Image of a man presenting to a boardroom of people with laptops and gift bags

The four stages of creating a successful conference presentation

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In this Guest Blog appearance for AV24-7, a Sydney & Melbourne based Audio Visual Production Company with over 10 years experience in the events industry, Jacqui O’Brien (Founder of Persuaders) provides insight into preparing a successful conference presentation and how to avoid a few common presentation mistakes.


Presenting at a conference can be an exciting yet daunting process. For some it comes more naturally, for others it can be their worst nightmare. There are 4 stages to work through to ensure a successful conference presentation – The purpose, the content, the design and the rehearsals. 



Great, you’re presenting! You’ll be inclined to start opening up previously used presentations, combine them together, add a few new slides, tweak them to tell a story and then you’ll be ready.

But wait up – what story have you just told? What is your intended journey you wish to take your audience on?

So before you kick off, now is the time to give your presentation a purpose and ensure your content does not get side tracked. Start by preparing a purpose document which will help you clearly define the reason why you are presenting, what subjects you will be addressing, what your key points are and what your take home message will be.



Start afresh with a blank canvas to map out your presentation and get your structure right. DON’T REHASH OLD PRESENTATIONS! You probably have some cool slides that you’ve used before and you want to use them again, but they don’t really work – but you’ll put them in anyway.

Hold up – If ‘the content’ doesn’t serve ‘the purpose’ then don’t include them. PUTTING ALL THE CONTENT ONTO ONE SLIDE IS A BIG NO!

Did you know that people will read all of the text on a slide before they start paying attention to what the presenter is saying? It’s easy to read verbatim but it’s also the key to a boring presentation.

SO HOW MANY BULLET POINTS IS TOO MANY? Most people can hold 5-7 items in short term memory, that being said, it’s best if you stick to 3-5 per slide. Also remember, that bullet points should only be a summary of what you are saying, so put your sentences in the speaker notes.

OH, I NEVER USE SPEAKER NOTES… Speaker notes are the most underused part of PowerPoint which is so surprising! Why try to memorise the presentation when you can have it right in front of you? To keep reading, head across to AV 24/7 website here!


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