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I just spent a great few days at the Uberflip Experience, the first-ever marketing conference hosted by Uberflip in Toronto. It was also my first visit to Toronto, and what an introduction. I came away with a wonderful impression of the city, valuable insights from marketing leaders and my peers, and a ton of new friends.
(That’s the SnapApp marketing team wearing all the socks we won for participating in the UFX2016 app!)
The setup of the conference was simple: two days of excellent speaking sessions, punctuated by networking breaks and afterparties. The whole event took place in the same theater, so I didn’t have to worry about checking my schedule and running around to make sure I caught all my favorite talks.
That concentrated environment meant I had the chance to sit in the audience and watch speaker after speaker do their thing.
What did I learn? The best presentations tell stories.
I saw this in talk after talk.
It’s easy when planning a talk to put together slide after slide of stats and best practices.
But nothing hits quite so hard as a story, making your talk – and your point – that much more memorable.
“When you sell something people get for free at trade shows, your story is the start of the thing that sets you apart.”
At your trade show, you might have a speaking opportunity that competes with other activities around the event. It’s your job to attract attendees, dazzle them, and convince them to fill in positive feedback cards so the organizers will bring you back next year.
The easiest path to that outcome? Storytelling. Your storytelling will set you apart in a sea of PowerPoint presentations. Tell a story that surprises, that delights, that create laughter and makes us think.
The beautiful thing about telling a story for your conference presentation is you don’t have to worry about sharing that same old stat everyone shares every year. Your story is uniquely you; no one else has your brother with his wacky side business and flop-eared dog. You can tell a story – share an experience – no one in the audience has had before.
That’s special. Conference presentations don’t have to be boring: go for the story.