How To Give Your Conference Speech. 5 Top Tips For Your Next Speech

It's the day of your big conference at which you are giving a speech. So how ready are you? Fully prepared, of course. But there's still one or two more things that you can do before you consider giving your conference speech.

giving your conference speech

Giving Your Speech

5 Tips For Giving Your Conference Speech


Set Up. You want to set up beforehand. So aim to meet with the conference organiser or the technical hour or two before giving your speech, perhaps. Your conference organiser will finalise arrangements for:

  • Lighting
  • Microphone
  • Audio visual support and autocue
  • Staging, and
  • Refreshments

Aim to check over the lighting, so you know how bright it will be. Remember to check whether you can read your script or notes on the lectern. Can you see the audience from the podium? Note that this is your opportunity to test everything, so do just that. Practise with the microphone provided by the organisers. Because you don't want to begin your conference speech with the words:

Aim To Get Yourself Ready

"testing, testing 1, 2, 3..."

It's so amateurish. Similarly, the question, "can you see me at the back," also suggests you have done no preparation.

So, because you have the time, aim to run through the AV support. Consider how your video will look and sound. Therefore, test the screen and the volume. If there's autocue at the conference, then check it's working. No doubt you dress-rehearsed with it earlier, so you know how it works. That's because autocue practice is essential. As Michael Bay, the Director of Transformers found out to his cost, when he gave a speech.

Then you can consider whether the steps to the podium will be lit. Try to practise the walk up to the lectern or microphone position. Because you don't want to trip.

Also, you can spot whether there's a glass of water on or near the lectern. Because if you intend to speak for more than five minutes you will probably need one.


Meet. Aim to meet your audience for coffee or breakfast before your conference speech. Introduce yourself and ask questions about the people you meet.

You will find that it calms your nerves. And importantly, it reinforces your approach-ability with your audience. Thus it's a top conference speaking tip.

Top Tips For Your Conference Speech


Introduction. You want someone to introduce you to the audience before you start giving your speech. Therefore you should help them to make it happen.

Prepare and type-set a single paragraph that outlines who you are and what you do. It should take 20 seconds or so to read out. First, keep it short. And very simple. Both are essential. This comic speaker had a tough time with his speech. But he managed a perfect introduction to the next speaker.


Timing. If you have a schedule to speak for 15 minutes, then that's your maximum. It's not a target that you can over-run. So deliver your conference speech on time and to time. Aim to keep everyone happy, unlike this Baroness Scotland speech.


Questions. Depending on the conference, questions might follow your speech. So you need to know the rules for your event. Some conferences have questions after each speaker. And others have panel questions at the end of each morning or afternoon session. You should know the right format for your conference and so keep everyone even happier.

Whatever the conference, these tips for giving your speech should help you make an impact on the day. Good luck. You can always get more tips about giving conference speeches with public speaking coaching or a half-day skills refresher. And, because we use more than 40 training centres, you are never that far from your nearest venue, 

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