How to Give a Good Conference Talk

Our own Deane Barker talks conferences with a handful of tips on how to become a better speaker and create a better presentation.

  • Deane Barker
  • Apr. 17 2014

Over the past few years, the crew at Blend have been bouncing around the world, speaking at events about development, content management, and content strategy. And, we've been bringing the conference life right here to Sioux Falls with Now What? Conference.

This led our Director of Business Development, Deane Barker, to write a post about just what it takes — and what you need to know — in order to put together a great conference talk. From his Gadgetopia post, "How to Give a Good Conference Talk":

I talk at a fair amount of conferences. Over the years, I’ve taken notes on how to do it well (this pre-supposes that I do it well, which is very much up for debate). I figured I’d share these notes.

Now, understand that I give a very specific type of conference presentation, which is 30-50 minutes and always based around a presentation deck (a Power Point). This might not fit for everyone. Some of you might be doing a short speech unsupported by any visuals. If so, pick and choose from the sections below.

Also, I don’t offer this list as hard-and-fast rules, nor do I think it’s the only way to do it. This is simply what works for me. I concede that other people may have entirely different ways of doing it.

Here are my notes, edited slightly to make for a better blog post. If you’re staring down a conference presentation, I hope they help you. (And, in the true spirit of PowerPoint, these are in the form of bullet points, because that’s how I wrote them down originally.)

For more, check out Deane’s blog: Gadgetopia.