[callout1] Peer Awards Speaker Guidelines[/callout1]
Council Chamber Photo
The Chamber
Corporate Responsibility Stream
Seating is fixed, as shown
Has a slightly raised dais area at the front
Ashcombe Suite Photo
The Suite
People & Performance and Customer Engagement Stream
Seating will be cabaret style
Has no raised area at the front[/one_half_last]

Before the conference

Congratulations on being shortlisted as a finalist for the 2015 Peer Awards for Excellence.

Please announce the fact across your networks, on your website, on Twitter and so on.
We have prepared a special button for you to use. Please link to this website at https://thepeerawards.com/.

You are welcome to include the button in your email signature, along with the text “2015 Peer Awards Finalist“.

Also, it would be great if you would copy us in on any announcement that you make.

Preparing for the conference

Speaking at the 2015 Peer Awards Conference places you at the heart of a supportive community of professionals, keen to share ideas and to gain practical insights. These guidelines will help you prepare your conference presentation.

Timing your session

Your conference presentation
You have ten minutes for your talk. Please rehearse your talk before you present at conference, so you can deliver a professional presentation comfortably within the time allowed. We have found that in ten minutes one can inspire an audience with a well planned talk that conveys the essence of an accomplishment and key insights, whilst maintaining energy and interest.

Answering questions
You have five minutes to respond to questions from the audience. It is still possible to continue to respond to questions during the following five minutes, during which the participants will be recording their ratings of your entry. However we find that this is often not necessary.
This question and answer session is simply for that, and is not for any additional presentation. Please do not use this time for, for example, showing slides or playing video that you left off your presentation due to lack of time.

Keeping to time
At the conference our Team helps you with the timing by showing you a yellow card (like a football referee) when you have about a minute to go, and a red card when you have about fifteen seconds left. We do this both for your ten minute talk and for your five minute question and answer session.
* We find that the judges appreciate it when speakers keep their talk to the allocated time. As you might imagine, your fellow finalists tend to not take kindly to any overruns, not only because they can view this as ‘unfair’, but also because many will have put some effort into keeping to time for their own talks.
* Your audience (your judges) appreciate a well-rehearsed and well-timed presentation, and we believe that this shows respect for the audience and for the process.
* All your speakers need to keep within your overall ten minute limit. This includes any beneficiaries or your Directors that you may have with you on the day.
* Our team reserves the right to simply bring your talk and your answers to a close at these end-times. Sometimes we find that this can occur when a speaker is mid-sentence, or before an additional speaker has had a chance to say their piece at all, or when your video is still playing. To avoid embarrassment, it is appreciated if you simply bring your talk to a close within the allocated time.

Presentation Structure
We recommend you address in your talk each of the three key judging criteria.

Certainly people will want to know something about your company and your speakers. However, as this has little or no impact on how your entry is rated and judged, we advise that you spend very little time on this. You could for instance cover this information with a few background slides, and in this way it can take up no time at all.

Your judges are conference attendees
In addition to impressing the audience with the impact your initiative has had in its target community, and the ways in which you believe you have been innovative, it is also important to give the audience some suggestions that they would find useful, and that could help them apply your ideas to their circumstances.

In addition, the conference audience really does value also hearing about what did not work, about how you rose to the challenge to overcome obstacles, and your insight about how you would do things differently now with the benefit of hindsight.
We believe that the the more authentic you can be about this, really sharing what did not work and why, the better. For example, talking about how you had to redesign some aspects (or everything) from scratch can be very interesting; saying how you had not been prepared for your project to be such an overwhelming success – less so.

Q&A Structure
At the conference you are encouraged to attend as a team, and to invite colleagues to answer questions as appropriate. This session can provide a good opportunity to introduce your commercial partners to the audience, by inviting them to respond to a question. Aim to spend not more than a minute on any answer, to allow everyone to ask their question. Have an anecdote or two prepared to illustrate some aspect of your talk, to share with the audience if the questions are all answered.

You can bring PowerPoint or Prezi and/or (digital) video, and props such as posters or other objects etc. to assist with your talk.
Things that have worked very well in the past…
> PowerPointless: Just a talk, with no visuals. This can allow people to focus on the speaker and the message.
> Interactive: Some questions for, or activity for the audience.
> Pecha Kucha: Energised PowerPoint; 20 slides of 20 seconds each, running automatically alongside your talk
> Visuals like you see accompanying TED talks (notice how little text is used on the slides)
* If you like the Pecha Kucha concept you can always adapt it to suit your needs, for instance with 20 slides of 30 seconds each, or fewer/more slides of varying duration. The key point really is that the slides are visual and that they run in the background, alongside your talk.

