From August 31–September 2, 2021, CMX Summit 2021 will virtually welcome thousands of community professionals to celebrate the rise of community-driven business, learn all-new techniques and tactics, and hear from community thought leaders.
Speakers always play a key role in any great event, and this year, we’d love to have you join us on stage! Speaker applications are officially open for CMX Summit 2021!
We’re looking for incredible pitches from all walks of the community industry! We love hands-on learning, actionable takeaways, and new ways of thinking about community. At CMX, we believe that diversity of perspective leads to a stronger industry, and we strongly encourage voices from underrepresented groups to apply.
What makes a good pitch? Below, we’ve compiled some of our top tips for pitching the CMX Summit team.
What Makes A Great CMX Summit Speaker Application?
We’ve read through thousands of speaker pitches, and there are a few key things that make great pitches stand out.
A great pitch introduces a focused topic in a concise way. It understands the CMX Summit audience well, and explain what they’ll walk away with from your short session. A great pitch should also include a short bio explaining your experience. Any links to past talks you’ve given are a bonus, but first-time speakers are welcome to apply too!
Be specific about your topic
Your pitch needs to focus on something about community building or adjacent, and need to be relevant to community professionals. Please don’t pitch a generic “How to Build Community” talk. This is what the entire conference is about — our attendees want to get more specific!
Some great examples of specific talk titles from past CMX Summit speaker applications include:
- Community Retention: How to Science the Heck out of It
- Big Data or Big Responsibility? How to Give, Not Take, with User Data
- Power to the People: Advocate for Community in Product and Engineering
- Making Easy Work of a Career in Community
- Self-Care Isn’t Selfish: Strategies for Bringing Your Best Self to Your Community
What all these topics have in common is that they are focused and relevant. Don’t worry about cleverness in your proposed title—we’ll workshop it with you!
Tell us what kind of session you want to host
Applications are open for workshops as well as keynotes and presentations.
Keynotes and presentations are typically 20-25 minutes long, and often include a live Q&A section. These are actionable discussions where attendees walk away with a theory or idea to implement into their community building strategy.
Workshops are typically 45-90 minutes long and are designed to be hands-on. Attendees should work through specific strategies they can implement into their community right now. A workshop is not about theory, but more about how to practically implement theory into community building.
Use concise language
That’s right, there’s a word count limit — 1,500 characters. A 3,000 word treatise on migrating communities is great for a book proposal, but not a session pitch. Please don’t link to Google Docs, Evernotes, or Dropbox.
Most sessions at CMX Summit will be 20-25 minutes long, with an optional live Q&A. Workshops are 45-90 minutes long. Your subject needs to be concise enough to fit neatly into a single, digestible presentation in this time frame.
Tell us what you can do for our audience
A great pitch demonstrates knowledge of the CMX Summit audience and the impact you’ll have on attendees. In the pitch form, there is a dedicated space to explain why CMX Summit is the place for you and what motivates you to be on stage.
In the pitch, we want to know details about your topic, what the audience will learn, and what your content will cover. Explain exactly what the audience will walk away with, what data or tactics you’ll cover, and what attendees should feel when they leave your talk.
Please avoid marketing your talk to us! That will come later. For now, we want to understand what you will actually talk about. Remember: CMX Summit does not allow sales pitches on stage. We’re an educational conference with an audience seeking to learn.
Include a bio
A good bio explains who you are in relation to the CMX Summit audience and your chosen topic. Demonstrate why you are the right person to speak on this topic, why our audience would find value in learning from you. A good bio will also hint at your personality.
Bonus: Links to videos of past talks
Conference speaking is a catch-22. Most speaking opportunities require experience, but how do you get experience if speaking opportunities don’t accept new speakers?
At CMX, we always welcome new and first-time speakers. We also have a commitment to diversity and inclusion at our events. Part of this means that we have a mix of new friends and old friends take the stage.
Have a recording of yourself giving a presentation, doing a webinar, or on a podcast? Link it up. If you don’t, get a smartphone, tap record, present on a topic, and upload it to YouTube. We are looking for confidence speaking in front of a camera/audience!
Speakers for CMX Summit 2021 will receive:
- A CMX Summit Speaker Comp Package
- Access to all CMX Academy courses (valued at $499 USD each)
- Opportunity to reach the CMX audience through blog post, social media, or podcast feature
- An edited video for your professional portfolio
- Coaching, process, and any assistance you need in getting to the CMX Summit stage
How many speaker applications do you expect? How many will you select?
Last year, we had 150 speaker applications in 2020. We’re expecting to book ~10 speakers from these applications this year.
How long will it take to hear back?
Submissions close Friday, July 16 at 5pm PT. You will hear back from us whether your application is successful or not!
If I’ve applied for a previous CMX Summit, do I need to fill out this application?
Yes, please do!
If I’ve spoken before at Summit, can I submit an application?
Yes, you can. Though keep in mind as part of our commitment to diversity on stage, we limit the number of returning voices each year.
Can you or someone else on CMX’s staff read my application before I submit it?
No. Sorry, but that would put you at an unfair advantage.
Can myself and a colleague give a joint presentation?
At this time, no. Past experience shows these talks are best solo. We do provide support for speakers who want extra help shaking off stage nervousness.
Can I teach a workshop?
Yes. Applications are open to leading workshops. Workshops are typically 45-90 minutes long and have attendees walking through actionable strategies they can implement into their community right now. A workshop is not about theory, but more about how to practically implement theory into community building.
Can I submit an application on behalf of someone else?
Yes. Please have the applicant’s consent before submitting on their behalf.
Are you ready? Apply to speak at CMX Summit 2021!