What I learned about applying to become a tech speaker at conferences

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I wrote this article on linkedin after I attended the Global Diversity Call For Proposal Day at DevC, Accra on 18th January 2020. The event revolved around introducing newbie speakers to speaking at tech conferences. The guest speakers did awesomely well in sharing their experiences, tips and advice. I learnt about how to craft a compelling bio and proposal. Here is a summary of everything I scribbled in my notes.


1.    Keep it short – 200 words max

2.    Write in third person

3.    Talk about what you are currently doing and what you were doing before that

4.    What makes you uniquely qualified.

5.    What cool things have you done?

6.    What lights you up?

7.    Be specific about your skills. Saying that you are a software engineer is vague. Instead include the languages you are proficient in and what you have accomplished so far with them

8.    Seek help

crafting your proposal

1.    Your chosen topic may not be new; it’s up to you to repackage it. Delve into some of the nuances that most others have not expatiated on.

2.    What do you want your audience to learn about your chosen topic?

3.    You can also focus on talking about certain issues others are not talking about in a unique way

4.    You should be passionate and knowledgeable about the topic. It is advisable to back off if you don’t have enough knowledge about the topic. Don’t just do it because of the perks, such as travelling or getting paid.

5.    Tailor your talk with respect to the context and setting of the conferences – Is it in Europe, Africa or Asia. Match the setting and context.

6.    Read bout the organisers of the conference, some of their past speakers and topics. This will brief you a bit with ideas on how to go about writing your proposal.

Start small. Speak a few times at local events before shooting your shot at international events. Doing so will help build your momentum and confidence before you step into big stages.

Some books to get you started with tech speaking: 

  1. Present – A techie’s guide to public speaking
  2. Speaker Camp.

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I go to extreme lengths to deconstruct domains that pique my interest. I'm incredibly curious and a creative, deep-thinker. I'm always ready for the next challenge and intellectual thrill in the arena of life.

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