Insights on the Cybersecurity Community

Tips & Tricks: Creating an Engaging Presentation

Mar 5, 2021 5:49:53 PM / by Jessica Burke

In the current climate of virtual overload how do you get your voice to be heard above the others? When discussing a topic as important as cybersecurity, how do ensure that the viewer is listening to what you have to say?

As the leading provider for virtual cybersecurity summits, Data Connectors has surveyed both their attendees and Vendor Partners to compile a list of presentation best practices. This quick summary of Dos and Don’ts for how to put forth the most informative and engaging presentation can be easily implemented to ensure the best audience participation.

Check out Part One of this series.



Once you have your video situated you need to confirm exactly what your presentation will be about and how to lay it out to capture the audience’s full attention. You wouldn’t be presenting if you didn’t already know your audience and have a basic topic you were asked to cover, but having an overarching idea is not enough. Our polling states that audience members want to watch educational, informative and interactive sessions. So when developing your materials you want to think about “What are the key educational takeaways and high value information that the audience will gain from this presentation?” General best practice is that there should always be around 3-5 top level details that someone watching your session should leave with. 

Keep it short and simple. As an industry SME you want to share your knowledge to educate the community but you need to understand that often this cannot be done in one sitting. No one presentation is going to solve all our cybersecurity issues. Focus on one industry problem and don’t get bogged down in the details. A concise and concentrated presentation on one subject and how to address it, will hands down be better received than a broad discussion on a multitude of issues in a long presentation. 

Average attention span, for a session with the same person speaking, is about 18 minutes. After this time we have seen the audience drop off and disengage. There are obviously a number of factors that could be the reason for this but in general you want to ensure that you get your message across within 20 minutes. Doesn’t seem like a lot of time does it? This is where the virtual event platform really shines. Staging an informative presentation where you address an important industry concern, but only touch on the high level aspects, will show the audience your expertise and give them a taste, while allowing you to encourage them to speak with you and your team further throughout the event.

Another area where many presenters fall short is in the structure and layout of their presentation information. Spending too much time on one particular point or not introducing or closing your presentation properly can have dire consequences when it comes to obtaining and sustaining the audience’s attention. Our reporting shows that the best received structure is: 

  1. A short intro of who you are and what you will cover
  2. Description of an industry problem and how it relates/affect the audience
  3. Potential solutions to solve the concern (not-brand or product specific - see the section below for more details)
  4. A closing that invites the audience to deepen the discussion with you and your team

We were all taught how to properly structure an essay in school to best get our point across to the reader. Speaking at an event is no different, in fact, it may be more important as the audience is seeing you, not just your message.  Proper planning of your presentation information and the flow is one of the most important components of your speaking engagement. This will dictate how the audience views not only your messaging but also you personally as an industry expert. 

Tags: Virtual Events

Jessica Burke

Written by Jessica Burke