How to Get on Stage! 4 Tips for Compiling a Strong Conference Speaking Submission



Author: Katie Pope

The two most dreaded words in the English language: public speaking.

Some of us love it while some more of us hate it. But, speaking in front of your colleagues and peers is a great way to not only develop new skills but also advance your professional career. And, speaking in front of a greater audience, say at a conference, is a perfect way to not only share your expertise and story with others in your industry but it also serves as an opportunity to build your personal brand. When you give a presentation to a large audience, all eyes are centered on you and mass visibility comes with it.

To be bestowed this honor, many times you’ll be asked to apply to speak at the conference. This allows the conference committee to make sure they have the cream of the crop when it comes to speakers and topics. So, when applying to speak at a conference, it is crucial that your submission stands out to the selection committee.

With that said, here are 4 tips to follow to ensure your speaking submission knocks the committee’s socks off:

1. Be sure to complete all “highly recommended sections” in the application

You should look at the “highly recommended section” as a red flag. “Highly recommended” means that about half the people complete it, and about half don’t. So…don’t be in the latter half! The more information you provide (read: the more care you put into your application), the better position you’ll put yourself in to stand out from your competitors. So, my point is clear: treat “recommended” as “required,” and watch your application bulldoze past the lazy folks.

2. Include any previous speaking engagements

If you’re already well-versed and comfortable in the public speaking arena (congratulations! I wish I was you), then make sure to jot down those previous experiences in your application (sorry, but your kindergarten show-in-tell doesn’t count). That said, only include speaking sessions where you and the content really shined—perhaps your stage presence was widely applauded by your industry peers or your presentation was referenced time and time again. Whatever the case may be, if you had a killer moment on stage, make sure the committee knows about it! If you have the opportunity, go beyond just writing it down in your application and instead share a video or recording of your past speaking engagement. Do what it takes to impress the judges and give yourself the credibility you deserve. This is another way to set you apart from the competition.

3. Have a strong title and abstract

The process a conference committee has for selecting speakers is similar to the process attendees have when selecting which of the conference speaking sessions they would like to attend. Thus, compile your application as if this were your final title and abstract on the conference agenda the day of your session. Does it grab the audience’s attention? Does it use compelling words and phrases? Are you intrigued when you read it? It is important to take the time to put some thought and creativity into your title and abstract. Keep in mind that the title and abstract should be a description of what you are presenting. Sounds obvious, right? But many times, attendees say post-conference that they ended up attending a session that had nothing to do with the title or abstract. Don’t be that person! Why? People will remember this and avoid your session next time.

4. Know your audience

Finally, it is important to tailor the content to the audience that is attending the conference. You could have a super compelling title and abstract and be a dynamic speaker, but if your content does not speak to the people who are paying to be there, you will not be selected. So, always make sure to research the intended audience and tailor your content to them. It’s a good idea to run your submission by someone from that audience in order to make sure it fits.

I hope you found value in these four tips to help you knock your speaking submission out of the park! What better way to test out your newfound expertise than to apply to speak at Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit! The Call for Speakers is open now through November 20th. We look forward to hearing from you!


How to Get on Stage! 4 Tips for Compiling a Strong Conference Speaking Submission was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. |

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Social Tools Summit #SocialTools15 : The Definitive Social Media Industry Conference

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Social Tools Summit #SocialTools15 : The Definitive Social Media Industry Conference

Today will witness the 2ndSocial Tools Summit, a 2-day event which will be at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Available online through streaming video (see the end of this post for a special offer), you can also follow the hashtag #SocialTools15 today and tomorrow to glean insight into the knowledge that will be shared at the event over the next 48 hours.

This blog post is a preview of the keynote that I will be delivering at the event.

The Social Tools Summit is a unique social media conference in that it is designed to become a social media industry conference, the closest to a “Dreamforce” type of event that enterprise social media professionals can count on annually for unsurpassed education, networking and breakthroughs leading to workforce innovation vis a vis social media.

What exactly does this mean?

The Social Tools Summit was designed to bring together the key players in the social media industry ecosystem with the aim of fostering social media innovation, either through greater and more efficient enterprise use of social media or through the development and/or implementation of social media tools that can provide unsurpassed results to those using them.

I define the key players in the social media industry as follows:

Social Media Tools Vendors

If you’ve seen me speak recently, you’ll already know that I am passionate about systemizing your social media operations for maximum efficiency. As social media programs exponentially expand in terms of number of social media users reached as well as content published across a more diverse set of social networks and communities while trying to satisfy a growing number of social business objectives, there is a constant need to scale. The problem is there are only a limited ways of scaling a social media program: People, process, paid social, and tools.

Social media tools are the missing ingredient for many large companies who simply have not realized that they need a host of tools to get the (social media) job done. While this list is not a comprehensive one, the types of social media tools that enterprises of today need include:

  • Compliance (depending on industry)
  • Listening
  • Analytics
  • Social Media Management
  • Employee Advocacy
  • Brand Advocacy
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Selling
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Social Customer Service
  • Social Recruiting
  • Engagement Marketing
  • Paid Social Management
  • Visual Social

Part of my job as co-founder of the Social Tools Summit is to reach out to companies developing tools that satisfy the above requirements, and I can tell you from firsthand experience that there are a growing number of social media tools companies that currently number in the hundreds that are driving tremendous innovation in the space, not just based in the United States and Canada but also a growing number of companies from various countries in Europe, India, and Southeast Asia.

In the lay of the land in social media, social media tools vendors have the broadest experience in helping many companies with their solutions and should be thought of as advisors, if not best friends for the solutions they provide!

Enterprise Social Media Executives and Managers

If social tools vendors have the broadest experience, those who manage large-scale enterprise social media over multiple business units, brands, or geographies have the deepest experience in social, The pain points – and budgets – of these executives and management are what drive social media at the largest brands as well as help fuel innovation in the social media tools space.

Simply put, in order to fuel social media innovation, you need both the tools and the enterprise social directors that are putting the tools to good use and investing in the industry.

Because of this relationship, we have designed the Social Tools Summit so that both of these critical parties sit together on our expert panels.

Corporate Social Media Practitioners

Those who manage programs see social media at a strategic level and also need to engage with internal executives to get buy-in for what they do. It takes many people to get the social media job done, however, and this is where the corporate social media practitioner, as well as those “doing” social representing agencies, come in: They bear the grunt work and end up being the heaviest user of social media tools. For this reason, it would be illogical to have an industry conference without their involvement.

The Social Tools Summit actually has a second panel for each session that is located on the opposite side of the moderator from where the experts representing tools vendors and social management are: We call them the Trender Panel. Their input is essential in any dialogue to make sure that any tool or strategic social initiative is grounded in the reality of those doing the actual work.

Independent Consultants, Subject Matter Experts, and Authors

Finally, there are a group of professionals who also have broad experience in helping many businesses with their social media in a different way than tools vendors do: They are the actual independent consultants and social media experts that have a wide variety of experience and expertise that can also add value to any conversation vis a vis social media for business.

The Social Tools Summit taps into the experiences of these individuals as both keynote speakers as well as moderatos. They add value to all of the conversations taking place at the event.

It is only through this unique combination of social media industry players that true social media innovation is born. I look forward to seeing the ideas that spring forth from the Social Tools Summit over the next two days!

You might not be able to hop over to the Social Tools Summit in San Francisco, but you can still catch the live stream video – which can be watched later on demand – and can do so at a 50% discount by going to and entering the code MSB50 on checkout.

What drives social media innovation at your business?

Maximize Social Business