Conference Presenter Training: Why You Need to Offer Training

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Conferences can be a great opportunity for gaining knowledge and networking. However, not every conference lives up to its attendees’ expectations. When speakers have poorly prepared slide decks, unengaging presentations, and mediocre speaking skills, attendees’ experience will be greatly impacted, even if the theme, venue, staff, and other parts of the conference are top-notch.

The ultimate goal of a conference should be to provide value to its attendees and in order to do that you need excellent speakers.

To help you achieve the ultimate goal, in this guide we’ll cover:

  1. Why Is Conference Speaker Training Important?
  2. What Should You Look For in a Conference Speaker Coach?
  3. How Be Brilliant Presentation Group Can Help Save You Time, Energy, and Stress

If you want to give your attendees the best conference experience they’ve ever had, let’s get started!

Why Is Conference Speaker Training Important?

You’ve invested in a venue, technology, software, conference-specific staff, and more. But, chances are you haven’t invested in resources to help your speakers reach their potential.

Investing in speaker training is the assurance you need to know your speakers will wow your conference attendees, give an engaging presentation that ties into your theme, and transition to virtual seamlessly if necessary. At Be Brilliant, we believe speaker coaching for conferences is a win-win-win situation:

  • Your speakers win because they will be well-supported and brilliant.
  • Your attendees win because the conference’s presentations will be valuable and buzz-worthy.
  • You win as you’ll be the company superhero for ensuring speakers are well-prepared and dynamic.

Additionally, there are many other benefits to providing training for your speakers. For example, investing in an expert speaker coach can:

  • Show your speakers you care about their success. Having extra guidance and support will make speaking at your conference less stressful, especially for newer presenters. Even experienced speakers will appreciate the extra support from your organization, making you stand out from other conferences.
  • Show your attendees you care about their experience. If your audience walks away from your conference feeling like their time was wasted, they’re not likely to register in the future or recommend your conference to their colleagues. In fact, did you know 80% of people join events for educational purposes? Similar to making sure your speakers feel supported, investing in a good speaker coach will show your attendees you care about their investment in your conference.
  • Boost speaker confidence. Practicing with an expert is sure to make every speaker, regardless of their experience level, feel more prepared and confident when it’s time to give their presentation. And more confident speakers lead to better presentations.
  • Increase the time speakers dedicate to preparations. While you can hope every speaker is putting in the required amount of time to prepare an excellent presentation, this won’t always be the case. Having each speaker work with a coach makes certain they are actively preparing before the conference and practicing their presentation ahead of time.
  • Help create more engaging in-person, virtual, and hybrid conferences. With a coach who is experienced in training speakers to transition their presentation abilities to the pre-recorded or live virtual space, your speakers will be equipped with the skills they need to engage their audience, regardless of the format.
  • Foster a cohesive conference experience. Because you will likely have many different speakers giving unique presentations, it’s essential every presentation aligns with the conference’s overarching goal marketed to attendees. A speaker coach helps build a cohesive narrative across all of your conference’s presentations.

Failing to support speakers, offering lackluster content to attendees, or hosting an unengaging virtual conference can hurt your organization’s reputation and discourage attendees from participating in the future. You can cross your fingers and hope for the best, or you can ensure every speaker has effective presentation skills and the resources to succeed.

Conference speaker training is beneficial for all levels of speakers.

What Should You Look For in a Conference Speaker Coach?

If you’re going to invest in a conference speaker coach, it’s essential you select a coach who has a proven track record with a quick and efficient coaching system designed specifically to improve speakers’ skills in a shortened time frame. But how do you know the investment in a speaker coach will produce the outcomes you need? You start by looking at experience and end results.

We recommend finding a coach who meets the following five qualifications:

1. A proven conference speaker coaching process

Ideally, you’ll want a coach who not only has experience training speakers but a coach who has developed an efficient coaching process specifically tailored to the needs of conference speakers. A coach with a proven process for taking a speaker from initial brainstorming to polished practice in a minimal amount of time will give you the best return on your investment. Additionally, you want a coach who has collaborative teamwork skills to seamlessly work with your internal teams, corporate sponsors, and partners, and your technical and support staff to make each presentation shine.

