When you have the opportunity to give a presentation at a business conference, you can gain a reputation as an expert in your field, a persuasive speaker, and a vital participant in your industry. To give your presentation impact, you must set learning objectives for attendees. This will guide your choices as you put your presentation together, and will help ensure that you make an effective contribution to the conference.
The first objective you write for your presentation should be the last one attendees will hear. You must decide what you expect attendees to do at the end of your presentation. For example, your objective might read, "Attendees will have time-management tools they can immediately apply to their businesses." Another objective might say, "Business owners will know three ways to increase productivity without bonuses." When you know where your presentation will end up, you have a guide to begin planning the smaller objectives that will lead to that end.
Create a series of objectives that will make up the body of your presentation. These should lead to your final objective. Make sure they progress in a logical manner, and at the same time provide a framework for a narrative that flows like a story. For example, if your presentation ends with, "Attendees will understand the four steps to writing a realistic budget," your objectives could read, "Learn to accurately project sales," "Set a marketing budget as a percentage of sales," "Reduce your operations budget by cutting costs," and "Include profits as a budget item." Your interim objectives form the stepping stones that lead to the final objective.
Just before you get to the body of your presentation, you will have to hook your audience with a statement about why they should be interested in what you are about to tell them. For example, if you know that your body and conclusion will take attendees through the process of marketing with social media, make your opening objective something like, "Understand why your competition will leave you behind if you ignore social media." Your first objective must engage your listeners' self-interest and make them want to hear more.
Once you lay out your objectives in order, support each objective with facts, examples and anecdotes. Each of these can add vital interest to your objectives. The facts must back up your objective or else your presentation lacks validity. Examples should help listeners understand practical applications of the objective. Finally, anecdotes can make your objectives seem human. Your presentation has impact when listeners leave thinking they can apply what they learned in each of your objectives to their own businesses.