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How to craft a good entry for a call for speakers/presentations

I’ve presented probably hundreds of times. I’ve evaluated hundreds of sessions.

What sessions get picked? What sessions don’t get picked?

In general…

  1. Relevant topic is important. Super important.
  2. Unique topic is important. But not so niche that only 2 people will attend the session.
  3. Catchy, but not cutesy session title. Shorter is better.  We can help you with this later if needed.
  4. Catchy, but not cutesy session description. At least a paragraph, but not so long that I no longer need your presentation.
  5. If your session description is one poorly written sentence, but your bio is 5 paragraphs of perfection, that means you care about you (good) but don’t care about my event (bad).
  6. Fill out the details on the call for speakers. There’s lots of empty cells on those spreadsheets when we review, if yours is full of answers, we pay attention.
  7. When asked “how did you find out about us?” don’t say “online.” OF COURSE, you found out online, where, how, who?
  8. We don’t have to know you, but if we don’t make sure you have enough of an online presence that we can evaluate your fitness as a presenter and subject matter expert. Also, answer the question above if you have a named person that we do know that said to go submit, that gives credibility.
  9. I personally love to nurture new talent. So, don’t let lack of experience prevent you from submitting. And don’t assume a long pedigree is a magical front of the line pass.
  10. Ask for peer review on your submissions. Find someone that has subject matter expertise, and a good handle on the event, and get their feedback.

Hello again

For years I blogged a lot.  It’s how many of you got to know me.  Then it became a chore and I let it slide lower and lower on my priority list until it no longer had a place on my to-do.  My last post was nearly 4 years ago, my last tech post, even longer.

I tried to revive my writing at the beginning of the pandemic, but my heart just wasn’t in it.  So, I decided to give myself a break and not feel like I had to exceed at everything all of the time.

With the pandemic I went from travelling more than 100,000 miles per year to nearly no miles per year.  We would go months without putting gas in the car.  Photography has always been a hobby, but without new adventures that slowed down so much that I wasn’t even keeping the batteries charged for my camera.  We couldn’t see our kids.  We couldn’t see our parents. I was in quite a funk like most all of us. 

I love to eat, so I’ve always loved to cook.  But now we were cooking all of our meals. I started documenting more of what we made.  I learned how to make my own wine, I named it Tipsy Traveler.

My random pandemic accomplishment was design school.  I attended, and graduate from, a self-paced online interior design program.  I’ve been putting that to use in designing our new house.

So, here I am trying this writing thing again. 

I split my blog, one for tech, one for the other stuff.

From a tech perspective my role has evolved to more training and curriculum and less hands on keys making things for clients.  I joined the board of directors for a non-profit that helps excite high schoolers in technology. I still share my voice to decision-makers in DC trying to help small tech and app makers.

For the other stuff, I started to document and share some of my cooking and design work.  And it makes me happy to relive the stories behind the photos, so I’ll be including that here.  And who knows, maybe there will be some new travels and new photos, too.

The techy stuff will be here, the non-techy stuff here.  And there will certainly be crossover between the two because that is who I am.

Oh, and I got a puppy.  His name is Lio. 

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