This article was originally published in 2015 and has been completely updated in 2020.
Your presentation is more effective when it reaches a wider audience than those attending your presentation. It can reach more of your stakeholders, the decision-makers you wish to influence. You can promote the talk in various ways to maximize the benefits from the opportunity. Bear in mind that you need to check that you aren’t giving away trade secrets by communicating widely.
The presentation also needs to directly support your organization’s mission and goals, so consider how the presentation will do this. For instance, a goal may be to increase the number of people who are aware of a particular service and product and who go on to buy it. Or a goal may be to increase the organization’s share price.
The presentation is a way to increase awareness of the service, product or the organization itself, as long as that information is not perceived by the audience as being blatantly self-promotional. If the audience members do perceive this, you are likely to turn them against you.
If you are presenting at a conference, you will need to find out what the organizers are doing to promote the various segments delivered at the event. It isn’t wise to passively rely on the organizers to do all the promotional work; it is probably only one of many they will be seeking to promote. Extra value should be obtained through your own communication activity.
Firstly, ensure the content of your presentation has potential to influence opinion or behavior and is fresh and preferably innovative so it can be promoted in the media. Once you are satisfied about this, don’t hesitate to prod the event organizers into promoting it. In fact, if you believe your content has substantial merit, you should pressure the organizers to maximize the publicity for the event and your presentation. If they can’t or won’t, you should step in helpfully and say you will save them the trouble and do it for them. In this way you can ensure the themes from your presentation will get the publicity they deserve.
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