5 Steps to becoming a Cool Conference Speaker

A little bit tired.

Sitting in a comfortable red seat, tweeting and waiting for the next Speaker. A stuffy room. And finally! Here we go…
‘Our next Speaker is Petra Bouskova, from the famous software testing company tesena!‘
A blonde girl is entering the stage with a self-confident wide smile, a clicker in her hand and a microphone fixed on her cheek. She looks professional, filled with energy and without any fear. It will be fun. I definitely have to talk to her later on!

Full of adrenalin.

Standing on a red carpet in the backstage, breathing heavily and waiting for the three words: ‘next Speaker is’. A stuffy room. And finally! Here we go …
‘‘Our next Speaker is Petra Bouskova, from the famous software testing company tesena!‘
I’m entering the stage with a professional wide smile, a clicker in my shaking hand and microphone hanging on my cheek. Dear Lord, my heart is beating like a jungle drum. But this will be fun. It will be really fun. Wondering how many people I will get to talk to later!

Where do you see Yourself?

Damn, I knew it! On the stage, right? Once you get this feeling, you have to do it. This leads to the million dollar question: How to become a Conference Speaker?

1. Find a Conference

There are only two groups of people. People who want to become Conference Speakers, and people who don’t yet know they want it.
The first group often comes to me, looks deeply into my eyes and announces proudly: ‚I’ve decided to be a Conference Speaker. Give me a conference.‘

The second group never comes to me. Ever. They are hidden superheroes who don’t know yet that they have a superpower. If you know some shy clever fellows, you have to play it clever. Inconspicuously seed this idea into their heads.

‚Could you please open Google and write ‚tesena‘ and ‚fest‘. This is the place to be! Go ahead, future Star!‘
Do you feel like sharing your ideas worldwide? Try this webpage as well!

Now click on ‚Call for Papers‘. After that check the deadline for accepting Proposals. General rule is: The more conferences, the bigger chance to go to at least some of them. Make your plan. Do you feel it? Dates are clear. The adrenalin pumps up. And this is not the end. No, no, this is just a very cool beginning.

2. Choose your Topic

What is your job? No, forget that question. I take it back. What is your passion? What do you want to share with the world? What differentiates you from other people? I was thinking for weeks what my strengths in software testing are, I was highly motivated to find my topic and then I got it – Motivation is my topic! And then I held this Speech at conferences across Europe. Find yours! If you don’t know, ask others. They will tell you what you are really good at. They will give you directions.

3. Work hard

Awesome! You know what you are going to talk about! Now, you poor enthusiastic Speaker, now comes the really hard work. It’s somehow not enought to wake up one day and say: ‚This is it!‘ Be prepared for some sleepless nights, never ending googling, making rough presentation structures, discussing and getting deeper and deeper into it.
What you as a Listener at a Conference usually see is a self-confident Speaker standing on the stage but behind this is … wait for it … a lot of work. Discipline. But trust me, it‘s worth it! Oh man, it‘s worth it!

4. Write a sexy Proposal

I feel you, you unsexy Conference Speaker, you are now lying tired on the floor between books, articles, your face is covered by sticky notes. Good, you know everything, EVERYTHING about your topic. But you have to squeeze it on one paper. No, squeeze is not a good term. Your Proposal has to immediately catch the attention of the Committee.
My friend was asking me: ‚Can I use direct speech? Can I use questions?‘ Bad question. You have to. Write it like you picked yourself to stand on the stage. Send it to some of your friends to review it. Make it catchy, make it matter.

5. Be patient

It will happen. You have done your best, now it’s up to them if they want to have the best standing on the stage.
And very, VERY soon, you will be the one sitting a bit tired in a red seat and proudly waiting to hear your name in the sentence:
‘Our next Speaker is …, from the famous software testing company tesena!’


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