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Being selected as a speaker is both an honor and a privilege. But before you pick your flights and pack your fabulous footwear, ask yourself,

“What value can I bring to this audience?”

Last week I wrote about hearing so many successful marketing and communications initiatives when I interview candidates. I encourage you to share those stories at conferences and summits. Your experience is valuable to others.

So now let’s talk about where to go with this idea of speaking about your successful marketing or communications program.

Which events do YOU find valuable?

If it works for you, I bet it works for others. Think about the events you attend because they provide great professional development for you. These are likely events with audiences who would appreciate your topic. Big organizations like PRSA or IABC have large international conferences but they also have regional or specialty area events like the recent PRSA Connect that was held in June.

On the marketing front, Marketing Sherpa has a terrific summit (and they are currently doing a call for speakers). In contrast, the GDS International CMO Summit invites their speakers rather than asking for presentation proposals. Of course there are dozens more regional, national and international events for the marketing and communications sectors, so find the ones that are right for you.

Things to consider when submitting a proposal to speak

We’ve already covered the most important thing – putting the audience first and ensuring you are bringing them value. But here are a few more tips to consider:

Plan ahead: The call for speaker proposals happens several months (or more) before the events. Planning ahead is essential. It’s not always easy to find out how and when the call goes out, so reach out to the organization you are interested in and get their schedule.

Write it their way: Once you have access to the format for submitting your proposal, follow the guidelines provided to be sure your application will be considered. Often organizations will rule you out if you don’t provide the information they request in the format they prefer.

Get a second opinion: Have someone else review your proposal before sending it off. You want to put your best foot forward and that means no typos or grammar goofs. Your abstract and description of what the audience will learn needs to be inviting.

Presenting your great work in front of peers is valuable to everyone involved – including you! If it’s something you’ve thought about doing, put a little preparation in your proposal and turn your talk into conference magic.