Welcome to Chain of Daisies Project

Help create a pipeline for tech, business and venture events of qualified women who can speak or present at a high level.

This can be an “overlay” to the many tech, biz & venture conferences that have a dearth of women represented as keynoters and workshop leaders, and yet they are very cognizant of this fact and want to change it for the better.

Let’s work together to make positive change!

Are you game?

If so, please get in touch.

Find Your Voice: Presentation from Blogworld NY

Jill Foster of Live Your Talk and I presented at Blogworld NY last month, and the topic was a bit different for Blogworld fare. Our session title was Speak Up: Empowering Women to Find Their Voices.

This session was the culmination of a brainstorm with Deb Ng and Rick Calvert of Blogworld after I shared with them the vision for Chain of Daisies: To empower more women to pitch to speak at major tech, business and venture conferences and be a pipeline for conferences looking to diversify their speaker lineups.

The session was packed with mostly women (one or two men did attend), and the interactions were high energy and dynamic.

Here are the slides we started out with to get the dialogue rolling:

The rest of the workshop was very interactive with Jill presenting on how to develop your speaking and presenting “practice” followed by working with the women in the room to develop a list of their speaking topics, titles for proposed presentations and the key takeaways for those sessions.

The overall goal? Submit a proposal to Blogworld West or a conference of their choice. Just. Do. It. And some of the women are doing just that.

You can read a brief writeup of the#BWEVoice session in a post on Huffington Post by Marcia G. Yerman. Stay tuned for details about a West Coast version of the #BWEVoice session. Yes, we hope to be in LA. Will we see you there?

What conferences will you be speaking at this year, and how can we support you in your efforts to speak at more?

A Conference With a Diversity Statement: Web 2.0 Summit

Wow, just saw this (brought to my attention by Lucretia Pruitt). The Web 2.0 Summit has a very explicit statement about diversity on it’s website:

Federated Media, O’Reilly Media and UBM TechWeb believe in spreading the knowledge of innovators. We believe that innovation is enhanced by a variety of perspectives, and our goal is to create an inclusive, respectful conference environment that invites participation from people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, religions, and sexual orientations.

We’re actively seeking to increase the diversity of our attendees, speakers, and sponsors through our calls for proposals, other open submission processes, and through dialogue with the larger communities we serve.

This is an ongoing process. We are talking to our program chairs, program committees, and various innovators, experts, and organizations about this goal and about ways they can help us achieve it.

Check out the actual steps they suggest to achieve this aim.

This is phenomenal.

I know that there was a verbally spoken diversity statement last year (I believe Shireen Mitchell was part of that conversation) made by O’Reilly and rumor had it, the directive came from Tim O’Reilly himself. Yet when I had a heated discussion with someone from Web 2.0 Expo, I was given the usual excuse of “we just couldn’t find any women qualified to speak” when I pointed out the continued lack of diversity at Web 2.0 Expo (even as I was totally grateful to be given my first opportunity to speak there).

It is amazing to watch the folks at Blogworld take actions toward diversity and then see O’Reilly put it into words. What next? Actual diversity in the presenters at these influential tech conferences and other conferences following suit?

Wow! What a concept.

What other conferences are you aware of that are actively paying attention to their speaker diversity?

Nice to See Gender Diversity in a Speaker List

Am really pleased to see the mix of speakers coming to Blogworld East in New York City. Men…AND women. It just feels balanced and representative of the population at large.

Not to diminish this incredible progress – AND a very active effort on the part of the folks at Blogworld – but there is another next step to take:

More diversity of color.

Keep on keeping on.

Do you feel represented when you look at speaker lists at top business, technology and venture conferences? If not, what are you doing about it?

Can You Get Work From Speaking Engagements?

I subscribe to a smart enewsletter from “Your Marketing Mentor” Ilise Benum, and in this week’s, she made a provocative statement:

I’ve seen people present to a group and not make the most of it. They think, I’m going to talk, and they’re going to come rushing the stage before I’m done, brandishing contracts and checks. I’ve never seen that happen.

I’m not sure I agree with her although I do agree with her next statement:

Action needs to be taken, on your part, to make the most out of these situations and find your best prospects in the audience.

She goes on to give three solid tips for taking action to get more out of your presentations post-event and these are:

  • Offer to send your PPT.
  • Raffle something off.
  • Offer a free something.

Each action becomes a way of appropriately obtaining someone’s contact information and a good reason to follow up. All excellent tips.

But I’d also argue if you do a “knock-your-socks-off” presentation – not with bells and whistles but with clear, concise, thoughtful know-how, you can get immediate benefits bestowed upon you from members in your audience. I give each of my presentations everything I’ve got, prepare for them to make sure I’m providing tangible value, get psyched up for them, and then come away from them feeling like I’ve run a marathon.

And you know what? Treating presentations like an important job and privilege can pay off. Often after presenting, I’m offered new speaking opportunities – and this is where follow up is key. I’ve also received inquiries about consulting (it is not always obvious that I consult because I make a point not to promote my company or services when presenting) and have been all but hired on the spot. And in several cases, I received an inquiry about writing a book (neither turned out to be a fit, but it was exciting to get the queries).

