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7x24 Exchange, Midwest Chapter

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Speaker Center

Thank you for your interest in speaking to the 7x24 Exchange, Midwest Chapter. Here's what you need to know and do, to present to this group.

Application | Content | Length | PowerPoint | Schedule of Requirements
Self-promo | Attire | A/V | Other Notes  

 

Application

To apply for a speaking spot, e-mail a 75 to 100 word (or something about that size) abstract to Jim Brooke:
7x24Programs @ mindconnection.com (paste that into your e-mail client and remove the spaces).

Include the following:

  • Your name, company, and job title.
  • Your contact information, including phone number.
  • The intended length (e.g., 30 minutes, 45 minutes, whatever), preferably based on existing slots shown.
  • Your preferred time (morning or afternoon), which is largely a function of your flight times.
  • Which conference (year) you are considering. Please note we arrange speakers well ahead of the conference.

Content

Your presentation must provide information useful to the target audience, if it is to have any value for you whatsoever. This audience consists of facilities people who must deliver maximum uptime within budget. A very technical presentation to this group tends to be well-received.

Hot tip: Don't engage in PowerPointlessness. Engage your audience, instead. Use PowerPoint at a minimum, if at all.

A presentation need not be a monologue. You can:

  • Do demonstrations. For example, bring physical props and show how something is done.
     
  • Survey the audience. Your entire presentation can be about getting the audience to tell you their major concerns. Of course, you then need to convert this into something they can take back and use.
     
  • Ask questions. An interesting approach is to give a short intro on a subject, then ask individual audience members for their thoughts on it.
     
  • Pose problems for individuals or groups to solve. Describe a case history and what went wrong. Then, ask the audience to break into groups and decide what should have been done. Have the groups present their findings, while you emcee that process.
     
  • Interact with the audience in any number of ways. Don't think in terms of PowerPoint slides. Think in terms of connecting with the audience.

Remember, these are people who are looking to do their jobs better and more efficiently. The presentation is not a test of how much material you can throw at a group of people. For most of our speakers, this is a fantastic opportunity to start building relationships with a very targeted market of very motivated pre-screened prospects. Don't blow that opportunity.

You do not need to use PowerPoint slides. You can do your presentation with any of several audio-visual aids, or none at all. Remember, you are giving the presentation--PowerPoint is not. Here are some other, often better, options to consider:

  • Extemporaneous
  • Physical props
  • Overhead slides
  • Panel discussion
  • Workshop

Your primary goal isn't to conduct an information dump. It's to connect with the audience. Showcase your expertise and give the audience useful information, but don't feel you need to cover every nuance of a topic. Remember that people who try to drink from a fire hose get soaked but remain thirsty.


Length

You can suggest a length other than what is posted.  That time must allow for audience interaction and/or a Q&A period. If, for example, you choose a 30-minute slot, you won't have 30 minutes to do a presentation. Allow five minutes for the introduction and another 5 for Q&A. So for a 30 minute slot, plan on a 20-minute presentation. It's OK if you don't use the full time, and if you are using slides there is no law that says you have to show them all.

Slots longer than 90 minutes must meet special requirements not listed here. Please contact 7x24Programs @ mindconnection.com to discuss these requirements. We have had an entire conference dedicated to one speaker, so we are flexible.

Please note thatpresentations do not run over their allotted time.Ever. If you try to cram a 60-minute presentation into a 45-minute slot, you won't get that extra 15 minutes. But what you will do is waste your allotted time by trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Leave some breathing room, and everyone wins.

PowerPoint

Most people put way too much text into PowerPoint slides. A really good PowerPoint slideshow (as far as PowerPoint slideshows go) might not have any text at all. If you use PowerPoint as a means of posting what you want to say, this will detract from how well you connect with the audience. Have your presentation in your head. Use PowerPoint to accent it. Or better yet, don't use PowerPoint for anything but pictures, charts, or graphs.

Remember, a presentation is what a human does to connect with other humans. Simply being a disembodied voice in the dark while you run through PowerPoint slides is not actually giving a presentation. It's showing your slides. The difference in the effect on the audience is enormous.

Some items to put in PowerPoint

  • Pictures.
  • Charts.
  • Graphs.
  • Bullet points (e.g., a word or two after a bullet).

Some things to avoid in PowerPoint

  • Narrative text.
  • More than 5 bullet points per slide.
  • Using it as a substitute for talking.
  • Using a large number of slides relative to the time you'll be speaking.

Some things that never go in PowerPoint

  • Cheesy music.
  • Transitions.
  • Tiny text.

If you are doing a Power Point presentation, bring your files on a USB "fob drive" as a backup. You do not need to bring your own laptop, but it's probably better if you do.

Schedule of Requirements

Submit all items to 7x24Programs @ mindconnection.com

You can use your Outlook calendar or other method to prompt you on these dates.
  • 15 February: Send 25 to 100 word speaker bio.
  • 01 March: Review the program roster, and notify us of any corrections needed.
  • 10 March: (Not for us, but for you) Finalize travel arrangements.

 

Self-promo

Your presentation must be non-commercial. However, you should mention your company name and products.

Your presentation must focus on meeting the needs of the audience, not on how great your company is. If we didn't think you had a great company, we wouldn't have you speak to the audience! The audience will realize how great your company is when you give a good presentation. So, focus on that.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Bring promo incentives for our door prize giveaways. We give these away by drawing. If you can bring one or two "big" items, that is better than a lot little stuff. As an example, HP gave away a desktop UPS (actually, two of them). Note that such things as caps, shirts, pens, golf balls, and cups are overdone. Think of something more substantive.
  • Bring product literature to put on tables set up for the purpose of vendor promotion. If you bring 30 copies, that will be about right.
  • Exchange business cards and interact with folks as a representative of your company during breaks and lunch. Make notes on those cards, so folks don't walk off and forget why they have your card.

If you are bringing items for promotion, you can generally ship them ahead of time, and someone will bring them to the conference for you. Just don't send anything huge. If you have questions about what huge is, contact Mark Lamendola at 913-831-7483. You can pre-ship items to:

Mark Lamendola
Mindconnection
4806 Wedd St
Merriam, KS 66203-5414

You can also sponsor our pre-conference golf game. Contact  jralvarez @ dstsystems.com

 

Attire

The audience will be mostly the polo-shirt and khakis crowd. Many speakers dress the same way, others wear a suit. Dress in whatever way makes you comfortable. We encourage you to wear clothing (e.g., a polo shirt) with your company logo. A suit is not necessary.

A/V

We will have cordless lavalier microphones and a projector suitable for Power Point presentations. If you need other items, please contact jralvarez @ dstsystems.com

 

Other Notes

  • You are automatically registered if you are presenting.
  • We do provide breakfast and lunch.
  • We will list you on our Web site and link to your site.
  • If you want a hospitality room or some kind of pre-conference event, contact jralvarez @ dstsystems.com
  • We do want you to mix with the audience. We allow adequate networking time for this. This conference is a great chance for people to connect, one on one--both solutions providers and folks in need of them.