How to prep your presenters for fall conferences – Live Oak’s Feminist Guide to Presenting can help!

Two people on stage during a presentation
Have you ever wondered which is more important: the delivery of your presentation or the content itself?


According to Mehrabian’s 7-38-55 Communication Model, how you say it often carries more weight than what you say. Conferences are a melting pot of ideas and innovation and offer a chance to connect, share, and grow. Often, at these events, the content of a presentation may be prioritized over how the speaker presents.  But, here’s the kicker: your presenters can make or break the experience. As an event planner, you can prepare your presenters to truly shine. 

So, are your speakers ready to dazzle? Follow these recommendations to make sure they do.

Ways to prepare your presenters for the next conference

Sure, your presenter might have spoken to a group of their colleagues in the past, but presenting to a broader audience at a conference can make anyone nervous. Let’s make it easier for them with some simple strategies to make sure they ace it. 

Initial communication

Start by having a heart-to-heart with your presenter. Give them ample time to prepare and let them in on the conference theme, goals, and objectives. Boost their confidence by acknowledging their expertise – they’re pivotal in making this conference a success. 

Describe the audience

Next, let’s get into your audience’s shoes. Help your presenter understand who they’re talking to: 

  • How many will be there, and what roles do they play in their organizations? 
  • What industries do attendees represent?
  • What challenges are they experiencing?
  • What are their expectations?
  • What is the preferred communication style – casual or formal?
  • Are any other experts speaking? What’s on their agenda?

Discussing these questions helps your presenter tailor their content to resonate with the audience, making a more engaging session. Remind them to keep two golden questions in mind: 

  • What do attendees expect?
  • Why should they care?

Provide resources for their presentation

If needed, offer a helping hand to craft an impactful presentation. Here’s how you can help: 

  • Arm them with research, case studies, and data.
  • Brainstorm ideas to tackle specific challenges.
  • Explore interactive elements like polls and Q&A sessions.
  • Ensure their presentation flows logically and is visually appealing.

Discuss venue, setting, and AV

Don’t skip the nitty-gritty. Discuss the venue layout, decor, and AV setup. Walk them through the venue so they’re at ease. Remember these key questions: 

  • Will they be standing, sitting, or a mix of both?
  • Is there a backdrop? What color? This can help them plan their outfit.
  • What will be the mic type – handheld, podium, or Lav mic? Lav mics work wonders, especially for women. (More tips in our ‘Feminist Guide to Presenting’). 
  • What is the laptop setup – at the podium, with a remote, or AV tech-controlled?
  • When do they need to get their slides and media to the AV team? Sending slides and media to the AV team beforehand is essential.
  • Do they need adapters or connectors for the presentation?

For detailed tips on outfits, mic placement, and AV tricks for everyone, snag our ‘Feminist Guide to Presenting’.

Practice, practice, practice 

Let’s talk about nerves. Anxious presenters can lead to audio mishaps. If they’re jittery about equipment or public speaking, they might speak too softly, causing the AV team to crank up the volume and risk feedback. Alternatively, fidgety behavior can mimic microphone issues. We’ve all been there.

Encourage your presenter to rehearse multiple times before the big day. Set a timer for a realistic presentation duration and suggest practicing in front of a mirror. Some even find solace in meditation and visualization before they speak.

Schedule a rehearsal

Scheduling a rehearsal session in advance gives you a chance to offer feedback for improvement and settles a presenter’s nerves. Booking the venue and doing a dry run the day before can work wonders. A good night’s sleep after the rehearsal boosts memory retention, making your presenter more confident.  And while it might incur a tad more in labor and venue costs, dedicating extra rehearsal time pays off. It ensures seamless AV testing and ample practice for everyone. 

Develop and share the run of show

Speaking of preparations, a valuable tool that can significantly enhance your event planning is a ‘run of show’ template. Think of it as a comprehensive roadmap for your event, covering every detail from start to finish. It ensures everyone knows their roles, the timing of each segment, and how to handle any unexpected surprises.

Incorporating this type of template into your event planning is like having a secret weapon. It not only boosts your presenters’ confidence but also adds a layer of professionalism to your conferences. It’s a game-changer for any event organizer.

Amplifying all voices through prep

Planning an event, especially a conference, can be a stressful time. However, prepping your presenters isn’t just one more thing on your ‘to-do’ list. It is essential to creating a successful event. Even further, it helps celebrate and amplify all voices so your presenters’ message can shine.

At Live Oak AV, we’re all about amplifying all voices and have specifically created a guide for women presenters who often struggle with AV equipment that was designed for men. By downloading our ‘Feminist Guide to Presenting,’ you’ll not only equip your presenters with top-notch skills but also join a movement towards a more inclusive and equitable world. 

Make your next conference unforgettable.

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