Speaking at a trade show can help get you and your brand noticed, but it does take ample preparation. Discussing a topic that you are well informed about can help boost your company’s reputation and identify your business as an expert in the field. Preparing to talk in front of a room with a large number of your peers and colleagues can be overwhelming and nerve-wracking. We have broken down the steps of how you should approach giving a lecture at a convention and what you should do to ensure your presentation is professional and well-received.
Pick a Show: Choosing the right convention at which to speak is important to effectively connecting with your target audience and proving yourself an expert in your field. When evaluating a show, consider who the attendees are and what you wish to achieve by reaching them. Clearly identify what you desire to get out of speaking at a conference—whether it is an increase in business or a reputation as being one of the leaders in your industry. Identify your goals, research shows in your field and choose one that will best help you achieve your objectives from speaking at the conference.
Identify What Topic Best Suits You: It is important that you appear knowledgeable about the topic you decide to speak about at an expo. Play upon your particular strengths and then continue to research your topic to beef up your expertise. Does the idea of being on stage in front of your peers make you petrified? It is normal to be a little nervous when speaking in front of a crowd but if it causes you extreme anxiety, it may be best to decide not to participate in a discussion. Practice your speech and research tips on effective public speaking. You will not be able to please everyone at the show and there will be some individuals who will disagree with you. Be prepared for others to voice their disagreements or even heckle you or your ideas during your speech. Brainstorm what your opponents might bring up to invalidate you and then have a plan of attack if it does happen. Remember, the more knowledgeable you are about your topic the more your peers will respect you, even if they don’t agree with you.
Non-Promotional Introduction: Shameless self-promotion is frowned upon when giving a talk at a convention but it is important that you sprinkle your speech with relevant branding tidbits about your company. Provide important information about your company as it relates to your topic of discussion and illustrate how your business has positively affected your customers and those connected to your speech’s theme. Then, show your audience how the products and services your business offers can benefit them as well.
Use Slides and Case Studies: Slide shows make it easy for attendees to visualize the contents of your discussion. Some expos upload the slides so they are downloadable files that attendees can reference later. Include your Twitter handle on the slides so you can get some traction if attendees post a slide and connect it to your brand. This also makes tracking who was at your discussion a little bit easier to do. Use real case studies and actual data when possible to effectively show how your brand has helped your clients and relate it to how your business can assist the audience as well. Identifying specific examples that are real also helps build up your credibility as a speaker and accurately credits your company when acknowledgement is appropriate.
Provide Your Contact Information: It is obvious, but sometimes overlooked that you need to provide multiple ways for individuals to contact you repeatedly throughout your convention talk. Include your name, job title, company name and contact details in the first and last slides of your presentation. Briefly describe what your company does but do not go into too much detail, since it could be seen as self-promotion. Some attendees may feel out of place introducing themselves directly after your talk so providing your email or phone number may be an easier way for them to reach out to you.
For more information on how you can best represent your brand when deciding to be a speaker at an expo in your given field, check out Adam Riemer’s recent article “How to Build Business While Speaking at Conferences”. For all of your signage and display needs to promote brand recognition and access the attention of attendees at a crowded trade show, contact TRT Banners today!