Many people think that the hardest part of speaking at an event is actually getting up in front of people and speaking. For the most part, I would agree with that thought. However, before you get a chance to speak, you need to sell others on your idea and what you want to speak about. This is where this post will come in handy. With Salesforce World Tours, Community Conferences, and Dreamforce on the horizon, it’s never too late to sharpen your abstract writing skills! If your biggest worry is public speaking, I have other solutions for that!
Before beginning your abstract, think through what knowledge or experiences that you have that others would really learn from. Did you build something really great that you think others would enjoy learning about? Build your talk around that! Or if it’s too big of a talk, grab a segment of it. Whatever you do, make sure it’s something interesting to you since you will spend a lot of time with your talk and you don’t want to get bored whilst delivering it. (True story, happened to me!)
- First off, what is the problem statement? You need a good problem that your talk will instruct people on how to solve. Make sure this is articulated very clearly, otherwise, why would someone come to your talk? If you had this problem, I am sure others have as well.
- What is the solution? If you have a problem, you must have a solution. You can’t leave your audience hanging! This isn’t the season finale of your favourite TV show!!
- What will your audience see? This is really important. 65% of the population are visual learners and as much as we want to see you on stage, we want you to show us something. Take us on that journey with you, even if it’s over a cliff. People love a good triumph over adversity story!
- Take Aways!! I can’t emphasise this one enough. Having been involved in selecting sessions for multiple conferences, I think the number one question I ask is, why? Why should I attend? What is the point? Will I have enough information to put this into practice? Don’t leave your audience hanging like a Tom Brady high five!!
- Sell yourself! This is not the time to be modest or shy. Pick a great title and if you have something to say, you need to write your abstract like it’s your own advertisement. There are plenty of things happening at the same time during events, this is your time to show what your value proposition is and why they should listen to you!
If you follow these simple steps, you can’t lose. Oftentimes people are scrolling through the program guides and will sometimes just pick your session based on the title! Never pass up an opportunity for a witty title; puns are even better! People are busy, grab them right in the title.
Now go out there and write that killer abstract! There are plenty of events that are still looking for speakers! Follow this link to find a community event if your area.