I don’t think these kinds of results from speaking engagements are unusual if you work hard at what you doing. Presentations shouldn’t be after thoughts. The material you present should not be commercials for you or your company. The information needs to be easy to understand and digest with actionable items for the audience to take with them and deploy right away.

How are wowing your audiences with substance and getting not just the kudos but the offers you deserve?

Speaking Opps at Upcoming Conferences

We’ve started compiling a list of upcoming conferences where there are calls for speakers. Here are some fast-approaching deadlines if you are interested in submitting something.

April 9-10 Green Festival, San Francisco, CA
Link to Call for Speakers
Deadline: Not mentioned
Speakers at Green Festival® are articulate, powerful advocates for a just and sustainable world. From authors and filmmakers to politicians, musicians and scientists, these renowned individuals inspire packed audiences with their expertise—one of the most compelling draws to Green Festival® since 2002.

May 14&15 Green Festivals, Chicago, IL
Link to Call for Speakers
Deadline: Not specified

May 24-26 Blogworld Expo East, New York, NY – DETAILS TBA

June 21-23 mLearnCon, San Jose, CA
Link to Call for Speakers
Deadline: APRIL 15
mLearnCon 2011 is where every aspect of mobile learning will be explored in-depth. From the management strategies to the best practices to the technical details, you’ll find the answers you need here. Whether you are working in an academic, corporate, government, or military setting

June 23-25 Type-A Parent Conference (Formerly Type-A Mom Conference), Asheville Renaissance Asheville, NC
Link to Call for Speakers
Deadline: Not specified
For parents looking to take blogging/social media to the next level.

July 7-9 EVO Conference, The Canyons Resort Part City, Utah
Link to Call for Speakers
Deadline: Not specified
Join us for evo ’11—a conference that blends workshops, networking, parties and the wind-in-your-hair relaxation that can only be found by spending summertime in the mountains.

8/4/2011 Women Create Media 2011, Joan B. Croc Center For Peace Studies San Diego, CA
Link to Call for Speakers

Deadline: Not specified

OCT 12-14 IABC New Orleans – International Association of Business Communicators,  New Orleans, LA
Link to Call for Speakers
Deadline: APRIL15
Founded in 1970, The International Association of Business Communicators provides a professional network of about 15,000 business communication professionals in over 80 countries.Speakers from all over the world are welcome to submit their information to be considered for this event. Potential speakers need to submit the form by April 15, 2011. If you have any problems with the file, please email Courtney at clsnola75@gmail.com.

And if you’re looking for some advice for submitting, here are some Tips for Proposing a Panel for Blogworld 2011 from Deb Ng that can apply for most conferences where you can pitch panels.

Where are you speaking this year or where have you proposed to speak?

SheCon: The New MEdia Expo – Call for Speakers

Quick post to let you know about this speaking opp:

For the past year, SheBlogs.org has been connecting an amazingly diverse group of female bloggers with some the best-known and hidden gem brands in the country. After a successful year, we’re taking our community out of the digital world and taking over Ft. Lauderdale, FL for the first ever SheCon!

Call for speaking proposals is now open.

A Call for Speakers: Announcing @BrandsConf

Entrepreneur and all around mensch Jeff Pulver has announced a new conference:

@BrandsConf, a conference taking place in early December 2010 that will explore the “Humanization of Brands” and the underlying effects this is having on business.

If you are interested in speaking at: @BrandsConf, please submit your speaking proposals over at: http://brandsconf.com. The deadline for speaking proposals is: Friday, November 5th but the first to submit will be the first I consider for the event.  You can also feel free to please tweet speaker nominations/suggestions to #BrandsConf.

From his announcement:

After watching thousands of brands become alive on twitter, rather than just being an observer of such trends I thought the time was right to invite up to people to come forward and participate in the discussion.

With today’s “Call for Speakers” I am looking for creative, out-of-the-box thinkers to come forward and pitch me something relevant they would like to discuss from inside the respective worlds of the business segment they are operating in. Brands transcend business sectors and my hope is to have a variety of industries represented at our first event.

In the tradition of the #140Conf events, individual presentations will be 10 minutes long and panels will run 15 to 20 minutes.

The conference will explore a range of topics from best practices to the legal issues to the natural conflict of personal and corporate branding. Plus a wide range of related topics that I hope to hear from the people who come forward to speak at this conference. I’m looking for first-hand accounts of how the humanization of branding is being applied and the impact it is happening in across the business world. My goal is to bring together a great group of Characters to both lead and contribute to the discussions.

The take-aways from this event will provide the attending delegates knowledge, perspectives and insights to the next wave of effects the real-time Internet will have on brands and business.

CALL TO ACTION:

Think about what YOU could contribute to the dialog, and who you may know who would be interested in being part of this exciting event.

If you are interested in speaking at: @BrandsConf, please submit your speaking proposals over at: http://brandsconf.com. The deadline for speaking proposals is: Friday, November 5th but the first to submit will be the first I consider for the event.  You can also feel free to please tweet speaker nominations/suggestions to #BrandsConf.

#BrandsConf is the twitter hashtag for the event. Help spread awareness of this new conference.

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