6 Tips For Speaking at Conferences

Have you wanted to get started with a conference speaking career but don’t know how? It’s a lot easier than it appears on the outside!

Own Your Expertise. We are all experts of our own experience. Sharing our path, passion, and knowledge inspires others. We don’t need to know everything about a topic to have something valuable to say!

Abstract == MVP. You only need to draft an abstract up front. You can test the concept on different audiences (e.g. Android conference vs. general tech conference). There’s no need to write a whole talk if there’s nowhere to give it!

Start Small. It’s often helpful to start speaking at local events to build up confidence. It gives you a chance to work on oration skills, flesh out slides, and test material on your audience (e.g. jokes).

Once You’re In, You’re In. Once you’ve spoken at one conference, it’s much easier to speak at other conferences. It’s helpful to record a video or point to other feedback you received. Making a storify of your talk is a great way to capture feedback from your audience.

Reuse Your Material. You don’t need to write a new talk every single time you speak! Yes, the material will become dated or eventually irrelevant, but that can take months or years. There will be new audiences at each event and if someone has seen your talk before, they’ll probably just go to another session.

Rejection Is Normal. It doesn’t mean your talk sucks. Many factors go into the selection decision and often lots of talks are submitted. Don’t get discouraged, just keep trying!

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