You can bring copies of a single-sheet A4 handout for distribution to the audience ahead of your talk. This can be double-sided. Do keep in mind though that this can act as a distraction when people choose to read the handout rather than listen to your talk.

If you have some object that relates to the heart of your talk and you would like the audience to handle or interact with during your talk, that is absolutely fine. The one proviso is that these should all be collected back from the audience at the end of your talk.

Gifts and give-aways
If you would like to give items to the audience that they might value or appreciate, please do not do so before the end of your 1/2-day session. For example, this could be samples of your company’s products that they might like, or it may be that you give chocolates to your target audience and want to illustrate this in your talk. In order to avoid any accusation of impropriety being levelled against your entry, we require that you email to us details of what you would like to give away, and we will advise how and when this can be done.

We may film your talk and an interview with you, for our shortlisting panel and publicity.

Good Practice

* Out of compassion for our conference audience we reserve the right to decline any slide with more than ten words.
We require all visuals to be submitted to us in advance. Please be aware that we might not accept slides that are very wordy. If you use text on your slides, please make sure that the font is large enough for people to comfortably read it at the back of the room, and that it does not compete with your talk for your audience’s attention.
Where we find that a submitted pack of slides has too much text on one slide, we may request that you cut out some of the words, or spread your message across a number of slides.
Our suggestion is that you limit any one slide to have no more than ten new words, where a phrase can be counted as a word.
If it would be your normal practice to have more word slides, and you feel you simply cannot do without the long text, we suggest you transfer it all to an A4 handout that you copy and distribute on the day.

You may find these ideas helpful…

Cliff Atkinson: The power of telling a story (click to read)
Try and incorporate real stories about real people to bring the case study to life.

Don McMillan: Life After Death by PowerPoint (click to view)
Everything we would ask you not to do with your PowerPoint, Prezi or video, told in a humorous way.

Practice Practice Practice
Have some dry runs of your talk. Ideally standing up and in front of someone else. You may find this online stopwatch helpful for timing. See a 3 min. BBC clip on presentation skills from the 2010 General Election here.

Consider your audience
The conference audience is also your judging panel. Unlike a traditional judging panel which is considering only how great your entry is, our conference audience is also wanting to learn something from your experience that can be of value to them. It is this aspect that the ‘inspiration’ judging criteria in particular seek to address. So, at the same time as you wish to convey how important, clever and successful your initiative has been, you also want to inspire your listeners and give them some ideas to take away for themselves.

Conference presentations must not be promotional in any way, and not have an intention of engaging new clients for a product or service, paid for or otherwise. You must own the copyright or have the necessary rights for any content that you include in your conference presentation. The content and graphics in your talk and visuals should be appropriate for a business audience. For instance, do not feature sexually explicit content, abuse, violence, hatred, racism, sexism and so on. Any such content in visuals will need to be removed ahead of time at the request of the organisers. Any such content in the talk can result in disqualification from the awards.
All visuals to accompany the conference presentation must be submitted to the conference team in good time, and any requested alterations implemented and resubmitted within the time-frame stipulated. You should bring your presentation to the conference on the day.

How the Voting at conference works
Everyone attending conference will be encouraged to rate each entry they hear against each of the judging criteria. For the vote itself, which takes place after the last finalist’s session on each 1/2-day conference session, each attendee will be asked to identify the entry that they feel is most outstanding for the sub-category in question. People will not be able to vote for their own entries, or ones that they are directly associated with.
* We give each finalist the certificates that they were awarded at the awards ceremony. In this way most people emerge with some additional recognition, not just the winners.

How we then identify the Award winners
After the votes are cast we evaluate for each finalist the number of votes received as a proportion of the number they could have received – based on the number of people that could vote for them that attended their presentation. So, for example, if there are 33 people in the room and three belong to the speaker’s team, then 6 votes for that speaker’s entry would represent a 20% vote (6/30). The finalists with the strongest votes win the Peer Awards.
You can read more about this in the “Judging and Winning” PDF.