Conference presentations need more preparation than just writing the paper. The paper is just the basis for the presentations, but standing up, and talking in real is different in terms of experience as well as preparations, and brings with it, its own set of conventions, opportunities and pitfalls.
The shortcomings of conference presentations are much more than what we can know at hand. There are presenters who don’t look at people in the eyes while talking, reading from the slides, too much information packed on the slides, not guiding the audience through a complex argument, taking the knowledge level of the audience for granted, going beyond their stipulated time and not leaving any time for the question answer session. If you feel that taking care of so many things at the same time can perplex you, here are a few golden rules to follow:
Be one with your audience: First of all, you got to begin by showing enthusiasm for the topic, if you aren’t respectful to your audience and if you don’t come down to their level of understanding when you are talking, you haven’t reached them in spirit. You got to do all that you can and you should, so that they keep listening to you.
Be there in not just body, but in mind too: If you are there just to read out from the slides, well, the literate audience can do it themselves, pretty well. You have to find ways in which you can engage with the audience, such as appropriate eye contact, expressions in your speech, and movement. Verbal presentations are a blend of relevant content and your expressions. They don’t go alone.
Keep constant reminders of your argument: Your argument is the crux of your presentation, and you must not let the audience forget about it. Whatever you speak in your presentation, you must link it up with your argument, and ensure that there are constant reminders of the same for the audience so that it doesn’t go off their minds.
Give something constructive and positive to your audience: By the end of the presentation, the audience should know what you are meaning to say and should take home some positive learning, which has added to their existing repository of knowledge.
Have a stylish ending: Like how, powerful and engrossing your beginning should be, that the audience walks with you throughout the presentation, your ending should also be equally powerful and mesmerizing.
If you know these few rules, there is no stopping you from making that mark in your conference presentation.