Speak at a conference

Speaking at a conference, congress or summit is prestigious and provides an excellent opportunity to give back to the association community, to raise one's profile and network with other association experts. 

Speakers present valuable information and advice from depth of knowledge and experience, that solves problems or improves the delegates' knowledge.

Who can speak
  • Employees and executives of associations, societies, federations or other membership organisations
  • Consultants to associations

Employees of suppliers to associations can speak on Expert Briefings, Showcase sessions and Sponsored lunch talks, however their client associations may be able to speak in a stream they sponsor.

What information do we need in order to consider someone as a speaker?
  • A précis of the difficult situation the association(s) was facing (3-5 sentences)
  • How the challenges were addressed (5-10 bullets)
  • What effect this had, eg. growth in numbers or revenue, raising value of membership, etc.
  • How this was new or innovative
  • How and why the presentation is going to be useful to other associations
  • Background documents & links

Agreement to:

  • The presentation and a video recording being made available worldwide to the AAE community on an ongoing basis
  • Answering Q&A during the event
  • Facilitating a discussion about the speaking topic soon after presenting
  • Answering questions in an online forum for a period of four weeks after presenting
  • Promoting their participation (as below)
How to provide the information

Complete the Propose Speaking form below

Once your speaking is confirmed

What is needed to include your talk description in the programme
  • Title, indicating the problem and solution
  • Positioning statement - describing the situation delegates can find themselves in, that your presentation will solve or improve
  • Overview of what the speaker will cover and how it will solve / improve their situation
  • 5+ bullets of what will be covered
  • 3+ bullets of what delegates will learn
  • Text on why delegates should listen to the speaker. ie. what experience makes the speaker ideal to address the issue(s) - 50 words max.
  • Profile description of your association - 50 word max.
  • Square portrait photo of the speaker
  • Short biography of the speaker - 50 words max

All copy text should be In the third-person (eg. "John represents" not "I represent") and the present tense (eg. "John guides you..." not in in the future tense "John will guide you...")

Example timings

If the whole session is 60 minutes, then the breakdown if this is likely to be:

Online Events

Length Activity
5 mins Introduction from the Chair
20 mins Speaker presents
10 mins Q&A
20 mins Discussion "How can you apply what you have heard" (in breakout groups)
5 mins Break for delegates to move between rooms

Physical Events

Length Activity
2 mins Introduction from the Chair
20 mins Speaker presents
5 mins Q&A
20 mins Discussion "How can you apply what you have heard" (at tables)
5 mins Feedback to the room
3 mins Feedback on session
5 mins Break for delegates to move between rooms
Promoting your participation

All speakers are asked to promote their participation with the following:

  • Record a 1 min video of what delegates will expect
  • Write a short article in advance to be included in the AAE eBulletin newsletter
  • Post in Social Media with the Speaker Asset provided by AAE
  • Add a link to your email footer
  • Invite colleagues as their guest (x 2)
Preparing for your presentation
  • You must at every point of preparing your presentation ask yourself and address "How might this be applicable to other associations?"
  • Delegates have very little interest in aspects that are specific to your sector, so minimize this and focus on the process 
About your Slides
  • Slide format should be 16:9
  • Do not introduce yourself as the Chair will do this
  • Include only one slide of the profile of your organisation, and cover this in 2 minutes or less
  • Bullets should be short points / reminders, not long ones and must not be read by the speaker
  • Unless a chart, design or image, the text is best at 24 points or above
  • Use all the screen for images to make them as large as possible
Other advice
  • To avoid embarrassment, please rehearse your presentation and keep it to time
  • Provide an outline of your presentation at least four weeks in advance of the event