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How to Be a Speaker for the Best Conference Ever

Thanks for agreeing to be a presenter for The Lemonade Conference!

We’re so excited to have you — and there are some things you need to know!

Please read this over carefully. We’ve tried hard to keep it short and just convey the essentials. Knowing these things will help ensure your presentation runs smoothly and will help maximize attendance for your presentation and possible future endeavors.

I’m Melissa Breau, and I’m helping organize much of this — I run and host FDSA’s webinar program — and am your primary contact here.

Have a question? Let me know!

You can reach me by email at melissa@fenziacademy.com

PS. Want to watch some of the other presentations? We’ll have a coupon code so you can join the conference for free to get the list of access links! 

 

What We’ll Need From You:

  • If you’re “new here” that you book a practice session for the week of Oct 11th (you can do that by clicking here)
  • A VIDEO recording of your presentation (you talking + slides)
  • A PDF of your slides
  • Roughly 2 hours of your time day of for your presentation’s time spot — 30 mins before you start, to prep, and then approx. 30 mins after your presentation for live Q&A.

Once your materials for your presentation are ready, you can submit those here.

PLEASE NOTE: With 54 presenters, it’s incredibly important that you have your materials on time so we can move to the next step in the process. We’re asking that all presenters have all materials in no later than November 1st, 2021. If you do not have your materials in by the 1st, we reserve the right to ask another presenter to take your place. But we asked you because we want YOU! So please be sure to make the deadline!

How It Works

Our presentations will be pre-recorded; this means you will need to pre-record your presentation using your computer and then upload that recording to our dropbox account via the file request link (shared on the “Submit Materials” form).

We need you to upload your pre-recorded presentation and a PDF of your slides no later than November 1.  (This is so that we have time to check ALL presentations, ensure there aren’t any problems getting it to work with our system, and give you time to make edits if absolutely necessary should something not work, create CEU questions for your presentation, do some editing and uploading to make everything work with our system, etc.)

Then, during the conference, you, your room monitor, and the audience will all watch your recording “live” together during your assigned date and time, followed by a period for Q&A.

We will provide technical support (your room monitor) during the webinar itself, so you do not have to deal with anyone who is having technical difficulties. Our software also allows your room monitor to keep track of any questions that come in so you can answer them at the end of the presentation.

Your pre-recording will also be made available to everyone who purchases a ticket to the conference via the library system of their choosing (either through IAABC if they are a member or through FDSA). This allows students who may not be able to make the “live” event access to information presented; unfortunately, they miss out on the chance to ask questions.

Presentations are scheduled for an hour each, plus roughly 30 minutes for Q&A.

We also need you to be available 30 minutes before you are scheduled to begin. We will use that time to do an equipment test. So please plan a 2+ hour block of time total for your presentation (30 mins before your scheduled time, and 30 minutes after the presentation is over).

Often, the 30 minutes of prep time does not take 30 minutes — if everything goes smoothly, after logging in and setting up, you’re welcome to go grab a last minute drink or hand out chews to your dogs.

Preparing Your Presentation

We aim to produce and provide a high quality experience for our attendees. That means using good equipment and asking you, as the presenter, to follow a few best practices.

If you have not previously given a webinar for FDSA and didn’t present for the conference last year, we will schedule a practice session so you can learn the platform and we can check your connection, your sound, and your equipment. Please make sure you have all equipment and are using the same location you will be for the actual webinar when we do our test.

For the practice session you DO NOT need your full presentation, but we ask you to have a link to a youtube video of you presenting 2-3 slides handy just so you can see how they will look in the system, to ensure you know how to pre-record the presentation, and so you can see how it all works; by testing your set up in advance, you will reduce the chances for any problems during the actual presentation.

This also means that we ask you to secure your dogs or give them something to occupy them during your presentation — both when you are recording it, and during the live conference presentation itself.

We’re all dog people — things happen — but we try to prepare and minimize barking and other things that may interfere with the quality of your presentation.

You have important information! We want to make sure people can hear it.

List of Supplies

Please have all of the following for both the practice session and the live presentation.

Microphone

We request all presenters purchase an external microphone to ensure a high audio quality during their presentation. (We typically recommend the Yeti.)

Camera

A built-in camera is fine — most laptops come with one and this is typically what we use.

