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How to become a social media conference speaker. Tips and a free conference pass.


Photo: by chrisheuer

If you listened to my podcast yesterday on the ROI in attending Social Media Conferences, then you know I just returned from IZEAFest a marketing / social media conference in Orlando, FL. organized by Ted Murphy. In my podcast I mentioned how the ROI for attending various social media conferences is relationships and from the relationships it could lead to more business deals and/or speaking opportunities. While it seems that everyone now is a social media guru or expert, or ninja or “fill in the blank”, the next social media must prove yourself thing to do is write a book or speak at various conferences. While my book is on the way, haha, I have been fortunate enough to take part in both local and national conferences / events such as SXSW, CLT WordCamp, SoFresh, Social Media Club meetingsTriangle Chapter of the American Marketing Association meetings, IZEAFest and more before the end of the year such as BlogWorld Expo, the Social Media Business Forum and Internet Summit 09.

Often I get asked how was I able to take part at various events or how can someone become a speaker at those events. While I’m no “keynote” speaker … yet  :), you can see a list of my past speaking events here on  I still have a long ways to go, but here are a few tips on how to become a social media conference speaker that I have seen and done.

How to become a social media conference speaker:

  • Start local – Be known in your own backyard before you try to go global
  • Establish a personal brand / identity / voice – What will people say about you.
  • Keep your social networking profiles updated (outdated info can cost you a gig)
  • Attend other social media conferences – Network!
  • Create valuable content to showcase your skills. No blog, no videos, no podcast = no gig. Unless you work for a major brand!
  • Start your own conference / event and ask others to speak – if it works out they may return the favor… maybe.
  • Have a travel budget
  • Share your existing presentations on

Speaking Tips – As you start  becoming social media speaker, you need to do a few things such as:

  • Be memorable and awesome
  • Provide great content
  • Provide new content (dont’ just talk about post you read on Mashable)
  • Tell jokes and stories
  • Rap – hat tip (Chris Brogan), I dare you! Wait, that’s Chris’s thing so …
  • Don’t copy other speakers ( I know it’s hard to be creative)
  • If you’re a quiet person, provide Really great content
  • Practice, breath and have thick skin
  • Don’t think about the tweets or “noise” that are being posted while you’re giving your talk.
  • Have someone video your talks so you can post online for later.
  • Ask yourself what separates you from the rest and why do you want to become a speaker.
  • Be yourself.

Free passes to the Social Media Business Forum

If you have Never spoken at a conference in the past and would like to Attend the Social Media Business Forum on Friday, October 23 in Durham, NC, the first Two people who leave a comment on this post saying “I want to attend the Social Media Business Forum” will receive a free pass to the 1 day event. *Tweets or ReTweets of this post do not count.

If you’re a speaker I would love to hear any thoughts you have in the comments or if you have any speaking tips.