I've done my modest share of presenting and attending conference events. This year's WebVisions Portland, which several of my colleagues attended, and where a colleague also spoke, inspired me to write about conference presenting.
I felt, as did many attendees, the pressure of holding back the ocean for two or three days while away from the office. But like others I met, I was seeking insight about our industry. I heard many inspiring things, but I also heard quite a few confusing messages.
My attempt at Zen is to provide feedback to presenters everywhere, so here are some lists about what is excellent and what is less than excellent (based on examples from my experience at WebVisions).
Explore your passion
You've made a name for yourself by doing something that is relevant to most conference attendees. A presentation with a brief history and meaningful highlights from your experience, especially when delivered from your own personal passion, is pretty excellent.
Even if attendees don't learn anything new, or even if they consider your subject matter somewhat bizarre, they end up inspired.
Specific props to keynote speakers Nathan Shedroff and Chris Noessel, who discussed "Sex and SciFi" and managed to do it in a practical yet engaging way by relating each fictional example to a real-life counterpart