Why We Want YOU to Submit a Speaking Proposal

I’m writing this blog post to personally invite YOU to submit a proposal for one of The eLearning Guild’s upcoming conferences and events. And when I say “you”, I mean that in the most literal sense of the word. If you’re reading this, then I’d love it if you submitted a proposal.

This isn’t about generating huge numbers of proposals – we’re already lucky enough to receive literally thousands of proposals for our different events each year. This is about ensuring that our pool of proposals represents the diversity that is present in The eLearning Guild community.

With that in mind, I wanted to share with you some behind-the-scenes aspects of how we handle speaking proposals, and the selecting of sessions.

We Start From a Place of Inclusion, Not Exclusion

Many events start from a place of exclusion; that is, their call for proposals excludes specific types of individuals and organizations whose proposals will not be accepted.

CaptureOur call for proposals are open to anyone, by intent. We are an organization built on community, and by the core belief that we are better together than we are alone. Our events bring people together by enabling connections and conversations in innovative and inspirational ways. What makes these conversations work is the inclusive nature of them; everyone has a voice, and everyone has something of value to share.

We Have Slots Reserved for First-Time Speakers

Over the years I’ve had a number of people tell me they aren’t “ready” to speak at an event. They look at conference programs and see recurring names, usually people that have been in the field for years, written books,  and have long track records. They feel, on some level, that they haven’t “earned” the right to speak.

And that’s simply not the case.

CaptureAll of the experienced speakers and industry leaders have started as novices. They all started not as a household name, but as someone no one knew. Even the best, most well-known speakers started from a place where they spoke for the first time, at an event where no one really knew who they were.

The industry leaders of tomorrow will only be found if they are given a platform to be heard today. That’s something that we believe in at The eLearning Guild. If you have a great story to share, we want to hear it. We want to share those stories with our community. That’s why we always reserve slots on our conference programs for new speakers, and new voices.

We Strive for a Well-Balanced Program

IMG_3058The eLearning Guild community is made up of people from all over the globe that are connected by the desire to use technology to help people learn and improve performance. The community is made up of people from a wide variety of industries, organizations, cultures, and backgrounds.

IMG_3058IMG_3058It’s important to us that this diversity is well represented in our programs. We regularly check this balance as we plan and build an event, checking on factors such as:

  • Vendor / Practitioner Balance
  • Gender Balance
  • Racial Diversity
  • Industry Sector Diversity

When you open an eLearning Guild brochure or visit one of our websites, we want you to see a snapshot of our community. Your proposal submission will help us maintain the balance we strive for in our programming.

New Ideas Keep the Conversation Moving Forward

One of the important aspects of eLearning Guild programs is the foundational desire to move things forward, both for the individual members of our community, and for our industry as a whole. It’s why we place so much emphasis on the inclusive nature of our programs, and on the importance of bringing in new voices to bring diversity and new ideas to the conversations we help facilitate.

demofest-752That’s why we need YOUR help. Only you can bring your unique perspective to the conversation. Only you can talk about the problems you’ve encountered in your work, and the strategies you’ve used as solutions.

Join the conversation. Submit proposal to speak at an upcoming eLearning Guild conference. Our call for proposals for the DevLearn Conference and Expo is open through March 20th, 2015.

What story will you submit to share?

More on submitting conference proposals…
Three Unexpected Reasons to Submit a Speaking Proposal
3 Tips for Your Next Conference Proposal
Tips for Writing a Winning Conference Proposal

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