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3 Key Takeaways from My First Conference Speaking Experience

“The Subconscious Mind: Creating Powerful Connections Between Users and Digital Products”

I recently had the opportunity to speak at my first conference. My presentation, “The Subconscious Mind: Creating Powerful Connections Between Users and Digital Products,” explored how understanding the subconscious mind can inform better product design. I specialize in UX Research and Design specifically for technology, software, and website development. I am also a certified hypnotherapist and success coach. Here’s a brief recap of my talk and three valuable lessons I learned from the experience.

Presentation Summary:

I discussed the differences between the conscious and subconscious mind, explaining how the subconscious influences 95% of our brain activity. By tapping into this powerful force, we can create more intuitive and emotionally resonant digital experiences. I also touched on the ethical implications of designing for the subconscious and the potential impact of AI on human-computer interaction.

Now, onto the lessons I learned:

  1. Always Have a Backup Plan for Technology: Despite my best efforts to arrive early and test the equipment, I encountered unexpected technical difficulties during my presentation. This experience taught me the hard way that no matter how well you prepare, things can still go wrong. In the future, I’ll not only arrive early to test everything but also have backup plans in place — like having my presentation on a USB drive as well as in the cloud, and maybe even batteries and a wireless mouse based on my experience where we were prevented from starting because there was no way to navigate to opening my presentation (keyboard tabbing failed at opening the document). Being able to pivot quickly when tech fails is an essential skill for any speaker, as well as remaining calm and engaging attendees to keep the vibe high despite challenges.

  1. Engage Your Audience with Interactive Elements: Including a brief, guided visualization exercise in my presentation proved to be a powerful way to demonstrate the influence of the subconscious mind. This interactive moment not only illustrated my point effectively but also helped maintain audience engagement. I found that breaking up the talk with participatory elements can significantly enhance the overall experience for both the speaker and the audience.

  1. Embrace the Q&A Session as an Opportunity: I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and depth of questions during the Q&A session. Far from being challenging, the questions were engaging and demonstrated how much my talk had resonated with the audience. This experience taught me to view the Q&A not as a hurdle to overcome but as a valuable opportunity to dive deeper into the topic and connect with the audience on a more personal level. The thoughtful questions sparked further discussions and allowed me to share additional insights, making the session a highlight of the entire presentation.

Speaking at this conference was an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only did it allow me to share insights from my years of experience in UX, design and development, but it also provided valuable lessons that will inform my approach to future speaking engagements. By being prepared for technical hiccups, focusing on audience engagement, and embracing the Q&A session, I believe (almost) anyone can deliver an impactful and memorable conference presentation. The enthusiasm and curiosity of the audience reminded me why I love what I do and reinforced the importance of sharing knowledge within our professional community.

Explore more of Amy’s perspectives in her Tech Tidbits feature here! Read her original piece on Medium here.