SPEAKER RESOURCE CENTER


Tips To Become A Better Speaker

Policy reminder - Education is a No-Sales Zone!

We've all had a few experiences in the past when people pushed themselves or their services too hard. So, we have established a clear line of a "No-Sales Zone" at our meetings. No matter what your product or service, attendees do not feel comfortable when they think you want them to buy something. Be careful not to let any sales talk creep into your presentation—if you do, attendees will turn off and tune out. The balance between developing a relationship and selling is a little tricky, so here are some suggestions to help you on your way.

No back (or front) of room selling. We will have a bookstore for selling books. Let our bookstore work for you while you develop relationships in the classroom. (See the “Are You An Author?” portion below if you have a book.)

Developing credibility during your presentation is good, but it can wear thin quickly. Name-dropping is particularly offensive if it goes on too long or is spread on too thickly. Personal anecdotes can illustrate a point and make you seem warm and interesting, but use them sparingly—listen more than you talk.

Be an attentive listener to attendees’ situations and offer to help think through a situation or problem. Help them connect with others who have similar problems. Be an inviting resource, but don’t push. If you wish to continue contact after the conference, you are allowed to have attendees voluntarily sign up for e-mails. You must make it clear it is only if they are interested in receiving more information from you and/or your company.

Are you an Author?
If you have an industry-related book that you are interested in selling at IAAPA Attractions Expo, our bookstore may be interested in working with you to offer your product! Please contact Eamon Connor as soon as possible for details. While sales and promotions are not permitted in the education sessions, IAAPA is proud to carry many of our members’ books in the IAAPA Bookstore. 

Are you an Author?

If you have an industry-related book that you are interested in selling at IAAPA Attractions Expo, our bookstore may be interested in working with you to offer your product! Please contact Eamon Connor, in the IAAPA Education Dept. as soon as possible for details. While sales and promotions are not permitted in the education sessions, IAAPA is proud to carry many of our member's books in the IAAPA Bookstore.

Things to Consider: General Dos and Don'ts

Do:

  • Smile!
  • Relax and have fun … the audience will feel it.
  • Be energetic, enthusiastic, and passionate.
  • Use appropriate humor or other ways to engage the audience.
  • Know your topic so you don’t need to read it.
  • Move around; don't limit or "trap" yourself behind a laptop or podium.
  • Shake things up … keep the audience interested.
  • Use an interactive format, and involve the audience. Don’t wait until the end to engage them.
  • Provide variety.
  • Try to add stories, anecdotes, testimonials, or demonstrations that emphasize your point.
  • Repeat questions asked by the audience so everyone can hear.
  • Stay on track and within allotted time.
  • Summarize your key points to wrap up your presentation.

Provide tools and information the audience can implement.

Remember that audience is very interested in what you have to say. They want you to do well!

Don't:

  • Read your presentation or read directly from slides.
  • Use big words or acronyms that audience may not know.
  • Look over your shoulder at the screen, or worse, stand and talk to the screen instead of to the audience!
  • Use slides that are text heavy – if you have that much information to share, post it on the attendee website!
  • Engage in side conversations with other presenters or panelists during the session.
  • Answer without repeating the question first. Many people can’t hear the question, so unless you repeat it, the answer will make little sense.
  • Use conversation fillers like "um,” "you know," and "like."
  • Speak too quickly.

We are always striving to keep our programming interesting and engaging and look to you to lead the way. If you notice your audience becoming restless or bored (we call this the “drone zone”), be creative and steer them away from the edge. Play to their strengths, and allow them shine and speak up about topics that interest them. If they do that, the session is almost guaranteed to be a winner!

 Presentation Tips and Tricks

You probably already know what works and what doesn’t for leading an education session. Think of a program you have attended that you absolutely loved where you felt totally engaged and you walked away feeling you had learned something new. Chances are those successful speakers had spent plenty of time preparing the materials, rehearsing, and practicing before even arriving on site at the meeting. We can also bet that they did not read from their slides or come off as ill prepared. So, as you begin to plan out your education session, really think about those programs you have attended that worked for you, then follow those examples. Similarly, if you recall a session you attended in the past that was not a success, learn from that as well.

Staying out of the “drone zone”
Our brand promise to our attendees is to provide exceptional experiences, a vibrant community, and essential tools that will make them and their organizations more successful.

To succeed, we ask that every session has:

  • Relevant content for an experienced audience that stretches thinking and provides new approaches.
  • Content that is delivered in an engaging way and draws on the experience of the attendees.
  • Application exercises that involve the participants.
  • Examples and case studies of real success—and successful failures! (Attendees often cite these as the most beneficial of all case studies.)
  • Practical tools and models that can be applied immediately in their organization.

 What your attendees will remember:

Once the excitement of the IAAPA Attractions Expo is over and attendees are back in their facilities, think about what they'll remember. While your presentation basics should be clear, concise, colorful, and dynamic, they will remember:

  • What they did in your session—not what they saw or heard
  • Exercises that demonstrated your points
  • Stories and examples that painted a mental picture
  • Particularly powerful metaphors that can serve as reminders
  • Small group discussions of key learning points
  • Interaction with peers

Remember to send your Handouts materials to IAAPA in advance so attendees can access them after the event and use the lessons they learned to implement and improve programs at their facilities right away!