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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  April 06, 2017

Are You Ready to Be A Big Keynote Speaker?

Are You Ready to Be A Big Keynote Speaker?

Speaking at industry conferences is a common way to get your ideas out there. But getting on the agenda is easier said than done when 10 speakers are competing for every opening.

The biggest clue for what buyers here look for lies in the program. Example: ATD’s2017 (Association for Talent Development) speaker lineup. Pay attention to these two things:

• The keynoters. Yes, two of the three keynotes are well known. But one general session speaker has a good background with a great platform. That’s proof positive that mere mortals can get on the main stage—but only if you are strategic. This is the spot where you want to be.


Listen: 2 things buyers want from keynote speakers


• The concurrent sessions offer an interesting mix of practical and strategic. With over 300 sessions, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. If you speak here, expect a lot of competing priorities. Your biggest competition will not be other vendors offering similar solutions. The objections will be around what area to focus on when.

Bottom line: Where you appear on the agenda matters. Don’t assume the concurrent sessions are your only option. If you get strategic (especially before your book come out), you have a fighting chance to get the plum speaking opportunities.


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.