Turn ideas into a speaking proposal.

When you last attended an industry conference or even just reviewed an event brochure, what content holes did you see? This could fuel ideas for you to submit a speaking proposal for a future conference. In January, I encouraged readers to make 2016 the year to strengthen their professional biographies, mentioning the pursuit of speaking opportunities as one possible action. I expand on that now, offering some suggestions for the various stages of a speaking endeavor.

The Proposal

The second half of the year is generally when speakers are chosen for conferences the following year, so spring is a good time to think about this. Do not be intimidated if a speaking role would be new for you. Most conference organizers do not require prior speaking experience; the ultimate goal is having good content from a variety of individuals. Consider your past successes, including any challenges you overcame in the process. You can translate these stories into tips and advice for others.  

Presentation Preparation

If you are selected as a speaker, above all, ensure your presentation aligns with the published session description, so attendees are not disappointed. To make your content stand out among the dozens of other presentations, check out these two previous blog posts:  

Conference Arrival

Use your session as an icebreaker during networking events. As you meet fellow attendees, share that you’ll be doing a presentation on “X.” Ask about their experiences with the topic to gain additional perspectives that you could add to your session.

What experiences or expertise do you have that could make a great presentation?

What experiences or expertise do you have that could make a great presentation?

Final Thoughts

If you will be attending a conference this spring like I am (in my case, NAPCP next month), this might make it easier to think of ideas for a future session you would like to propose. However, regardless of your speaking intentions, be sure to make your next conference experience count by planning ahead. This was something I addressed in a post last year and I found it useful to re-read my own words.



About the Author

Blog post author Lynn Larson, CPCP, is the founder of Recharged Education. With more than 15 years of Commercial Card experience, her mission is to make industry education readily accessible to all. Learn more

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