Curating Great Speakers

Curating Great Speakers

A little story of how to choose and attract speakers at your events


Laurence de Villers

May 06, 2018


  1. Curating Great Speakers A little story of how to choose

    and attract speakers at your events Laurence de Villers @L_de_V
  2. Attract speakers to your event They need to see how

    being one of your speakers will benefit them.
  3. Awesome website - BEFORE SEARCHING FOR SPEAKER - Content -

    Description of the event - Picture of last year’s event - Video of last year’s event - Press articles about the event gdg-x/hoverboard
  4. Include additional Advantages/rewards Example • Two free tickets (you and

    your +1) including access to all talks, swag, food and party • Transportation, if needed • Hotel, if needed • Child care during the event, if needed • Recorded video of your talk
  5. Create a call for paper (CFP) - Describe the event

    ( to make it super exciting ) - Define what kind of talks you are looking for - Category - Level of complexity - Speaker qualification - Submission deadline - Define what you will give to speaker - Refund travel expenses and hotel $$$ - Code of conduct
  6. PaperCall - Simple to use - Markdown editor - Lets

    you specify - Event description - Code of conduct - CFP Description - Additional information - Duration of talk - Travel refund - Type of event - Help to notify speakers of acceptance and rejection
  7. None
  8. Ask for videos of previous talks

  9. None
  10. Spread the call for paper - Find CFP List of

    diffusion : - - - Add a link on your website /NewsLetter - Email Campaigns - Social Media
  11. ASK GDE to do a talk They are good speakers

    and it doesn’t cost that much to bring them to your event!
  12. Ask other meetups to share your CFP Communities partner to

    share your event and CFP in exchange for visibility
  13. Ask your personal contacts to do a talk Plenty of

    people need encouragement from others to take time to do a talk.
  14. Talk to speakers from other conferences Networking is important! When

    you go to a conference try to talk to potential speakers.
  15. Wait for submissions

  16. Choose speakers and talks from all submissions

  17. Define evaluation rules! How will you choose between different speakers?

    What are your criteria? What’s your budget ?
  18. Criteria Popularity You want some speakers that are popular and

    will bring you some attendees. Subject You want subjects that will interest people. Experience You want speakers that have a great presence in front of the audience. Quotes for illustration purposes only
  19. Objective evaluation CLARITY OF CONTENT Do we understand what the

    speaker wants to talk about? POPULARITY OF THE SUBJECT Is it a trendy subject ? ORIGINALITY OF THE SUBJECT Is the subject out of the ordinary ? RELEVANCE OF THE SUBJECT Will this subject be useful to our attendees? Subjective evaluation APPRECIATION OF THE SUBJECT Does this subject interest me personally ? 1 = Annoying 2 = Ordinary 3 = Interesting 4 = Really interesting Subject
  20. Pitch talk

  21. • Watch previous videos of talks ◦ Evaluation ▪ Inexperienced

    ▪ Experienced but annoying ▪ Experienced and interesting ▪ Really interesting !!! • Did the speaker already talk at another conference? • Check the background of the speaker ◦ Do he/she know about the subject? ◦ Is he/she an expert? Speaker experience
  22. • Is the person: ◦ famous ? ◦ a leader

    in the field ? ◦ have a lot of followers ? ◦ known in the local community • Employer ◦ Is a popular one ? ( For instance Google ) Speaker popularity
  23. Example of spreadsheet for evaluation

  24. Other criteria BUDGET $$$$ How much bringing this speaker costs.

    LANGUAGE If you have a bilingual event. FROM A MINORITY GROUP If you want a more diverse set of speakers LOCAL SPEAKER Encourage local speakers CATEGORY OF SUBJECT Diversify subjects!
  25. Choose talks and speakers

  26. Eliminate talks • Round 1 ◦ Eliminate speakers that will

    cost you a lot of money, if they are not a popular speaker. ( cost == distance | flights ) ◦ Group subjects by categories and choose the best 2 talks of it. ◦ Choose one talk from your favorites speakers. ◦ Subjects vs Speakers • Round 2 ◦ Repeat step 1 ◦ Choose some trendy subject ◦ Eliminated by criteria ◦ Try to have a good mix of speaker
  27. Find a good mix of speakers experiences Find a good

    mix of local speakers vs international speakers
  28. Having waiting list At the end of your selection, put

    all your maybe yes in a waiting list. There will always be 1 to 3 speakers who will not be able to make it.
  29. Ideal Milestones EVENT 6 months before the event Create/Update website

    5 months before the event Create and share CFP 3 months before the event Choose talks/speakers 2 months before the event Give a response to speakers
  30. Milestones Reality evaluation of submission EVENT 3 months just before

    doing the CFP, super fast Create/Update website 3 months before the event Create and share CFP 1 week before acceptance date Choose talks/speakers 1 months before the event Give a response to speakers
  31. LAST TIPS : Having speakers well prepared • Ask speakers

    to give their deck 1 week before the event. • Let them practice on the stage a day before the event
  32. THE END! Questions?