You already know that speaking at conferences is great for branding, but how do you really get those great speaker spots? If you are famous or know someone who can just hand you a speaker spot, you probably don’t need to read this. However, if you have never spoken at a conference before and want to, here is what you should do:
- Read the requirements – Each conference has different requirements for pitches. Before you try and convince someone that you should be a speaker, you need to know what they want. Make sure you read, understand, and follow all of the directions for speaker slots. If you have a strong brand they won’t care what you put in there, but if you are new it can make the difference between speaking or not.
- Pick a niche – It doesn’t matter if you are a jack of all trades or not, you need to pick a single topic that you want to pitch a speaker slot on. Conference chairs choose experts and the easiest way you can be perceived to be an expert is to pick a niche.
- Create a biography – When you apply for a speaking spot, you usually have to include a bio. If you already have a bio, do yourself a favor by not submitting it. Instead, create a new one that relates to the session you are planning to speak on and fluff it up to match. If you can’t create a sexy bio, lie to make it sound attractive. When I first applied to speak I lied and it worked, but just make sure you don’t get caught. (Hopefully you have the real expertise to back up your bs)
- Create a pitch- Make sure you outline what you could possibly talk about and why you would be a good fit for the session. Three things to note when doing this are:
- Other people are probably pitching for the same session so you are going to have to present something unique if you want to be picked.
- The person reading your pitch will be reading hundreds of other pitches, so do them a favor by keeping it short and to the point.
- The most important part about pitching is it isn’t about you, instead it is about the audience and how you can help them.
- Double check everything – This doesn’t mean only you should proofread your pitch, get a second viewpoint. Ask other people for advice and see if there is anything you can do to make your pitch sexy.
- Submit your pitch – The last thing you need to do is submit your pitch. Hopefully you hear back from someone saying that you are going to become a speaker, but if you don’t hear anything back don’t pester them, just move on and try to get a speaking spot at other conferences.