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Tag: conferences

One mistake presenters should never make and 8 strategies to avoid it

by: Lisa Nielsen

Whether workshops, panels, keynotes, or classes there is one mistake presenters should never make. It is a mistake I learned to never ever do from a wise lady early in my career. I’ve heeded this advice and seen the negative ramifications of those who do not. Ramifications such as a frustrated, unsatisfied, and anxious audience as well as less than favorable reviews and feedback. Additionally, when presenters, don’t heed this advice, the chances of their audience incorporating what they’ve learned into their work, decreases.

Fortunately, if you remember this one piece of advice, your future presentations will be brighter and your audience will leave more satisfied.

The advice is…

Always make sure your audience feel “they have everything they need to be successful.”

Presenters fail when they say things like:

  • “We have a lot to get through today.”
  • “I am speaking quickly so we have time to cover everything.”
  • “We’re already behind schedule.”
  • “In the interest of time…”

Or do thinks like:

  • Require participants to take down everything you say, because you haven’t provided it to them. They’re focused on the low level task of copying, instead of the higher level thinking of making meaning.
  • Not provide a detailed, timed agenda that could be turn-keyed.
  • Not tell up front and remind participants in the middle and end what goals are and that they are making strides in accomplishing the goals of the session.
  1. Build in extra time at the beginning
    Start out by putting your audience at ease. Create a collegial atmosphere as folks arrive. Perhaps a simple do/now ice breaker where you ask participants to talk to the people around them and find out what they hoped to get out of the day. This gets minds flowing and allows for a relaxed start with a networked room.
  2. Plan for latecomers  
    Latecomers can throw off and delay a presentation. When you address the audience ask them to be the ones to fill in a latecomer should they sit next to them and let them know what to share.
  3. Provide ALL materials
    Speaking of what to share, keep it simple. Create a link where participants can access EVERYTHING you’ve shared. This way they don’t worry about missing anything and you don’t have to worry if they didn’t get something down.
  4. Ensure Materials Can Be Re-purposed Don’t share materials in PDF. Don’t give access without copy ability. Provide materials to participants so that it is easy for them to make their own, customize, and bring back to their work. This is a wonderful gift for teachers (time!) and students (great new learning materials).
  5. Smart Name Tags
    You know that link I mentioned above? Don’t worry about saying it over and over or having to keep putting it back on the projector. Provide name tags or cards with all the information participants will need i.e. a link to the presentation, Twitter hashtag, how to connect to the internet, etc. This way, the answer to every question is “It’s on your name tag.”
  6. Sum up the learning
    At the end of your time share all the new things participants will be able to do as a result of your time together. This way you’re focusing on what they have learned. The audience is assured that they got what they came for out of your time together.
  7. Take backs
    Ask participants to share (verbally or via Twitter, text, post it) in 140 characters or less one thing they’ll take back to their work. This reinforces their learning.
  8. Use reassuring statements
    Let the audience you know you are right on track with statements like:
    • “After our time together you’ll know exactly how to…”
    • “We are right on time.”
  9. Have two plans
    Have one plan if the class moves slowly. Have an additional plan if they move quickly. If they do, let them know that they were so on point they get bonus learning. If they move slowly, they’ll still know exactly what you told them they would learn.

So what do you think? Have you experienced presenters who try to rush through information? Have any of these strategies worked for you? Are these strategies you would try when you present?


5 Tips for Making New Contacts & Connections  

By: Cara Chatellier states that 80% of today’s jobs are landed through networking.  In order to find a new role, become better at your own job, learn from industry experts and more, networking is essential.

Below you will find 5 ways to make new connections and contacts to grow your network!

Tip #1: Go to a Networking Event

Networking events are a perfect way to make new connections. Try to go to an event with
Listening to partnerover 30 attendees where you know there will be a number of people to mingle with.  One of the great things about these events is: everyone is there to chat and connect—make the best of it! Make sure to talk to as many people as possible!

Networking Event Best Practices:

  • RSVP beforehand to get updates and location information.
  • Bring plenty of business cards
  • Be prepared. If you can see attendance lists, research companies of those you may meet!
  • Leave your phone in the car, your pocket or bag—be attentive and present.
  • Smile and be open to chatting with others

Join Brandeis GPS Staff, Faculty, Advisory Board Members, Corporate Partners and Students of the past and future for our first ever Networking Event! 10/16 6-9pm RSVP here!

Tip #2: Join a Networking Group

Well first, what NetworkingGroupis a networking group? It’s a group (most likely on LinkedIn or meetup)
where you can be alerted about new job opportunities, gain access to new groups of people, learn about new events and swap industry  tips and knowledge.

Networking groups are a technique to meet others, both professionally and socially.


Tip #3: Connect, Connect & Connect some more!

LinkedIn offers an unrivaled method to connect professionals in your field via social media.

Make sure you add:

  • Everyone you meet in a professional setting
  • Professionals with similar backgrounds
  • Professionals in similar industries with different roles
  • Members of associations you’re interested inLinkedinPic

Don’t forget to follow the LinkedIn Best Practices:

  • Spell-check personalized messages
  • Actually read the profiles of those you are messaging
  • Schedule face to face meetings or phone calls with your connections, (make them ‘real’)!
  • Use a recent and professional photo
  • Recommend only those you have worked directly with and who you feel confident in their quality of work

Tip #4: Attend Industry Relevant Conferences

Conferences are a great way to keep up-to-date on industry trends. Most conferences will have large rooms with tables from different vendors. It’s a perfect opportunity to learn about new technologies, companies and opportunities.

ConfConferences allow you to network with professionals in your industry. You can share your ideas and get immediate feedback from credible individuals.

Conversations at conferences can lead to business connections. Make sure to share your business cards and don’t be shy asking about other similar events which may be beneficial.

Tip #5: Attend Industry Specific ‘Meet-Ups’

According to, ‘Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups.’ Meetup makes it easy to meet members of your industry of field of interest in a fun and interactive way. TheMeetupre are thousands of meetups you can take part of, and most of them are free.  Since you already know the subject matter, this will make it easy for introverts to step into the networking world. The only question is: why not?


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