What are the fundamental differences between Microsoft User Group audiences and attendees at community conferences such as SharePoint Saturday?

On the surface, it may be perceived that one audience is the same as any other. No changes to make and simply focus on your demo and delivery.

There are a few nuances to keep in mind. Keep reading and I’ll share 3 simple strategies to tailor your delivery to gain maximum value for your User Group speaking engagements.

Communicate Your Grand Intentions for your Session

I am on the record in stating that User Groups are the feeder system to the big leagues of conference speaking within the Microsoft industry. There are growing numbers of executives and engineers hired directly by Microsoft that started off honing their skillset within local User Groups. A wise strategy is to utilize your User Group sessions as practice for the larger events.

Utilize the following script within the first 4 slides of your presentation.

“I am planning to deliver a variation of this session at <conference name here>. Please be generous with any and all feedback to improve this session.”

Encourage engagement

Be mindful of the reality that every User group attendee is coming from work, client site etc.

The brain can only absorb so much info. After a long day at the office, the best thing you can do for your attendees is to modify your session so that it is a bit more interactive.

At the end of a major point, ask any one of the following questions:

What is your experience with <subject matter>?

Are there any examples within your workcenter of <subject matter>?

Inject more personal stories into the topic

User groups are held together by personalities, groups of people. Your presentation will be more engaging if you apply your personal story within the main points of your session.

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What are your experiences with User Group speaking? Leave a comment below.


Shadeed Eleazer

Shadeed Eleazer & Associates streamlines the growth of entrepreneurship through training, resources, and consulting services.