You’ve aspired to speak at the BIG SHOW, the ASSP Professional Development Conference, PDC for short. Now the deadline for Safety 2019 speaker proposals looms over you, it’s in 17 days as I write this blog…
If this is your first time, the process can seem daunting. I assure you it is not, however it is just daunting enough to ensure only those who are truly serious about speaking apply!
I have encouraged people to speak at this conference, but I have not shared my process. Here is an insight into how I’ve approached preparation of my proposal for this event since 2014!
- Identify your topic based on your current interests and initiatives or what you’re working on in the next year. It’s hard to propose a relevant topic a year in advance, but it can be done if it’s something you’re passionate about or will be working on consistently in the coming year.
If you need some inspiration, listen to this quick message I recorded with advice on identifying a topic for Safety 2019 and/or watch this video I recorded on the same topic. A quick summary of my advice is in the image below:
- Identify a partner or assemble a panel if you don’t want to speak solo. Safety 2019 is the first year I am not submitting a solo proposal! I am submitting as a duo and a panel. If for financial reasons you need that 100% conference registration honoraria, that is only in play if you speak solo or co-present. If you are on a panel of 3+ speakers, your registration is paid for one day only.
- Visit the Safety 2019 speaker proposal page and familiarize yourself with the parameters. You MUST follow these instructions and word/character counts!
- Build your proposal in a Word document, do not type it directly into the online form – I am a big fan of trusting technology, but I just can’t stomach the thought of losing my content if something weird happened! Use Word, then copy and paste over once you’ve finalized your proposal elements.
I developed a tool for this specific purpose, please download and use it!
The Ferri Group Safety 2019 Proposal Planner
When using my tool, type the information below the bold headings that correspond with the ASSP Speaker Proposal form. You can find word and character count by highlighting the area in question, click Tools and choose Word Count. That window will give you info on word count and character count with and without spaces.
- Refresh your bio – you’ll need to list relevant speaking experience, so if you don’t maintain an Events page like I do, you may need to flip through your calendar to find the past few years of speaking events. Note that you also must include three references!
- Make sure your head shot is professional-looking. While you don’t need to hire a photographer to take your pic for this proposal, you may need to step away from the selfie stick and have a coworker, kid, or friend take a nice photo of you if you don’t already have one suitable for business purposes!