You’ve aspired to speak at the BIG SHOW, the ASSP Professional Development Conference, PDC for short. Now the deadline for Safety 2020 speaker proposals awaits, it’s right after Safety 2019, on July 17, 2019. Safety 2020 will be in Orlando, Florida, make sure to check your availability for the dates of the conference before submitting a proposal, it is slated for June 22-25, 2020.
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 past conferences, and shared my process in preparation for Safety 2019. However, I shared that info a mere 17 days before the proposals were due… This year, I’m giving you the resource MUCH further in advance. Here is your behind the scenes look into how I’ve approached preparation of my proposal for this epic 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. Just disregard the dates and listen to the advice. You can also watch this video I recorded on the same topic, again, disregard the dates, and use the advice. 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 did not submit a solo proposal! Both the duo and panel I proposed were accepted and I’m beyond excited to speak with safety professionals I’ve looked up to for years including Regina McMichael, Linda Tapp, Kathi Dobson, and Tim Page-Bottorff. 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 2020 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!
Abby Ferri’s Safety 2020 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.
- Get sponsored – If you’re a member of a Practice Specialty or Common Interest Group, you should request sponsorship from one or two of these groups if it is relevant to your topic. Give them at least a week to respond before proposals are due, more instructions and points of contact here.
- 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.
- 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!