Public speaking and presenting at conferences isn't for everyone. Personally, I get a real kick out of it and enjoying meeting like-minded marketers at conferences. But it's not without its pressures.
A conference audience has demands. Hundreds, or even thousands, of people have often paid good money for a conference ticket with the expectation of walking away inspired or with practical advice they can implement back at the office the next day.
So if you're given the privilege of stage time, it's your responsibility to deliver a solid, well rehearsed talk. And I don't stop rehearsing a talk once it is delivered. If I'm not setting about preparing for the next one, I'm assessing feedback, looking at ways to improve my slides and reading up how I constantly improve.
Thankfully, there is no shortage of digital resources available to help you to fine tune your presentation skills, polish your approach and get better at public speaking. Here are 6 Slideshare presentations that will make you a better speaker.
1. 10 Things Your Audience Hates About Your Presentation
An attention grabbing title was the first thing that drew me to this deck. But its contents deliver on the headline too, with 10 practical pieces of advice for ensuring you don't suck at your next conference.
2. The Science of Memorable Presentations
I wish I could design slides like these guys did. 'The Science of Memorable Presentations,' offers 5 pieces of advice with clear visuals and an easy to follow format.
3. The 4 Steps to Create Great Presentations
This is a chunky presentation deck with 125 slides. But it outlines a clear process for writing and delivering a great presentation, right from planning, through to design, practice and presentation.
4. 30 Tips for Awesome Presentations
I always look out for presentation advice from the people whose presentations I've enjoyed the most. And I've seen Ian Lurie speak a couple of times now. He's a great presenter who consistently performs in terms of content and a memorable delivery. He's rounded up his advice into 30 tips.
5. Great Presentations Are Like Ads
I find it genuinely useful to be able to compare presentation writing to something else I'm really familiar with (e.g. storytelling). In this case, it is compared to ads. I'm a huge fan of a good TV ad and have read a lot about what makes an ad successful. So the ability to apply that knowledge, through the use of this deck, to presentation writing has been invaluable to me.
6. 8 Steps to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking
I've never really had a fear of public speaking, but I do experience nerves before a talk. And I've employed much of the advice in this particular deck to help me manage those nerves better over the past couple of years.
There's a lot to be gained from speaking at conferences. It's great for profiling, networking and business development. But the investment is a lot of time, energy and often travel. So ultimately, it has to be something you really enjoy too. It's difficult to deliver an engaging talk if you would actually rather be anywhere else in the world. So, yes, take on all the practical advice in the decks above. But don't forget to enjoy yourself in the process.