Dear Speaker, who are you and why should we invite you?

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There are several ways to find speakers for your event. You can invite them, for example, or you can put out a Call for Papers. Many conferences use a mix of both.

At TEDxStuttgart, we are constantly looking for good speakers and interesting topics. Some we find ourselves, some are recommended to us, and some suggest themselves via our website or by email; and we found quite a few good speakers via that latter method, so a little self-promotion is not something we frown upon.

That is, if you do it right ...

The Twitter Wall: A Fight you can't win?

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Quite a few conferences are using Twitter walls these days, i.e. a screen that shows tweets related to the event in real time. They help attendees see what's going on, in the talks but also around the event as such.

Twitter walls that are visible to the audience during a talk are a real challenge for the speaker, though. It means that any comments that are being tweeted are immediately visible to all the other attendees. So that remark which - in the times before Twitter - you would quietly make to the person next to you suddenly gets a much broader audience. This applies to praise as well as to criticism. Even more so to criticism, actually.

Put more Thought into the End of your Presentation

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At a conference I attended recently, I noticed quite a few speakers that didn't seem to have put a lot of thought into the end of their presentation. Yet when you come to the end, your audience will start paying more attention again; this is something you should make use of to ensure that they remember your message better.

How Not to Engage an Audience - A Case Study

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It was a bit sad to see the usual prejudice about the abilities (or inabilities) of people in the public sector being confirmed. I attended an information session about the city's participatory budget recently. I'm going to document the progression of the session below, pointing out the problems and suggest what could have been done better. See if any of this seems familiar (to you or to sessions you attended).