Top Tips for Giving Killer Presentations in Your Trade Show Displays
As part of their role in your outreach campaigns, you will undoubtedly want to give presentations in your trade show displays, marketing your products and services.
Besides being a great way to get a lot of information to an interested audience, having a reputation for giving good presentations means you might get invitations to make presentations to trade show classes and general audiences in the future!
We’ve put together a series of suggestions on how to get the most from your presentations, and attract the biggest audience while they’re going on.
Top Tips for Giving Killer Presentations in Your Trade Show Displays
1) Trade Show Booth Design
If you know in advance that you’re going to be giving presentations, incorporate trade show booth ideas that support those presentations!
- Include a small “stage” area. You don’t want to be overwhelmed by your own products and displays! Even if you don’t have room within your exhibit displays for an actual stage, you should at least have a clear area off to one side that gives you an unobstructed view of the crowd, and vice versa.
- Have a small kiosk. An iPad kiosk or podium counter in front of your “stage” gives you a small, discrete area to keep some notes, or to keep an actual iPad. If your presentation includes visuals, using a iPad or tablet is the perfect way to control the presentation without drawing attention to your efforts.
- Include visuals if possible, You want to be using a slideshow or other digital presentation if you can. Planning ahead is key here. Leave room on the wall for a projector or large monitor, or at least have a screen rolled up and hidden in your trade show supplies, to use when you make product or service presentations in your trade show booth.
- Use a spotlight. It’s one of the oldest tricks in stagecraft, and it still works. Nothing says “a presentation is starting” like dimming the lights and throwing a spot on someone. Make the best of what you have. It’s the basic thought that counts here, even if you’re just using a clip-on lamp.
- Hide some speakers in the corners. These days, it’s relatively easy to get quality stereo or even surround speakers that are small enough to hide around your booth. Invest in a decent set – they immediately make your presentation stand out and, with a bit of a soundtrack at the beginning, work with the lighting to usher in a new presentation.
2.) Giving The Presentation
Once you’ve got a crowd gathered around your trade show display, it’s time to actually deliver the goods! Here are some time-tested presentation techniques that will work whenever you have to give a public speech!
Rehearsing vs Scripting
If there’s one key difference between an amateur and a professional speaker, it’s understanding the difference here. While there are times you’ll need a tightly-scripted presentation, a trade show appearance is not one of them. A relaxed, slightly informal presentation style is best.
That does not mean to just wing it. Instead:
- Write out a full speech. Writing it out and getting it onto paper allows you to sort through your ideas. Think of this as the rough draft. You’re getting your ideas down and figuring out a structure.
- Deliver what you just wrote to an empty room. If you can speak well to an empty room, you’ll do fine in front of strangers. When you try out your rough draft, you want to pay attention to time – make sure it fits your block. Listen for areas where the words don’t flow. There’ll probably also be sections you’ll want to rearrange.
- Make an edited draft. Revise what you wrote, based on how it sounded on your trial run.
Now, from here, it’s up to your personal preferences as for how much more rehearsing and rewriting to do. When delivering it, don’t stick to it word-for-word. Let it flow naturally. Also, if you aren’t tied to a strict script, it means you can more easily work with the crowd or skip around your speech based on their input, if necessary.
Vary Things Up
Unless you are in a highly technical field where dry presentations are expected, one of the best ways to hold an audience’s attention for more than a few minutes is to keep switching up your presenting technique.
- Don’t lecture for more than a few minutes at a time. Less than five at a stretch, for most people. (Few of us are gifted with the voice of a James Earl Jones or Cate Blanchett, regrettably.)
- Have digital presentations ready. A mix of slideshows, charts and graphs, and video will keep your audience’s attention for longer.
Animation always grabs eyeballs. It also tends to be more often trusted by consumers as well. In a busy trade show, having an animation somewhere in your presentation is a great way to get passersby to stop.
Plus, perhaps more than anything, try to keep a sense of humor throughout. A somewhat humorous presentation will be better-received than just about any other.
3.) Save Handouts Until Afterwards
This one’s short and sweet: Hand out promotional stuff after the show, if you want people paying attention to you rather than their goodie bags. Make sure you have digital copies of everything available as well, for those who aren’t attending in person.
4.) Have Several Repeat Shows
Don’t just give your presentation once! Give it a few different times during the show, and have a schedule posted in your trade show booth. This helps you and your outreach!
You’ll get your message out to more people that way, and it gives you a chance to refine the presentation in front of a few different audiences. If there’s a particular time when you want to be sure you give a great presentation – such as when the media is there – having a couple test runs before the big one will help you iron out any final flaws.
Consider recording one of the presentations; or at the very least, if you’re not too sick of it, consider recording a “dry” version of the presentation -without the hubbub of the show- for online posting. You lose the energy of the live crowd, but it creates a clean version that’s much easier for people at home to watch.
5.) Keep The Social Media Going
There should be an online component to your trade show presentations. Think of the online sphere as an extended audience, who should have some real-time interaction with your trade show display.
Keeping live social media updates running throughout your presentations is perfect for this. Since you’ll have the spotlight, it’s easy for one or more of your staff to handle the updates while you speak.
- It’s difficult (although not impossible) to have too many pictures and video.
- Have a live chatroom, where your staff can interact with online visitors as you talk.
- Keep it real. Social media should feel spontaneous. If there’s a funny goof onstage, that’s great social material.
From your , to your – a good presentation needs to consider as many different aspects of your exposition appearance as possible. Address as many audiences as you can, and speak with authority.
You’ll soon see leads flocking to your trade show displays!