Esperanto-USA National Congress 2017

Volunteer as a Speaker

To maximize the interest in your talk and to lower your stress if you don’t often do presentations, we have setup the following process for our volunteer speakers:

  1. Send us your ideas for a talk and we’ll consider where your session fits into the program and get back to you.
  2. Check out our tips and then develop your idea for a talk into a presentation and handout.  We’ll review it and help you with the content, presentation, and handout as needed.
  3. Get comfortable with your presentation – maybe try it out at your local Esperanto group or just get familiar with all your material.
  4. Relax and enjoy the conference – you are helping us to make it great!  We’ll have someone in the room with you to introduce you and to make sure the everything goes smoothly.  We’ll also have a separate room at the conference where you can rehearse if you like.

Tips for Speakers

  1. Content is Key: You’ve got something interesting to share and that’s the main thing on which to focus. Skip the introduction and background and get straight to the interesting things you have to say and tell your story. You can always use the approach of particular, general, particular to introduce and develop your general themes. Lay out the problem: who cares about it and what is the solution? Don’t be afraid to leave questions for the audience to ask or put out questions that you don’t have an answer to. Feel free to repeat and reinforce key points since that is just good storytelling. Interactive presentations where the audience participates are more interesting than a presenter doing all the talking, so figure out ways to involve the audience through questions and activities.
  2. The Slides and Handout seamlessly support your Content: Any details you have should be put in a nice concise handout. The audience will know they don’t have to take notes on a lot of specifics and can instead focus on listening to and interacting with you. This also frees you up from trying to show a bunch of details on low-resolution slides or boring the audience with reading out details. The presentation can instead use a few carefully chosen supporting pictures, text, audio, and/or video. Use the slides as mileposts to get through your content within the allotted time and as a reminder that keeps you focussed on the audience and what they are looking at rather than a set of speaking notes. You can print out copies of your handout at the conference.
  3. Don’t Worry About the Presentation – you’ve got great content: Get familiar enough with your content so that you easily talk through it and hit your key points, but you shouldn’t memorize a speech.  Your audience wants you to succeed and they won’t know if you make a “mistake” unless you call attention to it.  Don’t apologize for a complex concept or content or for interjecting something you forgot to cover – just say what you need to say.  Speak to them like a trusted colleague.  Humor and enthusiasm are great if they resonate for you with the topic.