Improve your conference by getting speakers together before the event

Conference presenters often meet for the first time at the conference itself and know little about each other’s work.  For the 2014 Women in Mining WA annual seminar, the event manager took a different tack. She invited speakers to a facilitated discussion before the event. The result was confident speakers, interlinked key messages, and a logical flow to the day’s presentations.

I coached nine inspiring women for the seminar, including Emma Stevenson, WA Apprentice of the Year, and Suzy Urbaniak, winner of Outstanding Initiative Promoting Women in Mining. To help you get your speakers on track, here were the 3 outcomes for or tailored workshop:

  1. Each speaker identifies the unique expertise they bring to the conference
  2. They articulate the key message they want to share in their 10 minutes
  3. With everyone’s message clear, each devises a succinct and memorable presentation

Some speakers then refined their presentations at one-to-one coaching where we paid attention to structure, slide content, and body language.

On the day, Suzy Urbaniak (at that time she described herself as a fairly inexperienced public speaker) brought her audience to tears – and moments later had them in fits of laughter. This is the value of preparation! All speakers appeared confident and answered questions succinctly and from the heart. Each sentence uttered provided a new piece of valuable information for the audience.

Bring conference speakers together before an important event to uncover common threads in their stories and create a more coherent event where the audience feels they have discovered something new.

For more about creating a memorable conference email rachael@strategiccreativityatwork.com.au.

Sabina Shugg started Women in Mining WA eleven years ago to help women in the sector connect with their peers. The group now offers a diverse calendar of events, including a mentoring program and the Diverse Boardroom series, as well as this one day yearly conference which sells out well in advance.

Published by

rachaelwest

Speaker | Coach | Founder Yoga for Pain Care Australia