Michael has a great short list of tips for giving presentations at library conferences. I agree wholeheartedly with everything he says [especially being prepared to do the material cold, and sitting through other speakers]. I even have a few more points based on my experiences…
- Being well-prepared includes being mindful of time limits. Even if you have a normal stump presentation, try to tailor it for the time you have available. It’s good practice for you and polite to your audience who often has many presentations to attend.
- I always tell people to raise their hands if I use words they don’t understand. This reminder gives me a chance to informally talk to an audience beforehand and lets me know if I’m misjudging their level of knowledge.
- Offer multiple ways for people to talk to you after your presentation. Not everyone feels comfortable asking questions in front of a large group, but if you stick around afterwards, or make your email/IM/web address clear, they can follow-up with you. I also put all my talks online so people can refer to them, or click through some of the links I had later on.
- I always try to thank the people who invited me or otherwise facilitated my being there. Conferences are often stressful for everyone involved and trying to be affable and low-maintenance as a speaker, as well as appreciative as an attendee afterwards can help ensure that you are invited back.