Andy Beal’s Top Five Tips for Presenting at Search Marketing Conferences

Although I have no clues with time zones and what day of the week it is abroad, it seems New York’s [tag]SMX[/tag] social media is done and dusted. I’ve scoured through the live blogging and post-mortems and tried as glean as much info as I can while being on the wrong side of the Atlantic. It seems like it was a great event and a good time was had by all.

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Let me know if you can read it alright – how to avoid Powerpoint-itis – via flickr

But with one conference closed, thoughts are already turning to another. SMX London, is top of my hit list, and as a special treat for all those of you giving presentations at SMX or any of the other search conferences, I asked [tag]Andy Beal[/tag] for his advice on how to deliver a killer presentation to an SEO crowd.

Keep the slides brief – focus on the content coming from your mouth, not the slide.

We’ve all been in those conferences where you need a magnifying glass to read the text on the slide. Andy advocates ‘a less is more’ approach to PowerPoint. Someone who I’ve always found inspirational is Steve Jobs. I’ll give you a fiver if you can find one of his keynotes with bullet points!

Think of an ice-breaker joke at the start and finish. People sit through lots of presentations, so they’ll remember yours more favorably if you make them smile.
Not everyone has the style or confidence to top [tag]Neil Patel[/tag]’s ‘I love Digg More Than Porn’ © comment, but a good one liner is never out of place. If it’s an SEO conference you’ll know the audience make up pretty well and if you run out of ideas you can always take the mick out of Calacanis.

Don’t drink too much beforehand – nothing worse than needed to go while presenting. But do keep water nearby while speaking-in case you get dry mouth.
Sage advice from the former Brightonian – crossing your legs and screwing up your face isn’t really conducive to a knock-em dead presentation. In my first proper job interview I got a dry mouth and corpse-ed; so from experience I can certainly recommend the water near-by tactic.

Take deep breaths. Don’t be afraid to pause between slides. Better to come across deliberately paced, than fast and furious.
You might have a lot to say in your slot, but by slowing down you’ll be able to get your message across much clearer. Plus you always think you are talking slower than you really are, so even if it feels too slow you’ve probably got it about right.

When it gets to any panel discussion – don’t get intimidated by the other speakers. Don’t wait to be asked your thoughts, speak up!
Some of the people on conference panels might be a little more experienced or well known than you but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to get your say too. They probably aren’t cutting you out deliberately but don’t be scared to butt in every now and then to get your point of view across.

And for those of you who hadn’t guessed the reason I was asking Andy for advice is because I’m speaking at [tag]SMX London[/tag] on the ‘[tag]Leveraging Social Media Networks[/tag]’ panel. I’m really excited to be included amongst some industry greats and am really looking forward to sharing some of the knowledge I’ve gathered while working with our clients on social media marketing and link building.

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