Content Strategy Meetup – How to write a great conference proposal

confabExcellent event for Content Strategy Meetup!  Kristina Halvorson and Tenessa Gemelke from Brain Traffic shared their perspective on conference submissions…  and an author-signed book “Content Strategy for the Web” – which I was intending to read for a couple of years and finally will 🙂

Speaking at conferences is a pleasure in itself and it can give an opportunity to attend the conference (speakers usually get a free ticket) – the topic is very useful for a modern marketer.  Ha – I will see what will happen with my latest conference proposal soon 😉

General recommendations for the conference proposals:

  • Be helpful

Suggest the topic that can genuinely help people.  would the information from your presentation help a person justify conference attendance to his or her boss?

If somebody asking you questions in your industry about a specific topic – it might be a good topic to address.

Start with people’s pain points and offer specific “how to.”

  • Be honest

“If you just want a free ticket…  you still need something to tell 😉

  • Be memorable

How can you stand out during the presentation – or during the presentation proposal?

  • Be brave

It is completely OK to be rejected 🙂   Experienced speakers can be rejected because of many reasons other than their own characteristics (topic, combination of topics in the conference already, etc.).

In general…  “pretend you are a person”

If the conference attendees required to provide a video; provide any video demonstrating that you are an engaging person – the objective is to see your personality and ability to communicate rather than any specific topic.

General speaking advice:

  • Number of slides – whatever is comfortable for the speaker’s style.  A successful hour-long presentation can have anywhere from 20 to 120 slides.  They need to make sense…
  • slidesharePresenting and sharing the presentation on SlideShare are completely different.  Sometimes, speakers try to create a presentation with too much words – suitable for SlideShare, but inadequate for the presenting to an audience.  Solution: target each audience separately: either create two different presentations or transcribe (add voice over) to the one for the Slide Share.
  • Webinars: when speaking at the webinar, think about communicating to one person – as this is the experience of your audience – one person sitting in front on the computer screen.  Webinars are more challenging as you can not see your audience reaction (I definitely noticed that!  🙂 ).

Local-affiliated conferences for interested speakers:

Books to check

book-showShow and Tell: How Everybody Can Make Extraordinary Presentations
by Dan Roam




Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences
by Nancy Duarte