interesting to the attendees, and avoid using a lot of numbers and technical jargon.

Furthermore, try to involve and engage with your audience during your presentation by asking some questions during the presentation to keep people engaged and ready to participate with answers and active listening. Remember to smile and look at the crowd, not the screen or your notes. Try to find some friendly faces in the audience with whom you can keep eye contact during your presentation. And most of all, have fun and try to enjoy yourself. Your joy and enthusiasm will be infectious, and the presentation will be more likely to be a positive experience for everyone involved.

Did you find our advice relevant and helpful? If so, we wish you the best of luck for your upcoming presentation!

Post by Salima Kabbaj
July 8, 2024