4 Ideas to Promote Your Research
When you have important research to share, speaking at a conference is one of the best ways to network, create connections, and make your voice heard—but with so many people competing for attention, sometimes it can feel more like a drop in a bucket. In times like this, you need a secret weapon—something that makes your presentation stand out and ensures that audience members will remember it enough to take action.
Fortunately, creating printed conference folders with a logo or other professional branding is a great way to lend your presentation extra legitimacy and gravitas. Distributing them to your audience not only gives them a simple way to follow along with your points and data, but also provides them with a takeaway that serves as a reminder of your research long after the presentation is over.
Creating an effective folder for your presentation can be tricky, especially if you’re unaccustomed to working with print media. We’ve assembled the following tips and techniques to give you a leg up.
Add illustrative charts, diagrams, and images
As compelling as words can be, the truth of the matter is that we tend to pay more attention to information presented in a visual way. Wherever appropriate, the documents inside your promotional folder should include photos, illustrations, or other graphics that help make your research easy to process (even for someone who’s unfamiliar with the subject matter). Turn any complicated number arrays into visually interesting diagrams, whether it’s a pie chart, a line graph, or an elaborate infographic.
You may also wish to include some interesting images on the cover of the folder itself. It could be a photo or illustration related to the subject matter, or it could simply be an abstract design that conveys the general theme or tone of your work. This gives the design a unique visual look and makes recipients more interested in the contents inside.
Keep it simple
When presenting research at a conference, there’s often a temptation to include as many details as possible so that the recipient has all the information they could possibly need. That’s an understandable instinct, but you also have to make sure you don’t overwhelm your audience with too much at once. Not only will this make your research harder to understand, it will also make your presentation seem less professional.
Just like with nearly any design, simplicity is key. Avoid huge, intimidating walls of text whenever possible. If you use images, make sure they’re visually compatible with one another and that you’re not overloading the recipient with visual information. Above all, try to avoid using more than three different colors or fonts; this will just end up making your design look sloppy and haphazard.
Include a pen and space for note-taking
If your presentation is effective, chances are that your audience members will want to take notes. Make that as easy as possible for them by providing everything they need—a pen and some blank space inside your folder where they can jot down any important details.
If your presentation is associated with a specific organization or brand, you may even want to customize the pen with that brand’s logo; this will remind the recipient of your research when they use the branded pen for other purposes later.
Use a compelling call to action
You wouldn’t be giving a presentation if you didn’t expect it to have some sort of effect on your audience. You’ve provided them with the details of your research; what do you want them to do next? Whether you encourage recipients to join a mailing list, visit a website, or simply incorporate your research into their daily life, make sure you include this call to action somewhere in your folder design.
For situations where you want your audience members to get in touch with you, this can be as simple as putting your contact information on the back of the folder. In other cases, you may need to provide a more specific direction. As with any effective call to action, use strong command verbs and be as clear and concise as possible.
If you’re still having trouble developing printed folders suitable for presenting your research, we recommend using Company Folders, Inc., not only for their extensive selection and customization options, but because of their expertise and knowledge.
So much of persuasion comes down not to what you say, but how you say it—and that includes the supplementary materials you provide to your audience. You might not invest exactly as much work into your folder design as you put into your research, but it’s definitely a consideration you shouldn’t overlook.
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Networking is one of the most important parts of a conference, but lots of people find it hard to engage with other people. At conferences it's even more difficult: you're talking with so many people, many of whom are successful businesspeople or established academics. But a good way to contend with this is to be well-read. There are some specific books you can pick up which can help you specifically with speaking publicly and networking. Read on for our list of aforementioned books.