2. Expertise in adult learning and instructional design

Make sure you're offering conference speaker coaching to all speakers.

Conferences often have so many different types of presentations from detailed how-tos, deep-dive training, and inspirational keynotes to quick impact talks and partner marketing pitches. This means you need a coach with experience in not only speaker coaching but also adult learning best practices and professional learning instructional design. Investing in coaches with this knowledge and expertise means your speakers will be provided outcome-based learning materials and coaching methodologies, and your speakers’ content will be on point including valuable learning insights and takeaways.

3. VIRTUAL presentations

Speaking in front of a room full of people and speaking to a screen are two entirely different experiences and require different speaker skill sets. You can’t expect a coach who doesn’t have experience with virtual presentations to adequately prepare your speakers for your virtual or hybrid conference. Whether your speakers are pre-recording a presentation, giving it in person to a virtual audience, or presenting virtually in real-time or with a pre-recorded presentation, your coach should be able to prepare even the least tech-savvy speakers to excel when virtually presenting.

4. Transitioning experienced speakers to brilliant online speakers

While working with novice speakers can be difficult, working with experienced speakers can also present certain challenges, especially when switching to a virtual format. Many experienced speakers are used to presenting in person and engaging a room full of people. When faced with transitioning their prepared presentation to a virtual format, they often struggle to be as effective. With a skilled conference speaker coach, experienced speakers can be coached to translate their speaking habits to be just as engaging in a virtual format.

5. Providing novice speakers with support

If you have new speakers as part of your roster, they’ll likely feel unsure and nervous about giving their presentation. A valuable conference speaker coach will take the burden off of you to provide the additional support and skill improvement inexperienced speakers need. Novice speakers require a coaching experience with different support techniques and practice sessions to ensure their presentations are on par with the more experienced speakers. Do you have the extra time or expertise needed to dedicate to this subset of speakers?

Other Qualities to Look For:

Even experienced coaches won’t necessarily provide all the support you need. To further ensure you’ve found the right coach, you should make sure they know how to:

  • Work efficiently with all different types of speakers. This saves everyone’s time and money.
  • Help individual speakers shine. An experienced coach will be able to work one-on-one with all types of people to help them present their information authentically, maximizing their presenting strengths and minimizing their weaknesses.
  • Maintain the theme of the conference. Having a conference speaker coach will be helpful for ensuring that the variety of presentations at your conference all still tie into your main theme.

Finding a coach with all of these qualifications can be quite challenging. For over a decade, Be Brilliant has been working with conference host organizations to ensure their conference speakers design and deliver meaningful presentations. Our conference services will be able to meet all of your needs and give both your speakers and audience the best conference experience possible.

How Be Brilliant Presentation Group Can Help

Six reasons you should invest in conference speaker training.

Be Brilliant began with conference speaker training in 2011. In the years since we’ve expanded, gained even more expertise, streamlined our coaching processes, and added a range of services, but coaching speakers for conferences is still the core of what we do. Through our services, it is our promise, that you’ll find a breadth of knowledge and expertise that will free you from chasing down speakers and worrying about their content. You will have the freedom to focus on all the other important aspects of your conference while simultaneously providing your speakers with the tools they need to succeed, regardless of their experience level, your conference’s format, or the subject matter.

At Be Brilliant, when your speakers spend an average of 2.5 hours with a coach, they will grow from unsure to confident and ready to ROCK their presentation. If you’re interested in giving your speakers access to this level of support and training which is consistently rated as extremely beneficial in speaker satisfaction surveys, you can learn more about our pre-conference, at-conference, and bundled services below.

Be Brilliant Presentation Group offers a variety of services to meet the needs of every conference and deliver the necessary amount of support for every type of speaker. Whether your conference is in-person, fully virtual, features many novice speakers, or is packed with experts, Be Brilliant has a service that will help you take your conference to the next level.

