One of the questions I have gotten from more than a few readers is how to get into speaking at events and conferences.  It is surprisingly more easy than it may seem, but the real challenge is breaking into your first conference speaking chance.  Perhaps you work for a small company, or you are still starting out your career.  Whatever the reason, you might feel like speaking at events is open to a closed realm of people.  It’s not.  In an effort to open up what can sometimes seems like an insular world of marketing speakers, I got clearance from the organizers of Ad:Tech NY to do something different in recruiting speakers for my upcoming panel at Ad:Tech.  Consider this post an open casting call for a speaking slot on the panel.  Here is a description of the panel:

wednesday, november 7, 11:00am – 12:00pm
Creating Talkability: Using WOM Lessons to Make Your Marketing Go Viral
No one creates a "viral" video. As much as any marketing team wants to go into a campaign with the goal of having it take off and get discussed all over the Internet, the real aim is to create something talkable. Once enough people talk about it, you go viral…but that is an outcome, not the intial goal. In this session, we’ve gathered individuals who know all about going viral-both on purpose and by accident. Each will share tips on what it takes to go viral, and whether doing so should be your aim. If you want to know how to avoid getting ignored, create something worth talking about and understand whether a science exists for taking something viral, this panel has the answers.

I could fill this panel with folks that I know (as most panel speakers are selected) – but I thought it would be more interesting to see if we can use the panel to discover a new speaker.  Someone who hasn’t spoken at an event before but is looking for their first chance. 

So, here’s your shot.  Here’s how you can participate:

  1. Write a paragraph or two explaining what perspective you would bring to the panel that the audience would be interested in.
  2. Post your submission through a comment on this post, or on your own blog and provide a link through a comment.

That’s it.  The only requirement is that you be a new speaker who has not spoken at industry events before.  Next Tuesday, I’ll post the three strongest and open up voting through the rest of the week for the winner.  The aim is to get a variety of voices on the panel (ie – agency, client, vendor, etc.), and there are several folks I and the conference organizers have already been speaking to for filling the other slots. 

UPDATE: Last month I selected a winner of this casting call and notified all the entrants who submitted prior to the deadline I noted above.  The winner was Terence Thomas from BIA Information Network.  Congratulations to Terence and thanks to everyone for their interest!

Note – For those unfamiliar with Ad:Tech, it is a huge show generally considered one of the largest in the interactive marketing industry.  This year in New York, the event has lined up some top notch speakers – including Beth Comstock, Teresa Iezzi, Ted McConnell, Suzie Reider, Jon Fine and many others.