Testing conferences are great.
Beyond the face value they offer and advertise on their program, the added value of professional conferences are ten fold.
- Staying up to date on current trends – You have a front row seat to hear about what the future might have in store for you, so you can gear up to face it.
- Networking – “I’ll give you mine, if you give me yours” – business card swapping, creating business connection and new opportunities is what it’s all about.
- Inspiration – Many times, I find I walk away with at least one big insight that inspires me to try something new or improve something existing and make it better.
- Motivational boost – lets face it, it’s not always easy to get excited about Testing on a daily basis. But Testing conferences tend to make it feel more glamorous, important – choose an adjective.
So you feel the sense of community and purpose that your job makes a difference.
- Validation – what we all crave as humans, is true to our professional needs as well. It’s great hearing someone speak about a best practice or case study and realize, that yup, you are on the right track/Knew that already. And if it’s something new – then you have gained a great “take-away” to make actionable in your team or on your current project.
- And well… fun. Meeting new people from all over, snacks, give-aways. It’s small stuff, but a reason non-the less.
So sure… conferences are great. But presenting at a conference is even better!
If you manage to be selected to speak at a professional conference then you gain all of the above advantages as well as:
- Recognition – Being noticed and regarded by your peers, is good for business (your company, your blog, your job)
- Confidence – It takes some amount of courage to present at a conference, whether it’s standing on a stage or online behind a mic. either way, once you overcome the initial “stage fright”, you get a great boost of confidence that only did you have something important to say, but that you can pass your thought s on. A sense of confidence which your can implement in your own work place as well.
- Appreciation – We are not constantly acknowledged for our work. In fact, more often than none we are acknowledged when something goes wrong, not when things are going smoothly. So presenting at a professional event gives you that “at on the back” of gratefulness.
Want to present at a Testing conference?
Here are some guidelines:
1. Follow outlined Call for Speakers rules – The guidelines are there for good reason. It creates a format that evens out the playing field, and makes it easier to compare proposals more objectively.
2. Ask friends to proof-read – Often we need a fresh pair of eyes to go over our proposal and help smooth things out or at least make sure we didn’t make any mistakes.
3. Have a point and articulate it clearly – Your goal is to be understood. Take time to create an engaging title and a concise outline. A good rule of thumb is two to three paragraphs clearly expressing your idea .
4. Stay away from product pitches. While you may represent your company of software, proposals are not the format to try and push your agenda (other than having your proposal accepted of course)
5. Tailor your proposal to the conference. While you might be an experienced speaker, it is good practice to keep in mind the orientation of the conference you wish to present at and create your proposal accordingly.
6. Be creative and honest. Your proposal should be an original thought and not ‘copy-pasted’ from someone else’s thought process.
7. What makes you special? To really stand out be sure to state the added value your proposal will offer the conference attendees.
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