May 2017

 How to Begin Your Presentation with Simon Sinek

Too Many Technical Presentations Suffer From POOH!
Oral Abstract Session Improvement 
Many of our clients are in the STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). A primary part of their conference business model are research abstracts. Many academic and medical conferences also rely on these: a combo of oral presentations and posters.
When conference task forces are challenged with improvement efforts, they often point to oral abstracts as a priority. The solution typically comes down to improving quality and reducing quantity. The reality then sinks in that their business model is reliant on accepting as many as possible because presenters often pay full registration fees. We've seen numerous cases where 50% to 80% of the paying attendees are abstract presenters. For years we've been contemplating whether or not a meeting of "speakers speaking to speakers" is sustainable. We don't have a final verdict yet.
What we do know is that the quality bar must be raised for oral abstracts. If you've ever sat through these, you know they can suck the life out of you.
The two main things we think conference organizers can do to move the quality needle are:

1. Improve the Selection Process - Consider taking a page from Alzheimer's Australia. They shortlist abstracts off of written submissions and then ask the presenter to submit a one-minute video for final selection.


2. Invest in Presenter Training - Oral abstracts should focus on the audience and why your research should be important to them. Storytelling should be infused. Learners should be engaged. Visuals and passion do matter.  

What improvements are you making to oral abstract presentations?
anchor1The Ironic Challenge Attracting Academics As
Your Conference Target Market

Many conferences depend upon academic researchers to present at their event.

Yet that very research often puzzles their conference stakeholders. Even after their customers slice through the layers of jargon and technicalities, the research still seems mystifying.

Sometimes the research seems to capture a resounding "Well, duh!" from the audience. Other times, the research presented is so narrowly defined that it appears to lack real-life application. Often, the entire academic research approach seems to avoid attracting any possible real-world interest  says author  Jonathan Knee .


It's one of the most common excuses I hear from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics/Medical) conference organizers today...

"As ______________ (insert appropriate STEM word) attendees, they won't participate in interactive sessions or discussions. They don't want to be actively involved. They don't like to talk. They came to hear from an expert. We can't leave them to their own learning."

In short, these conference organizers and their teams are convinced that they can control their audience's learning through a lecture. Their attendees have never complained in the past. They've always done it that way so why change now.
anchor3 How To Be A Bodacious, Wicked, Totally Tubular Technical Presenter 
Highly specialized technical complex topics are often associated with boring, butt-numbing, brain-draining, hum-drum, buzzkill presentations.

So how do you tackle complicated technical content head on and still deliver an engaging, memorable and bodacious presentation?

How do you move your audience from saying, "I thought that presentation would never end," to "Booyah! That was totally awesomesauce!"


Your conference's technical presentations suffer from POOH*!

"Huh?" you ask. "What are you talking about?"

Too often, and I mean way too often, our conferences are full of technical presentations that offer nothing more than POOH! For some reason, we falsely believe that technical presentations don't have to follow good adult learning strategies. But that's totally wrong!

We all have an ability to increase our level of flexibility.

Conferences are providing inferior education if all they provide is didactic, presenter monologue lectures.

Yes, that's right. The speaker lecture is ineffective and inferior! If all your attendees do is sit and listen passively to speakers, you're providing bad conference education!

At least that's what 2001 Physics Nobel Prize recipient, Stanford professor and former director for science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy  Carl Weiman says regarding lectures. Weiman goes on to say that the public needs to know and understand that lectures are an inferior method of education. And they are just as inferior for the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical) groups!