Speaker Guidelines


Most presentations will be part of a conference session covering the same topic. Times for presentations can range from 10-45 minutes, but the vast majority are 20-30 minutes followed by five to 10 minutes of Q&A.

If your presentation is supposed to be 20 minutes long, getting through 45 slides is almost impossible. Also remember that slides with lots of builds take more time than a slide with no builds. A good rule of thumb for most people is one slide for every three minutes of presentation. The best thing to do is time yourself in advance!

  • Make sure your slides are readable. In general, nothing below 18pt type is going to be readable by anyone not in the first few rows. A font size of 24pt and up is usually safe.

Some great advice for speakers and moderators

There are two Harvard Business Review posts that provide some of the best advice you can find anywhere on giving a great presentation or moderating an engaging panel. These are must-reads for anyone who cares about presentation or moderating skills, and strongly recommended for ITWeb speakers. Even if you are already a speaking pro, each post is likely to give you at least one new idea.


  1. TED curator Chris Anderson on How to Give a Killer Presentation
  2. Scott Kirsner, innovation economy columnist for the Boston Globe, on How to Moderate a Panel like a Pro.

Case studies and practical real-life examples are key. We understand the need for maintaining confidentiality and a competitive edge, but we encourage an in-depth learning experience and look to reveal trends and industry best practices.

Moderating a session is a highly regarded (yet difficult to execute) role. It is the moderator's job to ask questions, generate discussion, instigate a controversial argument, involve the audience, and tell a story through the interaction of all participants. The moderator also summarises the discussion, highlights key points of agreement and contention, identifies resources for further study, and ends the session in time to do Q&A with the audience. Before you ask for this role, be sure you have the intestinal fortitude to guide the discussion, panellists and audience. Ability to multitask in front of an audience is a must.

We generally steer away from hefty slide presentations, and instead encourage peer discussion on current topics. All presentations are typically made available for download post-conference.

Speaker substitutions

Speaker substitutions are generally not allowed. Our speakers are chosen for their knowledge and communication capabilities, not because of who they work for. If for some reason you need to cancel, please let us know ASAP, and provide replacement recommendations in case we do not already have a speaker on the waiting list for that particular topic.

Vendor speakers

Although most of our speakers are businesses presenting case studies, analysts providing market insight, or experienced consultants and authors providing "how-to" guidance, we welcome speakers from the vendor community to contribute non-marketing presentations. Vendor speakers often have the most detailed knowledge about new technologies and use-cases and are valuable contributors.


1. Knowledge of the subject
Speakers and moderators should have both in-depth and broad knowledge of the presented subject, going beyond their personal experience or the experience of their organisation or firm. This will help provide examples for participants that illustrate various points of view or methods of doing things, and allow more complete responses to questions. It is also valuable to incorporate a global perspective whenever possible on the topic of discussion.

2. Presentation skills
Speakers must understand how to address and teach adults. This includes, at a minimum, good voice projection, co-ordination of oral and visual information, ability to interact positively with the audience, and ability to synthesise information into understandable segments and present them in an orderly and logical manner. One should avoid reading material from the slide presentation.

3. No commercials
No speaker will sell or promote any product, service, or publication during any presentation. Distributing or handing out a company's promotional literature is prohibited outside of the exhibit booth. No more than one slide may be used in the presentation describing the organisation's capabilities and business operations.


1. Consider the bottom line
Registrants attend conferences to gather information that can help them do their own jobs more effectively. Speakers should attempt to relate information, keeping in mind how it can be used by members of the audience and the specific focus of the event.

2. Use of visuals
To assure presentations increase understanding by utilising both "show" and "tell", speakers are strongly encouraged to use both the spoken word and appropriate visuals. Visuals should be professional in appearance.

3. Audio visual equipment
The standard AV package includes a lectern, microphone, an LCD projector and screen. Additional AV is available on request, ie, Internet connection, and flip chart and markers (please make the necessary arrangements with our ops team prior to the event).

4. Moderator's preparation
It is strongly suggested that panel moderators contact the participants on their specific panel to discuss the content, focus and timeframe for each presenter, ensuring there is no overlap or redundant information and the transition between speakers is seamless.

5. No religion, no politics
Presentations shall be limited to professional topics and shall be free from inappropriate humour, as well as the expression of religious, political, philosophical or other beliefs.

6. Attire
It is strongly encouraged that speakers and moderators dress in business attire during presentations.

7. Permission to record or reproduce
Presentations will be recorded and your slide deck will be sent out to attendees post-event; should you wish to make any other arrangements, please do so with our ops team prior to the event.

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