Guide for Conference Presenters

How to Present Effectively

Think about presentations you've attended in the past. Was the speaker engaging? Were the visuals appropriate? Was it well-paced? Did the audience have the opportunity to engage the speaker? Read on for a simple approach to delivering an effective presentation.

Say the Words

  • Great presentations start with a great script.
  • Start with an outline and identify 3-5 key points.
  • Write your script using a word processor, not presentation software.
  • Review and revise!

Show the Pictures

  • Use relevant images to make your presentation more effective.
  • Create a storyboard using your script to identify key concepts to illustrate.
  • Use high quality images and avoid clip art.
  • Royalty-free images are available at sites like Free Images and Creative Commons.

Text is for Take-Away

  • Instead of text-heavy slides, prepare handouts or an online post for attendees to review later.
  • Provide additional resources.
  • Include your contact information.
  • Share your slides and get tips at sites like Slideshare.

Practice Makes Perfect!

Practice your presentation for timing and polish. Your goal should be to speak 2/3 or 3/4 of the allotted time, leaving an opportunity for you to field questions from the audience.

Remember: No one minds if you end early, but running long will make it difficult for people to get to subsequent sessions on time.

Adapted from Texas Library Association Conference Committee materials.