Speaker Sessions

One of the components of a successful sustainability unconference is the speaker sessions. Any registrant at a sustainability unconference can offer to give a talk on a topic, and those talks that get the most votes during the first hour (agenda building time) of the unconference will be awarded speaking slots.

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Speakers will be given a set time period (e.g., 30 minutes) to present on a topic they’re an expert on, and participants¬†are encouraged to ask questions. Speakers can bring slides or other visual aids to the unconference in the hopes of speaking, they can do some talking and some illustrating on a whiteboard, or they can simply talk story with the audience in a more informal style.

If you are thinking of speaking at a sustainability unconference, keep in mind that the unconference format is a very democratic one–people will vote on you and your topic, so if you’re just there to market your company, you’re likely to find that the reception is lukewarm. You should instead offer some insight, some expertise…something of value…to the participants, and if in doing so, your company’s profile is raised, that’s ok. If you push your product, you risk turning people off entirely. So give people something good, and if it benefits you in some way beyond just sharing with the community, then, great! But that should not be your goal.


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