John Chow has 8 killer tips on how to supercharge your conference productivity.
But how about the stuff you absolutely shouldn’t do?
  1. Promote your stuff.  Ironically, the best way to generate business is to never tout your own stuff. Let your knowledge speak for itself and let others speak for you.
  2. Read your slides. The best presenters don’t even use PowerPoint. If you know your stuff, the slides are just eye candy. If you’re presenting a technical paper, as opposed to an inspirational keynote, it may be different.
  3. Say “uh” or “ah” a lot. You might not notice it. Ask friends to count for you. Go to ToastMasters to practice your speaking skills. It was huge for me. Costs almost nothing– probably have one at your workplace.
  4. Come just for your session. Try to spend time with the other speakers in the speaker room before you’re up. Get a sense of the audience by attending some of the other sessions.  Go say thank you to the folks behind the scenes who make it all possible. It’s the hour after you finish speaking that you generate the most business. Make yourself available.
  5. Forget to promote your session. If you’re are at a show with multiple tracks, you might be speaking against a “big name” in another track at the same time. By learning the agenda and reaching out to other speakers, you can cross-promote each others’ sessions from the podium. I happen to like to run Facebook posts to folks attending the show. Have you seen them?
  6. Give the same presentation again. One of my favorite techniques at conferences is to personalize the first minute in such a way that the audience knows we made it just for them. For example, we’ll do Facebook graph search examples with the names of friends who are speaking or other companies there. Maybe we’ll create a voiceover or cartoon that pokes fun at a burning issue at the show.
  7. Bomb the feedback form. If you are in the top third of speaker ratings, the organizers will likely ask you back next year. Do the first 6 things here properly and you’ll get rave reviews.
What’s your favorite tip?