How to Nail Conference Speaking Opportunities

By Sara Cheeney on February 27th, 2024

Speaking at industry events can have a hugely positive influence on your professional reputation. Not only does it demonstrate your leadership and expertise amongst peers, it can also highlight to potential patients that you’re someone they can trust.

But with so many aesthetic practitioners looking to enhance their profile and actively seeking limited
speaking slots, it’s essential that you nail any opportunity you get first time round.

Following many years of speaking at national and international conferences, I’ve learnt some useful tips
along the way. Here I share my top dos and don’ts.


  • Ask to speak in advance – conference producers will usually start planning for next year as soon as
    they’ve completed this year’s event. They need time to put together a varied agenda and market it
    well, so get in there early!
  • Suggest topics – highlight the areas you have a particular expertise in and propose a unique take on
    the approach. Don’t go with something generic like ‘treating lips’ – tailor it so it’s more specialised,
    for example, ‘treating male lips’ or ‘treating Afro-Caribbean lips’.
  • Think about the visuals – you may be a great speaker, but looking at a poorly put together
    PowerPoint can be really off-putting for some audience members. Take time to use ‘on-brand’ and
    consistent colour schemes and fonts, don’t squeeze too much info onto one slide, and use an even
    number of pictures and text so it’s easy to take in your information.
  • Interact with the audience – start by asking about their qualifications and experience so you can gauge who you’re talking to and how to tailor your advice. A simple ‘raise your hands if…’ is a quick and easy way to achieve this. If you’re feeling extra confident, seek their take on points you make throughout the presentation.


  • Get your presentation in late – the AV team need time in advance to check it works properly and to
    load it into their systems for smooth running on the day. You may lose speaking time if you don’t
    send it in advance.
  • Lecture the audience – facts are of course important and essential to your talk, but experiences
    make your presentation and yourself more relatable. Share mini case studies and stories to elevate
    your content.
  • Forget to take questions – allow five minutes at the end of your talk (within your allocated time
    slot) to interact with audience members. Remember that sometimes people aren’t confident to ask
    questions straightaway, so it’s worth having a pre-prepped ‘something I often get asked’ question
    that you highlight and ask if this is something your audience has thought about, which can help
    start a discussion.
  • Run over time – doing so will ensure you don’t get asked to speak again! Conference producers will
    have strict exit times with the venue, meaning they’re contractually obliged to finish the day on
    time. If you run over, it may mean they cut you off early, which can be embarrassing and inefficient
    to your audience who will miss out on key information, or it can unfairly impact other speakers’
    time on the agenda. Practise and time your talk in advance to avoid this happening!

Be Passionate and Inspire Your Audience

Hopefully you’ve found these conference speaking tips useful. Presenting at events is an excellent way to
develop your confidence, enhance your expertise and position yourself as a leader in medical aesthetics.

Ultimately, you should always be passionate about your subject matter and aim to inspire your audience
with new insight and ideas.

I wish you all the best on your speaking journey – do get in touch if you want 121 guidance to prepare for
an upcoming talk!

Sara Cheeney

Clinic Success