Pre-conference services can be used for virtual and hybrid conferences, or to prepare speakers for in-person conferences. Providing all of your speakers with access to additional support is always beneficial, whether it’s their first time speaking or their 50th.

Pre-Conference Training Webinars

With Be Brilliant’s library of pre-conference webinars, you can choose from webinars offering training on presentation design and delivery, audience engagement, panel discussions, tech talks, and virtual presentations. These webinars can be delivered live, semi-live, or on-demand to best suit your needs. Webinars range from 30 to 60 minutes and can be offered live or on-demand.

This is a good option if you want to provide a speaker learning and development series. It is recommended to bundle webinars with 1-on-1 coaching.

1-on-1 coaching

If you want to take your speaker support to the next level, one-on-one coaching will be even more effective than on-demand webinars. With Be Brilliant’s Steps to Success coaching method, each session is customized to meet each speaker’s individual needs based on their type of presentation, experience, style, and content.

If you have a large variety of types of presentations lined up for your conference, 1-on-1 coaching may be the best choice for you.

Keynote preparation

Keynotes typically require a different design and practice process. Be Brilliant’s keynote preparation services offer more than a typical run-through. We coach keynotes on their lighting, audio, tonality, gestures, use of props, and more. Your keynote speakers will be ready to dazzle in person or virtually!

Visual design

Visual development services can help your speakers avoid creating unengaging presentations and the awful ‘death by PowerPoint’. From quick reviews to complete visual creation, Be Brilliant will elevate the visual design elements of your conference presentations.

This is also a great service to offer to speakers if you’d like your presentations to maintain visual consistency within your conference theme and branding and use your conference slide template correctly.

Record and edit sessions

Whether you’re doing a hybrid or fully virtual event, you want to make sure all pre-recorded presentations are of the highest quality. Be Brilliant partners with your virtual conference speakers to professionally record and edit their presentations, ensuring they meet your quality standards.

If you have several pre-recorded speakers, you don’t want to take any chances with the quality of their presentations!

Even with adequate pre-conference support, your speakers may benefit from additional support during your conference. Make sure they feel supported from start to finish with pre-conference and live support for all speakers.

Onsite speaker coaching, including mainstage support

For in-person conferences, Be Brilliant offers at-conference coaching services. These services include onsite, face-to-face practice sessions further increasing your speakers’ confidence, elevating their delivery techniques, and being the difference-maker for impactful conference content.

To make sure every presentation exceeds expectations, Be Brilliant also partners with your conference production team freeing them to focus on the logistics and production elements while we focus on your speakers. We take on the duty of making sure they are in the right place at the right time and delivering buzz-worthy information. Additionally, Be Brilliant ensures your mainstage and keynote speakers are prepared so their stage presence and connection to the audience is maximized.

Concierge support at conferences

Lastly, Be Brilliant conference concierges provide your speakers a go-to place to practice, get questions answered, troubleshoot technical issues, and receive general speaker support.

This level of support lets your speakers know you have their backs and genuinely care for their needs during the entire conference, not just for an hour or two before their presentation. Concierge support at your conference is an excellent service to offer if you want to provide the ultimate level of support for your speakers regardless of when they need it.

Be Brilliant is the expert in training conference speakers. We have coached hundreds of conference speakers to reach their potential, and we will do the same for your speakers too. But, you don’t have to take our word for it. Hear from a few of our satisfied customers:

“Thank you for the excellent training materials you created for the virtual conference this year. They provided the perfect framework for developing my presentation and gave me some much-needed help!”

Seun Ojo, Software Engineer of Process Monitoring and Control, The Machining Group

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I had never presented at a conference before, not to mention as a customer spotlight in front of thousands. I was nervous and worried about getting our company’s story across and not making a fool of myself. The presentation came together beautifully. The audience was so engaged! Thank you again.”

Robert Treiber II, Co-Founder and President, of Boston Engineering

After my live presentation – not kidding – someone raised their hand at the end and said it was one of the best sessions they attended. Thank you Patti!”

Laura Sloan, CPA and Sr. Consultant, DSD Business Systems, Conference Presenter

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