PanelPicker Tips for Success: Applying to Speak at SXSW

Tuesday, March 17

9:30AM – 10:30AM

Austin Convention Center

In July 2015, SXSW will start accepting speaking proposals for the
March 2016 event via the PanelPicker interface. This process is a very
competitive one – only about one in five proposals are accepted. Attend
this session to learn basic tips on how to give your great speaking idea
the best chance for success in this process. By Christine Auten and Sarah Garcia. #sxsw #sxswpptips


1. Follow directions.

2. Be specific in your title.

3. Meet deadlines.

4. Proof before you click Submit.

5. Create an original proposal.

6. Depth is better than width. (No overview proposals; be specific about an advanced, in-depth exploration of the topic and focus not on what’s current, but on what’s next.)

7. Solo sessions are preferred to panels because panels tend to diffuse opinions and prepare less while solo sessions facilitate more advanced learning. However, panels with VOWEL (Variety, Opinion, Women, Ethnicity and represent different Locations) can be very successful.

8. Promote your session idea to gain public votes and comments and raise awareness across the Advisory Board and staff.

9. Contact and watch for details.

10. Include a video of the principal speaker speaking (Google Hangout, link to past speaking engagement or even a webcam video of the speaker expressing their passion for the topic).

11. Ensure that speakers proposed are confirmed. (Some haven’t even been aware they were proposed!)

12. Sometimes the topic is accepted contingent on employing a different format (e.g., Core Conversation instead of Solo Presentation) – this is not a demotion, but just a reflection of the topic being better conveyed in the latter format.

Michael is responsible for client SEO work, reporting, FB ads, and web hosting. Prior to joining NSI Partners, Michael received his Bachelor of Science in Business Management Information Systems from Liberty University, and worked at the school’s Network Operations Center. Michael resides in Lynchburg, VA, with his wife, Megan. His hobbies include gaming, watching Atlanta Falcons football, and reading.

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About NSI Partners

A digital marketing company with almost two decades of experience, NSI Partners helps clients achieve robust results in search marketing, social media, and other digital marketing spaces.

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