Presentations are critical for educating and motivating people. But informative presentations and engaging speakers are not always easy to find. Here are nine tips on how to identify great speakers:
Name Recognition. Does the speaker you’re considering have an established reputation within the industry? Is he or she an active writer or communicate via social media?
Confidence. Does the speaker have the confidence that is driven by qualities such as accuracy, competency, creditability, knowledgeability, and likability? Audiences are quick to determine if a speaker is “the real deal” or just “winging it.”
Content. Great presentations require great presentation skills and great content. The content must be factual, accurate, up to date, well-organized, and presented clearly.
Charismatic. Even if a speaker is extremely knowledgeable about a subject, he or she may not necessarily have the stage presence to really captivate the crowd. When hiring a speaker, always research the person’s past speaking engagements. Is the person enthusiastic? Is he humorous? Able to hold audience interest while providing informative content?
Credibility. Has the speaker worked in the industry, in the trenches and does he or she have a deep understanding of the issues?
Authority. What makes the speaker an authority on the topic? Frontline experience? Market research? Interviews with key industry figures? Extensive Internet searches?
Authenticity. An inauthentic speaker will be unlikely to adequately inform, motivate, inspire, or have an impact on your audience. A speaker needs to “walk the talk.” If the speaker is not genuine, the audience will pick it up.
Story Telling. One of the best ways for a speaker to engage the audience is through story telling. It is not just having good experience, but being able to tell a story in a compelling way to help connect with the audience.
Dependability. All the great presentation skills in the world are of no use if you cannot depend on the speaker to deliver what is promised. Is the speaker willing to listen to the overall strategy of the meeting, the aim you have for the presentation, and customize the content?
Howie Fenton’s presentation skills have been honed over many years of engagements at the industry’s leading conferences and programs at many of its major manufacturers. They keep asking Howie to return because he delivers: Cutting-edge content, engaging stage presence, customized programs.
His popularity is attested to by his record: Howie has spoken at every Graph Expo and Print show since 1994. He has made presentations for major industry manufacturers such as Canon, HP, Konica-Minolta, Ricoh, Pitney Bowes, and Xerox. And he has presented internationally in France, Sweden, The Netherlands, Brazil, Italy, The Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago.
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“Howie has amassed a wealth of knowledge and insight regarding printing technology as well as the printing industry as a whole. In this changing marketplace, he stays on top of all of the latest trends and technologies. One of the areas he shines brightest is his ability to communicate his knowledge in a large group setting or just one-on-one in a way that makes complex issues easy to understand. In either setting, the listener is sure to walk away with at least a dozen ideas that can be readily implemented and will have a positive effect on your bottom line."
– Pete Larson, Chief Sales Officer, Bethany Press International
“Howie’s objective, easy going yet professional approach helped him learn and understand the subtle problems in communication and rework and bottlenecks that resulted from that problem. He was tireless in uncovering and analyzing our internal manufacturing costs and production capacity and projecting our outsourcing expenditures. I’ve been impressed by Howie’s willingness to go the extra mile. The PDF training he did was originally scheduled for one – two day session. After staff went through the first day of training, people started talking about the value of the training and soon we asked Howie to stay 2 more days and train more staff.”
– Jim Beardsly, VP Catalog Production, Cabela’s
To schedule an appointment with Mr. Fenton, or find out more about the services he offers, please call 720-872-6339 or email him at:
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Howie Fenton Consulting is always looking for qualified professionals to partner with. If you would like to find out more, please call 720-872-6339 or email Mr. Fenton at