You have to respect your audience. Without them, you’re essentially standing alone, singing to yourself. ~~K.D. Lang
Unless you’re presenting at a music performance conference, chances are good you won’t be singing as part of your next presentation. But singing or not, you will have an audience. And respecting them and what they need to hear from you is critical. Your presentation is really not about you, but about them.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when creating a speaker proposal is making it about themselves and not about their audience. Ultimately, the presentation you hope to make is to an audience eager to learn from you, so they can solve problems, create solutions or learn something they don’t know. They’ve got challenges and they need your help to work through them.
What often happens when a potential conference speaker sits down to compose their proposal is they make the copy about themselves, instead of about the audience. They waste the space offered by the conference to describe the presentation (often with a very limited word count) by including lots of details about their background, experience, education and accomplishments. Mind you, those are great details, but it’s not what a conference organizer needs to see in your session description.
What you should focus on is your audience – what they will learn, be able to do, what insights they will gain, what tools they will take away after hearing what you have to share. If it’s not about what the audience will get out of your presentation, you greatly reduce your chances of getting picked to speak at the conference.
It’s not that you shouldn’t talk about your skills and accomplishments – you should since they are the credentials that affirm and confirm your position as an expert on your topic. But leave the details on your background for your bio. Make your audience the prime focus of your speaker proposal and you’ll be on your way to convincing the selection committee that your session is a must-have for their conference agenda.