You’ve released your annual Call for Presentations and suddenly your inbox is flooded with lengthy pitches. You need to pick the best speakers in the shortest possible time. You start the initial selection process by placing the abstracts into one of three piles: ‘Yes,’ ‘No’ or ‘Maybe.’ This feels like a very arbitrary process. You’re aware that there are probably some talented speakers in the ‘Maybe’ pool with the ability to lead impactful sessions. However, you don’t really want to take the risk with these unvetted candidates. You need experienced presenters who can deliver rich and interactive sessions.
You receive submissions from a diverse group of prospective delegates. Some are highly regarded in the profession with strong facilitation skills. Bear in mind, though, that most in this group will expect payment and may not actually live up to their esteemed reputations.
However, at the other end of the scale, you find the amateurs who threaten to bruise your brand by dent of being terrible presenters. On paper, they may seem to have solid knowledge, but may need to hide behind a script in order to deliver it. These ‘presenters’ waste the time of attendees. They may even grab the attention of sponsors and social media streams, giving your event a bad name.
So, how can conference organizers solve this problem?
The Two-Minute Video Pitch
Rather than ask for written proposals, request a two-minute video pitch from each applicant. This conference organizing solution will help you to choose speakers who deserve the limelight. It sends out the right message to your talent pool too: you are looking for expert presenters, not simply those who can read from some scripted notes. To make sure the videos are to the highest possible quality, you should tailor your request for short videos by adding the following stipulations:
* What matters most is you: don’t get hung up with lighting, staging or props.
* Keep to time. Tell us in 120 seconds or less why we should choose you.
* YouTube has step-by-step instructions for webcam recordings and it’s free. Once you’re happy with your two-minute video, upload it to YouTube and send us the link.
* Supply a compelling session title and engaging description of your video.
* Failure to comply with these rules will result in your video being rejected.
Skiddle has the functionality to allow registration of free events—such as training days or conferences.