One of the perks of my job is I get to go to lots of events and meet tons of interesting people, see demos of the latest products and technologies and just generally, act like a curious child. It's class.
One really cool aspect is seeing very interesting people speak at events. I've seen the founder of Wikipedia, the Head of Microsoft and even Bear Grylls over the last few months, all sharing their unique insights.
Seeing so many talks means you quite quickly work out what works and what doesn't. Here are the main bits:
#1. Pitching your product: There is honestly nothing worse than a person just describing their product. If it's a jetpack, then it's a little different, but if you are stood on stage explaining how your email marketing tool segments the market or are giving a step-by-step demo of your CRM, then you are a plum. Talk about what you know and people will be interested in what you do.
#2. Cracking bad jokes: Something I am completely guilty of myself, but thankfully, I rarely get the opportunity to speak to hundreds of people.
#3. Not being enthusiastic: if you don't seem that bothered, why should anyone else be?
#4. Arrogance: I attended a talk recently where the speaker openly mocked somebody's question. What does that say about you and your company?
#5. Pretending to be self-effacing & 'humbled' by the honour: It is an honour to be asked to speak at an event, but it's probably because you know what you're talking about. Be confident in what you have to say and of course, enjoy it.
#6. Reading from notes: this is a bit nit-picky, but surely you should know your stuff well enough to not require a big page of notes. There is nothing more dull.
#7. Listing facts & figures: Try and always tell a story, the facts and figures give it subsistence, but it's the story that counts.