Business conferences are a huge deal for many businesses, industries and sectors, and many organisations are starting to look for an event venue, keynote speakers and prepare script drafts for their end-of-year conferences.
When it comes to the speeches, however, some speakers can be intimidated by the size of the crowd, the scale of the room or the enormity of the situation, and that can affect your performance sometimes.
Here are some top tips to improve your conference speeches.
Half Style, Half Substance
Engagement is absolutely critical for any successful conference speech, and because of this, you should have a slight bias towards entertaining your crowd as opposed to providing a deluge of detailed content.
That is not to say you should have no substance to your speech or try to make it too basic, but by leaning towards entertainment you create a lasting impression that makes the substance to your speech stick.
You Have 30 Seconds
The first 30 seconds of your speech are, by far and away, the most important part of the entire speech, even if you continue for an hour or more afterwards.
Part of this is psychological; the serial position effect suggests that we will remember the first and last parts of a list, a presentation, or a speech.
As well as this, people will create a lasting impression based on their first look at you, so start off strong, engaging and with a major solid point. If you need to delve into personal anecdotes or the history of the business that can happen after your initial salvo.
Present As Yourself
There are a lot of valid, effective and highly engaging presentation styles, and ultimately your personal style should suit who you are as a person and the way you feel most comfortable telling stories.
Some keynotes rely on dry wit and more of a matter-of-fact tone, and others are far more energetic. Some people talk to their audience as if they are sitting in their living room and others as if they are at the precipice of greatness.
All of these styles are valid so long as they are true to yourself, as you will engage best as an authentic you rather than as an inauthentic duplicate.