Speaker Tips for Success


That’s why folks come to this conference! They know how dire the situation is.  Inspire them with new ways of thinking about solutions and examples of what’s working to create change.

Pleasantly surprise your listeners by jumping right into your story or into a compelling, counterintuitive insight that flies in the face of current beliefs.

Stick to the Point

Keep your presentation concise and to the point; focus on your unique perspective or aspect. Do not deviate from the content posted in the session description as this will only result in a disappointed audience and negative feedback and/or impression of you as a speaker.

Can listeners repeat your big idea word for word? If they can, they’ll become your advocates. If they can’t, your big idea will be in one ear, out the other.

Do Not Sell!

This is the biggest tip for success we can possibly give you. Do not sell yourself, your company/organization, your product or your service from the stage. You will just be remembered as ‘that guy’ and you’ll achieve the opposite of what you’re trying to.

Few and High Impact Visuals

Your slides are not your presentation – they are simply a support TO your presentation. Keep them simple, highly visual and inspirational. Lose any and all text-heavy slides for main stage presentations. Here are some suggestions for creating powerful PPT Presentations:

  • Be creative
  • Use dark colors that contrast
  • Use professional and readable fonts
  • Avoid excessive wording & multiple paragraphs
  • Use high quality graphics
  • Use Infographics & charts

Stay on Time

Going over your allotted time means stealing from the presenter following you and from the audience’s time to network and connect over breaks. You will be interrupted and walked off stage if you exceed your speaking time during a main stage presentation. A timer is available to help you keep track – make sure to follow it!

Know Your Audience

You’re speaking to a high-level audience with extensive knowledge on the subject of sustainability – do not spend time in your presentation convincing the audience that ‘we have a problem’. Talk about what you bring to the table in terms of a solution, your unique experience and/or perspective.

If you’re referencing findings from even just a few years ago, you are undermining your own credibility. Recency = Relevancy. Offer this audience reports that have just been released, and thus, have not yet been extensively discussed. Recent research will gain and hold their attention, after all, isn’t that why you’re speaking?

Rehearse Your Talk

For both timing and impact purposes, make sure to rehearse your talk beforehand and, if you are a main stage plenary speaker, attend a speaker rehearsal on stage the day prior to your presentation. Specific calendar invites with time and palce will be sent to you directly before the show.