After attending many conferences over the years, you’ve decided you want to be a conference speaker. Congratulations!
Speaking at a conference is a great way to share your knowledge, lessons learned, and expertise. You’ll have unique opportunities to meet and connect with other conference speakers. And generally, you’ll attend the conference for free.
You’ll also meet a lot of conference attendees and become better known in your field. Which can lead to more speaking opportunities, as well as career opportunities.
You’ve identified your topic and written an outline of your presentation.
But, where do you look to find conference calls for speakers? And how do you find out if the conference is one you want to speak at?
The first place to learn about conferences is local meetups. The number of local meetups has increased tremendously over the past few years, due to the ease of organizing events through online sites like Meetup and Eventbrite.
Join the local meetup if you’re not already a member. They’re an excellent way to meet fellow colleagues and stay current in your field. And they offer an opportunity for you to speak on your topic in a comfortable setting.
Establishing yourself as a local speaker will go far in becoming better known for your knowledge and expertise. Let members know you’re interested in speaking at a conference. Conference organizers will often invite people they know, or know about through their network.
Also, the local meetup leaders and fellow members are great sources of information about conferences. They may have attended or spoken at a conference, and can share first-hand information about it.
You can discover whether the conference is a good match for your topic, what conference organizers expect in talk proposals, and demographics for the attendees.
If meetup members have been turned down for conference proposals, they may be able to share information on why the proposal wasn’t accepted. Good conference organizers will follow up with speakers and offer suggestions for improving the talk proposal the next year.
How would you like one online site to learn about past and current conferences, their speakers, and find out about call for proposals?
I’ve been using Lanyrd for years, adding conference information, session and speaker updates, as well as links to conference slides, videos, writeups, blog posts, and photos.
What’s not so well known about Lanyrd, is its Calls for participation section. The section isn’t easy to find, though I’m not sure why. It’s a great resource for anyone looking for conference calls for proposals, workshops, exhibitors, and more.
In Calls for participation, you can search for conferences by field (think biology, user experience, content strategy, project management) and narrow your search by geographic area (by city, state, or country).
Conference organizers add the call for proposals on Lanyrd, including information about the speaking opportunity, process, compensation (if any), cost to attend conference as a speaker (often free), and deadline.
Note: Based on my experience, I’ve noticed conference organizers are usually good about describing the speaking opportunities and all their details, but forget to add the conference topics on Lanyrd. It may take some additional work on your part in Lanyrd’s call for participation search to locate a conference for your field.
How have you found out about conference calls for speakers? Have you found out about calls through local meetups or Lanyrd? Let me know in the comments what you’ve found most helpful.