What The Electrical Conference Taught Me About Presentation

The Art of Speaking and PresentationLast month I was 3 days at the electrical engineers conference in Zadar town (Croatia). There were more than 600 participants and it was important for me to see and hear what’s new, exchange experience and to meet some new people.

Although I have no intention to bother you with technical details, which nobody cares around here, what inspired me to write this post is my vision of the speaker who attracts attention and encourages the discussion.

The first two days we had lectures and the third was joint boat trip along the coast of the Adriatic Sea (pictures at the end). ;)

Just to get the feeling, lectures were all day from 8 am to 6 pm, and there were around 20 speakers with different topics. Each speaker had about 30 minutes for his presentation.

The quality of a good speaker

Although the topics can seem interesting (on the paper), if it’s not transferred convincing enough to the audience, ends in failure and disappointment.

As they say ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder‘, speakers that have attracted the most attention in my eyes, but as well as the most of the audience, had:

1. Dynamic tone of speech

Amazing how monotonous tone of voice can be boring. And the worst combination is quiet monotonous tone of voice. Man, that puts me in a sleep.

I little observed the people during such speeches and their gestures say it all. Some of them scratch, another yawn, and most look to mobile phones. I guess the last ones are somehow the most polite.

What do you think, how one stand-up comedian would end his performance with a quiet monotonous tone of voice? I’ll leave it to your imagination! :)

Both in speech and in writing, it’s necessary to emphasize what’s important.

How we do that? We can use bold or underlined text, quotes or alert boxes. I like to use bold text, quotes and sometimes alert boxes.

Very effective can also be using using different font colors. Take a look at Robin Hallett’s blog and you’ll see what I mean.

Do you emphasize what’s important (or you think is important) when writing your content and how you do it? Let us know in the comments

2. Case studies with real examples

One lecture was bounced from others and earned big applause. I listened to in one breath and had a feeling it lasted only 5 minutes.

What was so interesting that attracted such attention?!

In short, it’s about one project that was finished 2 years ago with a multitude of innovative solutions. Now, 2 years is enough time to see how much is really cost effective ie when the investment will pay off. It’s something we’re all faced, you agree?

The point is, something more expensive at the beginning can pay off much faster than cheaper one. So to be convinced we use case studies.

It’s a very effective way of product/service presentation with images, graphs, comparisons that lead us to final results and conclusions. Logically, you’ll buy something sooner when you see all pros and cons, unlike when you see only bragging.

Remember those sleazy long sale pages that were all over the Internet a few years ago. I can’t say that wasn’t effective, on the contrary, but the customer mindset has changed, and continues to change. Keep that in mind!

To gain a deep understanding of what makes buyers buy, organize a case-study competition. Ask your customers how they use your products, what should be improved… This way you talk the customers’ language and gain information from.

On the other hand, you’ll get some nice testimonials in the process.

So, do you use case studies with real examples to promote whatever you sale? Or, do you more believe products analyzed with case studies? Anyway let us know below…

Day 3: Boat trip

Most relaxed was the third day because we went on boat trip along the cost of Zadar. We also visited the center of that over 3000 years old town.

Pity, it was cloudy weather and rain began to fall but with good fish and music on the boat, we had excellent time!

Comments

  1. says

    What a great post to write from your experience at the conference Dragan. I’m sure if you’re an electrical engineer then most of the topics discussed during the day were interesting.

    I have been to conferences though when I’m waiting for that great piece of information that I can grasp only to be disappointed. With each speaker not speaking over an hour usually at least if you are bored it’s not for long.

    We definitely need to learn how to grab our audiences attention and of course our readers in our posts.

    I love Robin’s blog and the way she goes about it, she can get away with all those colors. Her content is so light and airy that I really like it. Not sure if everyone can pull that off though.

    Great share and I enjoyed the pictures too. Love how you included those at the end, really neat.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..Jon Morrow Told Me It Is Okay To Steal

    • says

      Hey Adrienne,

      I just wanted to share my experience and somehow to find the line between speaking and writing the content. I also think that grabing our readers attention is the first step to share what we have to say.

      I’m glad you liked the pictures, and thanks for your comment. Enjoy your weekend.

  2. says

    Hi Dragan,

    I’ve been to conferences and yes, have been disappointed with the speaker. The ones that were monotone and straight faced bored me to tears, even though the information was good.

    Weather speaking or writing, we need to put some “zing” into what we are trying to communicate. No, we don’t need to be a comedian or part of toastmasters, but put a bit of our own words, our own tone into what we are saying or writing.

    Inject something that is a little funny or lifts the spirit.

    Thanks for sharing this, because I do need to brush up on some of these things. Learning never stops.

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Leveraging Social Media

    • says

      Hi Donna,

      Excellent said and noticed! Putting something funny can really lift the spirit of the audience. Interesting, these kind of details we remember long, long.

      Communication is something we all need to learn and improve.

      Thanks Donna for stopping by, and have a nice weekend.

  3. says

    I loved your report on the conference and it’s true, some people really know how to communicate well and share their feelings both in print and by voice! For me, if I really want to communicate something important, I will use italics, but most of all, I try to just use the right words. The tone makes the difference and if your audience can “read” your emotion, then you won’t have to point out humor and make it obvious-they’ll get it on their own I think. Thanks for sharing those great pictures, it looks like it was beautiful!
    Valerie Strawmier recently posted..Who Wants to Be a Writer and Be Fit? I Do!

    • says

      Hi Val,

      I agree with you that the ‘right’ words transfer the emotion no matter how we highlight’em. Of course, when a writer writes a novel there is no point of text highlighting. We as readers don’t expect that.

      But the online reader has a little bit different habit. It’s hard to get someone’s attention online. It’s even harder to keep their attention. Studies show that people visiting your website make the decision to stay or leave within the first 10 seconds. This means you need to get to the point quickly.

      Everything was beautiful on that boat trip except the weather. :)

      Thanks Val for your comment, I appreciate it.

  4. says

    Hi Dragan

    I love your post. I have been to many conferences and given my background was Accounting – tax to be precise they could be very boring. It certainly does make a huge difference if the presenter is lively and has good presentation skills. Many I have seen just drone on and it is hard to keep awake.

    I love your pictures. Thanks for sharing them.

    Sue
    Sue Price recently posted..Are You Crystal Clear On Who Your Target Market Is?

    • says

      Hi Sue,

      I know what you mean by that ‘very boring’ :). Have you noticed how time is passing very slowly or not at all?

      Even with boring topics like accounting, can make a huge difference adding graphs, comparisons etc something that will spice up the presentation.

      I’m glad you liked the pictures, and thanks for for stopping by and commenting.

      Have a great rest of the weekend.

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