Have you been asked to speak at a local meetup presentation? Congrats! It’s a great opportunity to share your expertise and advice with others in your community.
As a leader for three meetup groups, Refresh Detroit, Detroit User Experience, and Metro Detroit WordPress as well as former officer for the Michigan Usability Professionals’ Association, I’ve coordinated over 250 meetups and learned a bit about presentations along the way.
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you plan your presentation.
- Our meetup speakers don’t pay for the event.
I realize you may already know that, but I’ve been remiss in the past and failed to let speakers know they don’t pay.
- Confirm with the event organizer how much time you have for your talk.
Presentations at our meetups are 30-45 minutes long, with ~15 minutes for questions after the talk. Plan the number of slides to match the available time (having 80 slides for a 30-minute talk is problematic).
- Arrive early before the event starts.
We ask our speakers to arrive 45 minutes early so we can review the meetup schedule, get familiar with the room and presentation equipment, and get them set up (if they have a slideshow presentation). Arriving early also provides the speaker the opportunity to meet and chat with attendees.
- Don’t include any sensitive company information in your presentation.
Attendees will be tweeting your key messages and taking photos during your talk.
If you’re showing a slideshow during your presentation:
- Bring your own laptop for the presentation and an adaptor if you use a Mac.
It’s standard for speakers to bring their own laptops for our meetups, but you want to confirm with your event organizer. If you don’t have a laptop/tablet to bring, let the event organizer know and they’ll make arrangements to have one available.
- Bring a copy of your presentation on USB drive.
In case there is no Internet connection, or issues with your laptop, you can still show your slides.
- Use a large, easy-to-read
, classicfont (no Comic Sans).
A easy-to-read font won’t clash with your backgrounds. Choose a font size of
25-30no less than 30pt so people sitting past the first row can read the text.
- Ensure there’s sufficient color contrast for your slides.
Gray text on a white background is difficult to read.
- Consider adding your name/Twitter username to the top right of your slides.
Attendees may be tweeting during your event; make it easy for them to share your name or Twitter username.
- Add a slide at the end of your presentation with your name, contact info, and your website.
Having the contact info at the end of your slides reminds people to follow up with you. Make it easy for them to do it!
I hope these tips are valuable to you and I wish you the best with your presentation! For more tips, check out my friend Michelle Schaup’s post Five Tips for Rocking an Educational Presentation.