How to Have Fun Delivering Your Trade Show Seminar
How to Have Fun Delivering Your Trade Show Seminar
Part of what draws people to trade shows is the talks and seminars on offer. They offer a chance to see known experts imparting essential advice and wisdom and they provide updates on important developments within the industry.
Some of the seminars can be hugely fun and entertaining and draw in a big crowd. Others can be rather dry and uninspiring and fail to attract a significant audience. If you’ve decided to give a seminar at your next trade show, make sure you’ve prepared adequately for the event so that everybody gets the most from the experience, including you.
With proper planning, you will not only increase your chances of looking professional and being engaging, but you’ll also have a good time while presenting. As a rule of thumb, most people find that if they are having fun while giving a seminar, the audience will be having fun too.
With that in mind, here are some pointers that will help ensure your next trade show seminar is a success:
Preparation is key
It’s not enough to have your notes written on a piece of paper as you present. You should know your presentation off by heart, and you should be able to do it with your eyes closed.
- Practice your speech.
- Practice it again
- Practice more.
The reason for all this preparation is that the more prepared you are, the more relaxed you will be on the day. Some people worry that rehearsing a speech or presentation will make them seem wooden, but the opposite is true. Reading from a piece of paper can come across as wooden.
Knowing what you want to say, how, and in what order gives you mastery over your message and allows you to improvise or adapt as you wish. If you know your presentation by heart, you won’t be fumbling for what to say next, even if you go off track temporarily.
Test the technology
Whether you’re using presentation software, physical props, lighting, and sound or touch screens, you need to make absolutely sure that everything is in working order. Don’t leave it to the last second to set everything up. Allow yourself time to test everything first and to have a backup plan if something goes awry.
Go easy the night before
Trade shows are often events spanning a few days. Some have after-hours events that can be quite heavy on the alcohol. By all means, get involved with the party but go easy on the drinks the night before you’re due to present.
Make sure you get enough sleep and wake up refreshed and ready to give it your best. No one likes to see someone suffering from the effects of one too many whiskeys the night before.
So many people forget to smile. There’s nothing more unappealing than having to listen to or watch a person that never smiles.
If you’re wondering why your audience is frowning at you, remember that smiling is infectious. The more you do it, the more your audience will do it too. Even if you’re nervous on the inside, put a big smile on your face and go for it.
Look at your audience
We’ve seen many people spend their whole seminar looking at and talking to the projector screen behind them.
You should know precisely what’s displaying on the projector. There shouldn’t be a need to look at it, except to refer to something briefly.
As with any stage performance, you are playing to the audience. Keep your eyes on the people around you and talk to them. It’ll feel much more like a natural conversation if you do this, which can make a seminar go more smoothly.
Have a surprise up your sleeve
Most people who attend seminar’s think they’re going to listen to someone talk for an hour and nothing more.
Surprise your audience. You could introduce an unexpected element, such as a competition, a performance, or some stunning visuals. Whatever you go for, make it relevant and make it fun to be part of it.
Engage your audience
Audiences find it boring if they’re just talked at for an hour. The average attention span is pretty short, so you need to be engaging with your audience. This not only keeps their attention, but makes them feel like they’re a part of the event.
Ask and invite questions. Get audience members involved in any demonstrations.
People love to laugh. Even serious subjects can have a little humor injected into them.
Try to add a few funny moments into your presentation. It could be a quick story, an image or a joke. Whatever you decide to do, keep it relevant to the seminar subject matter.
Tell a story
The most engaging presenters are skilled storytellers and can make their words come alive through their stories.
Like any story, your seminar needs a beginning, middle and an end, so work out how to build your presentation in this way.
A great story will captivate an audience, and you will really enjoy telling it.
Talk to the crowd afterward
After you’ve finished your presentation, get down into the crowd and have a chat with them. This is your chance to answer any other questions they might have. It’s also an excellent opportunity to pick up new leads and network.
You’ll come across as personable which will always endear you to people. And you’ll enjoy the chance to meet potential customers and new acquaintances.
Done well, seminars are a fantastic opportunity to drive more business and customers over to your booth. A poorly presented seminar, however, can have the opposite effect.
The more prepared and relaxed you are before your seminar, the more you and your audience will enjoy it. Involving the audience and fostering a happy and interactive atmosphere will allow you to have fun.
By following the points above, you can ensure that your seminar will be a great success. You may be the talk of the trade show, which is ultimately what you’re aiming for.
Don’t be scared to give it your all. If you do, you’ll have the best time.