It’s conference season, and you’ve been booked to speak at a conference. Or you’ve paid to speak at a conference – it makes no difference, you still have to do it. And you want to be interesting (at a minimum), fascinating, magnetic, rivetingly engaging and (ideally) life-changing?! So, what are you going to say? And how are you going to say it?

Future of Utilities Summit, Amsterdam 2023

I teach presentation skills, public speaking skills, personal impact skills, voice skills etc, so I can help you with this. Get in touch to book a session. But in the meantime, what can I say to help you?

You might think it’s quite easy for me, as the trainer, to criticise/critique other people’s speaking performances, and tell them what they’re doing wrong (or what can be improved, as we prefer to phrase it). Maybe my Presentation Skills Trainer role just involves: criticising other people, and never actually ‘walking the walk’ myself? Well, I have actually been booked to speak at an event, in a few weeks time. I need to be entertaining and informative – but hopefully also tell the audience something that they can use in their own lives, something that will be useful to them.

Rather than just: I did this, and I did that, me-me-me etc.

So how will I formulate my presentation?

We trainers always say: think about your audience. What are they interested in? What would they like to hear about? And within that, what expertise of MINE can I pass on to them, that will be relevant and interesting? If I am speaking to a group of engineers, and I am not an engineer, and don’t know much about engineering, how can I at least tailor / skew my content to be relevant to them?

In my training courses, we work on your content together, if you want help with that, and we work on your delivery too. We film you, and play it back, giving tips and techniques, in High Definition close-up! Some people slightly hate this at first, but we iterate, repeat, tweak and improve your performance, raise your confidence and boost your enjoyment-level over the session (either 1-2-1 or in small groups). We try different ‘delivery methods’ – ie some people are better being interviewed on stage. Some people are better in a panel with other experts to bounce off, to prompt their thoughts and to help them speak more naturally. Some people feel they can’t speak without notes and want to read out their speech word for word. OK, we can work with that – I have a technique for that! 🙂

If you’ve got a conference speech coming up, or a panel disussion, Breakfast Briefing, Fireside Chat or any other version of these industry sessions , get in touch to see how I and my team can help. We can bespoke whatever you want.

And as for my own speech, I am working on it, letting things percolate in my head. I have a few weeks to go, and I work better with a deadline. I’ll keep you posted.

Sarah Lockett

Sarah Lockett is a former BBC News / Sky News anchor who currently presents a variety of content for corporate clients and delivers media training.
She has presented on BBC News and Sky News, plus reported for Channel Four News, 5 News, Reuters and others.
She now hosts webinars and conferences, chairs corporate/academic panel discussions, hosts award ceremonies and events. She writes, presents and produces training videos, as well as voiceovers (both factual and drama/comedy). She has written two books and is also working as an actor.

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