Michael Schneider

Cheat Sheet: How to Be Selected as a Speaker at HCIC

by Michael Schneider | Apr 18, 2012
It's hard to believe, but the process of locking down the program for the 16th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference is upon us. In the next 4-6 weeks the program will be set, the brochure will go out, and registration will begin. And we are already collecting speaker proposals -- the call for speakers ends on April 27th. So, if you have been thinking about making a presentation at HCIC, now is the time to get your speaker proposal in. People speak at HCIC for a variety of reasons. Most simply want to help the community of healthcare web professionals by sharing their story with others. But being accepted as a speaker also comes with the benefit of free admission to HCIC. And vendor speakers appreciate the opportunity to spread the word about their products and services. So how do you get selected to be a speaker at HCIC? Well the most obvious answer is that "you can't win if you don't play" -- so you have to submit a speaker proposal. Thinking through your topic and entering a proposal by the deadline is the only way to be considered. Because we get so many good speaker proposals each year, we do not allow any exceptions to this process. But just submitting a speaker proposal is no guarantee that yours will be selected, so here are a few insider tips on some things that weigh heavily in the selection process: 1. Spend time on a compelling write-up about your proposed presentation. Each year we turn down speaker proposals that could have been really great presentations solely because the write-up for the presentation is so poor and no-descriptive. We literally have speakers submit proposals with basic one or two line descriptions. Without more information and detail, those kinds of speaker proposals rarely make the cut. 2. Every selected proposal must have a hospital or health system presenter. Several proposals last year were turned down because they were submitted by a vendor with no provider co-presenter. Our goal as program coordinators is to ensure that no presentation is a pure sales pitch by a vendor. Vendors are encouraged to submit speaker proposals, but past attendees have indicated that they want a non-vendor co-presenter who is also willing to communicate about the presentation with their peers while networking at the conference. 3. Include results and share data about outcomes. From our conference surveys, attendees have indicated that they want to know about results based on the subject of the presentation. Where possible, it is good to know that whatever is being presented has been successful -- but demonstrating successful outcomes with data is the icing on the cake. 4. Make sure the topic is not too simplistic or basic. While we do try ensure that there are a handful of the more elementary and basic presentations each year, the majority of proposals selected represent a hot topic for the more seasoned healthcare web professional. Attendees are mostly interested in topics that will move the state of their sites forward and explore the cutting edge. 5. Think about what topics will really resonate with your peers. Your presentation will draw the greatest attention if it is covers a topic that most attendees can relate to. There are certainly some cutting edge or advanced topics that won't appeal to everyone, but generally your chances of being selected as a speaker -- and of getting good attendance at your session -- increase greatly if your peers can relate and appreciate your topic. We are excited about the 16th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference! It will be held this year at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, November 12-14. If you are interested in submitting a speaker proposal you can do it online at the conference web site We hope to see you there!
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