There are a great number of reasons to submit a proposal to speak at a conference. Some of those reasons are well known. For example:
- At many conferences – like those offered by The Elearning Guild – speaking at a conference earns you a free registration to the event.
- Speaking at a conference allows you to share your knowledge and experience with others.
- Speaking at an event is great for a company’s public relations efforts.
- The shared stories help our industry move forward.
There are countless other reasons people submit speaking proposals for conferences. In this post I want to talk about three reasons that I find important, even if they may be somewhat unexpected.
You Never Really Know When You’re Ready To Speak
It would be wonderful for the skies to open up with a bright light shining upon you as the melodious voice of Morgan Freeman says “David, you’re now ready. It’s time for you to submit a speaking proposal.” The reality is, for most professionals their first time submitting a proposal and speaking at a conference is a bit of a leap of faith. You don’t realize you’re ready to be a speaker until you give it a shot.
You Learn a Lot From Speaking
Most conversations around conferences are about what you can learn from attending sessions. In many ways, I find being speaker to be an even greater learning experience. The preparation for the session requires me to take an even deeper dive into the content I already know so much about. I’m forced to look at the topic from different viewpoints, from the novice to the expert. I consider who the audience is and explore ways to contextualize the message to their wold.
All of the preparation for the session makes me understand the content in new and exciting ways that I might not have encountered otherwise.
There’s Only One You
There’s a number of logical reasons people make that assumption. It could be that past speakers you have seen are higher up to career ladder, or come from different industries. It could that the most of the speakers are authors and you have not written a book. There are other countless other reasons that could dissuade you from submitting a proposal to speak at an event.
Here’s the thing: None of those reasons – not a single one – should prevent you from submitting a proposal. The more you feel you are different from people that have spoken at a conference in the past, the more inspired you should be to submit a proposal. You unique perspective can add value to the whole of the event.
Join the Conversation: Submit a Proposal Today
I find speaking at industry events to be one of the most rewarding professional development activities I engage in. I develop my own skills, help others develop knowledge and skills, and in turn expand my personal learning network which creates a snowball effect. I encourage everyone in our field to get involved and submit proposals to speak at industry events – you’ll be glad you did.