PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

Conference meetings commonly start with someone stepping to the microphone, tapping it to make sure it’s working, and leading off with something like: “Good morning everyone!  Welcome to our annual meeting.  Before getting started let me go over a little bit of housekeeping.”

Please turn off your phones or set them on stun.

We’ll be breaking for lunch at Noon.  Our breaks will be at 10 and 3.

The bathrooms are on your left as you exit the meeting room.

Ectcetera.

Ectcetera.

This is useful information.  But, it should never be the first piece of business.

But we need to get it out of the way up front!

No you don’t.  What you need to do is set the tone of the conference.

The old adage that you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impresssion holds just as true for whole conferences as it does for individuals.

The first speaker has the opportunity to strike a strong positive note and create anticipation for what is to follow; to get things going in the right direction, and build early momemtum.  There will be time for housekeeping at the end of the introduction.

Or, how is this for a thought?  Maybe the housekeeping points could be printed on small, tasteful cards and placed at every seat before the audience arrives.  Then the first speaker could concentrate solely on setting the stage for success.

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