During a call for speakers campaign for a major conference, a manufacturer came to us with a topic they wanted to propose for a session presentation. As they talked it through, it was clear they were passionate about what they hoped to share with an audience if they got picked to speak. And they were right to be excited. Their organization had experienced transformative change as a result of a highly innovative program they had implemented. It sounded awesome.
There was just one problem.
The topic had nothing to do with their manufacturing business. Absolutely nothing.
Deciding on the topic you want to propose for a conference session should be something you are enthusiastic about and it definitely should be something you can’t wait to tell others about so they can experience the same success you have. But not every topic you are excited about makes sense to propose as a conference session.
Does It Move Your Needle?
One of the best litmus tests to apply to your potential conference topic is to ask this question: Does the subject align with the objectives you have for your business?
Because here’s the thing – if it doesn’t, you have to ask yourself why you want to talk about it in front of an audience of potential clients, customers, peers or influencers. Your presentation is a chance to showcase what you do, offer or know. You want to pick a topic that will allow you to talk about the success your product, solution, idea or process has delivered to an audience that very much wants to hear about how they can replicate what you’ve accomplished.
Picking a Game Changer
So, how do you pick a topic to pitch that will be both engaging for the audience and beneficial for your business?
Start by taking a look at the business priorities you have set for the year. Is there a particular product line you’re interested in growing? A solution you want to sell more? An idea or concept you want to expand beyond your current sphere of influence? Is there a fresh take on your core message you want to make top-of-mind with your target audience?
Your business focus should be the first place you look when trying to decide on a topic or topics to pitch to a conference. The topic still has to make sense for the conference and be something you can propose in a way that differentiates it and you from the other proposals and presenters being submitted. But starting with the business topics, ideas, products or solutions you are putting your energy into this year will help you land on something that will move you forward on the road to success.
So pick a topic you are excited about. But be strategic about what you choose. Proposing a session that makes sense for you and for the conference will give you the best chance of reaping some meaningful rewards for you and your business.