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Here are (just a few of) my presentation pet peeves. If you want me to pay attention and be impressed, don’t do these things.

Buzzword Bingo

Scripting your presentation
If you don’t know it without a script, why should I listen to what you have to say about it?

Using too much “marketing speak”
If I can win Buzzword Bingo, you lose.

Jumping in too fast without laying the groundwork
Make sure the audience is all on the same page. This includes defining any unfamiliar terms you may use.

SPAMing me when I register for your webinar
Yes, I’m interested in your webinar, but I’m not necessarily interested in everything you have to say.

Other presentation Pet Peeves:

  • Leaving the mouse pointer in the middle of the screen – seriously distracting
  • Standing in front of the screen
  • Using stock photography without paying for it (i.e. images with watermarks)

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  • Posted under Reflections

Last year I was on the planning committee for Social Media Atlanta with Bert DuMars and Stephanie Frost. It was a huge success with over 50 events and 3,000 attendees. This year, we wanted to do the same event, but rebrand it to include mobile, gaming, etc. This year, we present: Digital Atlanta

As an organizer for Digital Atlanta, I attended an event on conferences at SXSW called, Conference Startups: Grassroots Innovation Rocking the Event World. I was able to learn a lot from people who had put on events for longer than I have. More about that later…

Here was the most interesting takeaway: We took a poll of the room (about 60 people) and asked, “Which event format do you prefer?” The results were very surprising.

  • 80% core conversation
  • 10% good speaker
  • 10% interview
  • And ONE person said that they preferred a panel format

Do panels bore people? Are we burned out on that format? More importantly, if this is how attendees feel, why is every conference crammed full of panel discussions?

As we continued our conversation we found that, generally speaking, Beginners prefer presentations at conferences and Practitioners prefer conversations. Do you find this is true? How advanced are you in digital media? Which format do you prefer?

Thanks to Chris Schultz and Patrick Vlaskovits for presenting Conference Startups: Grassroots Innovation Rocking the Event World at SXSW.

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