Frequently, I’ve been getting requests about how to start speaking at conferences. Aside from the information within a submission, specifically for Agile2017, there are some general tips that I recommend:
- Topics: This is probably the trickiest part of starting…what are you going to speak about? Personally, I struggled with “am I really the expert to share about something” so my place to start was sharing personal journey/experiences. They are mine – not source issues. They are valuable to others. They may conflict with others but that doesn’t make them right or wrong. Another trick I will often use to help someone is to write a list of “advice” they gave over the week. Chances are there is a topic in there because people are going to you for that advice.
- Research: Review previous conference programs…what were the topics? what are the topics that they are targeting to cover now?
- Prepare Materials: You will need a bio. You will need a picture that is not a selfie in the kitchen (lol…I have no idea why that came to my mind. This is something that I would never do – be in the kitchen).
- Practice: National larger conferences want history of speaking. Volunteer to speak at a local user group, at your company, at another company, etc to gain experience with your content and your delivery.
- List of conferences: Compile a list of conferences that you want to consider speaking at in 2017. I’m not sure if Yves keeps this calendar up to date but I used this when I was starting.
- Timing: Call for submissions are often 6+ months ahead of the conference. For example, Agile2017 is in Aug but the call for submissions is open in Dec.
- Consider alternate approaches to learning: I am not a natural writer, submission writing was very difficult. I ended up volunteering to review submissions, which dramatically helped me to understand what should be in a submission to increase the odds of acceptance.
- Don’t give up: If you want to speak, then you have something to be heard. There are a finite number of slots in a conference and typically more submissions than spots. Getting selected is not a guarantee for anyone.
When you started speaking, what did you find helped during the submission process?
ha, you asked a schrodinger question.
My answer is both NO and yes.
NO I don’t keep the calendar up to date
AND YES a whole community is now keeping it up to date (and the only thing I do, is add people to the calendars and chase people who mistakenly remove events from the calendar.
This scales much better then me adding stuff the the calender.
I don’t remember the exact number of people, yet I think we are way above 80 people at this moment.
easy adres for the main calendar http://www.agileconferenc.es
if that is to hard you can find them back from the agile aliance website too.
(not on the scrum alliance website or the lean kanban community websites, but you will find events from those and other communities also on the calendars.
Love this approach!!!
another resource is http://wwW.speakersrider.org to think about questions to ask conference organizers (or speakers for all that matters)
oops should have been http://www.speakerrider.org