Headphones

Please locate a pair WITHOUT a microphone. This will minimize technical issues getting your microphone to connect correctly. Headphones eliminate feedback (that annoying echo) and ensure your computer notifications and other noises will not make it into the recording. Any cheap pair of headphones is fine.

Your presentation in video format

We have found the best way to ensure high-quality audio is to use a pre-recorded version of you presenting your webinar. That means you will use a program  to record your computer screen with your slides, along with you presenting your material (that is your voice explaining the material).

The program we are recommending for this purpose is Loom (please use the version that you download to your computer and NOT the browser version).

They offer a 14-day free trial, if you do not want to pay for the software, or it’s $8/mo. If you’re not familiar with how Loom works, here’s a video tutorial on:

A good internet connection

Our platform recommends being plugged into your internet source if at all possible. If that is not an option, wifi often works well, but if you are not sure of your connection, we will want to test it during our practice session.

Most Common Problems (and how to prevent them from happening to you!)

By FAR the most common problem guests run into is that they end up with an echo during any videos they include in their powerpoint or keynote presentation. This is usually caused by your video playing out of your computer speakers and that sound being picked up by your microphone. PLEASE check for this.

Another common issue is that when using a recording tool other than Loom, speakers end up with “stop motion” videos (ie they appear jerky in the recording) — commonly a problem with Zoom — or the video “cuts out” at the end of each slide — commonly an issue when recording directly with PowerPoint.

Most problems can be avoided (or at least caught before doing your full presentation!) by doing a short sample recording for your own use, where you test a slide or two, including one of your video slides if you plan to include videos in your presentation.

The other problem guests run into is with VOLUME. Again, this can be solved by recording a short practice run and listening to it back. We’d MUCH rather have you be too loud than too quiet. If this is something you run into, please ask and we can help you problem solve!  

Other common problems include bad lighting or odd background stuff (check for fans, etc that might cause “strobe-like flashing”), odd humming noises in the recording, etc. Again, much of this will be noticable if you do a short sample and watch it back. 

Sample Presentation

We’ve included a sample recording below, so you can get an idea of what we’re looking for and how it all works!

Promoting the Conference (and YOU!)

We want everyone to benefit from their involvement with the conference — however, we want to make sure the focus is on providing value to the participants rather than on selling individual goods or services. So we ask that you limit yourself to ONE self-promotional slide at the end of your presentation, where you can share your contact information, website, or where folks should go to learn more about you.

IAABC and FDSA are working hard to make this THE conference of the year — one that people will remember for a very long time, something to be excited about when there are few other positive things happening in the world right now.

To help make that happen, we have worked hard to keep the conference affordable, including offering discounts and scholarships. We know the world is unstable right now, and we fully expect that many animal lovers will be uncomfortable spending money on extras like education. Our hope is that this enables us to bring in over 1,000 attendees and expose them to the latest and greatest in training and behavior (that’s YOU!).

We would LOVE to have you help us promote the conference and your involvement in it to help make those goals a reality! Since this is a joint venture between FDSA and IAABC it’s a FANTASTIC opportunity to get your ideas in front of a new, but related audience. 

Our website is still under development but should be launched on Oct 1st if you want to be able to share it! 

Here are some additional ideas you can consider:

  • Have a blog? Write one or more blog posts on the topic in the week or two proceeding the conference on the topic you’ll be speaking about. For example, for her webinar on heeling games, Denise wrote this post.  If you’d like some extra push, share those blog posts with Denise,  Melissa, and Marjie. We’ll get them out via the official channels (the facebook page, etc.).
  • On Instagram? Pull out 30 seconds of your presentation video and share! Grab a good quote or your outline slide, show people what you’ll be getting into as part of your talk. If you don’t have Instagram, no worries! If you want to make a little 30-second clip, we are happy to share it for you via the official social media channels.
  • Have an email list? Since it’s an online event, anyone, anywhere can attend! Consider letting them know that you’ll be part of the conference as it gets closer, and invite them to join you!
  • Post other conversation starters around your topic on social media — for example, for Denise’s heeling games webinar she could ask, “What heeling games worked for you?” It gets people talking and builds excitement, even if you don’t directly mention the conference or presentation at all because then they often see an advertisement for it or one of the commenters on the thread mentions it (and then someone else is recommending you!).
  • Share links on Instagram or Facebook to the conference event page and the website (once it launches)
  • Just generally be excited! 😀 It’s exciting!