How I Prepare For A Design Conference

21 Jun 2024

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As your career develops, you will be given more opportunities. You might be asked to present your ideas, run workshops, and maybe even speak in front of hundreds of people... so how can you prepare for that?

It may seem like a super scary prospect, and in truth, it is—haha—but comfort zones are, and real growth happens outside of them.

Everyone in this community is driven; everyone here wants to build a business and succeed, so the chances are that you have been or will soon be asked to share your knowledge with others... so, how do you prepare for that?

I have done squillions of online chats, workshops, and presentations, but when you are presenting live to real humans, the butt twitches a little more. This is natural and something that EVERYONE feels, but like everything in your life, it gets easier the more you do it.

As I have flown out to the States in the past to run workshops and give keynote speeches at Crop Cons, I thought I would share how I have prepared myself for this coolness.

  1. I make sure everything is completed one month before. In past years at Crop Cons, I ran a workshop on Thursday and then did a keynote on Friday. I made sure that both of my presentations were completed at least four weeks before I flew out. There is nothing worse than a mad rush before you present, as it is not good for your energy (or heart).

  2. I run through my presentations daily for two weeks. Starting about two weeks before the event, the first thing I do when I get in the office is run through the presentation as if I am doing an online conference. I will turn on QuickTime and record myself giving the presentation. The main reasons I do this are timing and muscle memory.

I have 45 minutes for my keynote and 2 hours for my workshop (but one hour of that is practical, so it needs to be presented in an hour). By running through both daily, I ensure my timings are on point.

  1. I pack early. Usually, a week before I set off, I make sure I have all my tech together—chargers, storage, backed-up presentations, cables, headphones, adapters... You name it, and it is ready weeks before, so I am not leaving anything behind.

  2. Travel days and time. My first conference outside the UK was at Crop Cons, so I allowed time for decompression and de-stressing. I flew into Texas a couple of days before the conference and stayed a couple of days after the conference finished. This time with some friends allowed me to absorb the good energy and reflect before heading back to the office.

  3. I prep all my clients. I have good time management skills, and I ensured that I was not taking on any clients in April to focus on the conference. I finalised a couple of bits for my clients that week, but then my next client work did not start until May, when I was back. The OOO will go on, and I can enjoy the ride.

There are obviously a billion other things you need to do, especially when a lot of travel is involved. Still, ultimately, the most important thing is planning early and preparing yourself well in advance. You want to enjoy these events and will not do that if you feel underprepared.

PPPPP - Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

Have a great day.


P.S. If you're looking for somewhere to start and need a bit of a reset, grab my FREE course here: LET'S FOOKIN FOCUS - A FREE MBJ COURSE

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