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July 17, 2007


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How do you enhance your chances of being selected as a speaker for conferences and events? Well let me let you into some insider secrets from someone (me) who has organised hundreds of events with industry experts from across the [Read More]


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Neil Davidson


Thanks for the link to the conference. Hopefully I'll see you there? Or maybe you want to submit a video yourself?

- Neil

PS There's a conference blog at http://blog.businessofsoftware.org where I'll be posting interviews with speakers and other interesting topics between now and the conference



I went to a conference hosted by the San Antonio Technology Accelerator Initiative in April. You guessed it, ATT, the platinum sponsor, had their tech guy speaking at a banquet honoring innovators in technology. And, while the speech should have been on the role of innovation in technology or how San Antonio could work on developing more technology, it was a pitch for the new ATT bundle video/phone/Internet services.

As the PR guy for the event, I was aghast that the SATAI management decided to have this guy speak. And, if I was the ATT PR guy, I sure would have told him to put together a short five minute speech on the topic.

When I graduated from the Air Force NCO Academy in 1993, the four star general who gave our graduation speak took only three minutes, but the message was right for the group and the evening.

David Meerman Scott

Neil, Alas, I cannot make it this year. It would have been nice to see the results of your great idea.

oggigorilla, thanks for posting your experience. Unfortunately this sort of thing happens too often. And it annoys people a great deal and ultimately harms a brand because people talk about the offending company (as you are doing here).

Thaks to you both.


Barrett Niehus

Great speakers are hard to find, and it is only fitting that they audition. I recently attended a speaker training workshop, and the instructor was a professional stage director. It is amazing how appropriate stage direction and acting lessons are for training great speakers.


David Meerman Scott

Barrett, you are absolutely right. In my younger and thinner days I acted in TV commericals (in Japan). That acting experience was essential to my current work as a keynote speaker and seminar leader.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.


Nancy Williams

Coming across this post made me think of a conference I was at just recently, where one of the speakers felt it necessary to give a 45 minute presentation on how fantastic her company was, and how many big names they had worked with.

This in amongst a fantastic lineup of people talking about blogging best practice and how to use social media.

It made me realise that speaking at a conference is not dissimilar to writing a blog post. If you provide value for the audience, laced with a good dose of entertainment, people will talk about you for days or weeks to come. If you fill it with thinly veiled marketing hyperbole, you can be sure to not just lose the audience, but lose any future credibility from the people watching.

Not sure why so many people don't get that?

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