How to Teach at Conferences: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Now

Welcome to the next installment on how to pitch to teach at conferences!

Last week, we went over why teaching at conferences can be great for your career. This week, I had planned on going over how to build your credentials, but some comments made me think I needed to take one step back and look at what you have to offer a conference.

This is important to know before you build your credentials so you’re not spending time and effort in the wrong direction. With that in mind, what do you want to teach at a conference?

3 Questions to Ask to Decide What to Teach

There are several different ways you can decide this, but it is good to have a direction going forward.

  1. What do you have awesome skills in? The further along you are in your career, the easier it will be to answer this question.
  2. What do you wish you had awesome skills in? Have you been nervous about starting in the audiobook industry? Maybe take the plunge and become an expert! This could be true for whatever your next step is. What better way to learn a skill than to decide you will teach it one day?
  3. What do you love to do? Teaching should be a joy, and teaching what you love is an easy way to ensure that. Plus, your enthusiasm can be infectious! If you’re not sure where to start in deciding what to teach, this is a great place.

These questions will hit people differently based on where they are in their publishing journey, but rest assured knowing that everyone has something to offer. You also don’t have to pigeonhole yourself into one thing. We’re just looking for a springboard before we start building credentials.

Still Not Sure What to Teach?

If you’re still not sure what you want to end up teaching and like a more textbook approach, look at what classes conferences you’re interested in offer–ideally, the conference you want to speak at most. While it can differ, there are almost always:

  • Craft classes that focus on writing skills
  • Business classes that focus more on marketing and the nuts and bolts of writing
  • Personal Development classes that focus on habits and mindset.

Conferences will be looking for classes in a similar vein to what they usually offer but that are also new and unique. In other words, if you want to pitch to Storymakers next year, look at what they’re offering (and therefore interested in) and look at what you could develop in a similar vein.

You can also poll your fellow conference attendees (like I did before making these posts) and see where interest lies in the community! If you want to pitch to teach at a writing conference, ask writers! A business conference? Ask businessmen. A mediation retreat? Ask some yogis! Find the people who attend the conference you want to go to and see if any of those topics interest you.

You Got This

Most importantly, have confidence in yourself. You don’t have to be a best-selling author to be a fantastic teacher. Meditation for writers can be just as helpful as a point of view or Facebook ads class. Think outside the box, jot down a few ideas over the week, and come back ready to build some credentials!

Have ideas for what you want to teach or have a bubbling question you need to ask? Feel free to mention them in the comments below or send me an email! I’d love to hear what you’ve got cookin’!

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