July 18-22, 2022 | Nashville
Creating a Compelling Agile2022 Submission
Creating a submission that increases your odds of being accepted
The Agile20XX conference series is the premier Agile conference globally, and, as such, there is a lot of competition for speaking slots. On average, the conference receives about 2,500 submissions with only about 200 speaking slots available. That means you need to do all you can to ensure that your proposal stands out from the crowd.
Where do I start?
To submit a session, you first need to have an Agile Alliance Membership or a free Subscriber account. You can become a member here for just $49/year and help support our non-profit mission, or you can subscribe here for free.
Next, it makes sense to familiarize yourself with the submission system. Head to the submission system, log in with your Agile Alliance account, and poke around.
Once you’re familiar with the system, you can submit a proposal by navigating to Sessions -> Propose a Session, where you fill out a form that describes your session. We’ll explain a few of the fields that contribute the most to giving your submission an edge in the following sections.
Start with a title that is meaningful to the topic. This is your first opportunity to grab the attendee’s (and reviewer’s) attention. It is the headline of your session. Many people attend sessions based on the title alone. Try and avoid titles that are questions.
The abstract is the marketing for your session. Design it to persuade people to attend. Many good abstracts begin with a startling statement or compelling question. Defining a problem statement and making a call to action can be effective. Outstanding abstracts draw on readers’ emotions, such as appealing to a pain they are feeling or an idea about which they are excited. Instead, focus on what the attendee will get out of it.
To do this, you need to understand your primary audience. Communicating directly to attendees is one key to a good submission. Although there is a dropdown to select audience level, include details here: “This session targets senior managers inside the company who want to introduce XP and Scrum but are not sure how to get started.”
Consider describing your presentation format, exercises, or activities you intend to include. This helps attendees understand what to expect at your session and decide whether it will be valuable to them.
Above all, ensure your abstract is well-written and clearly articulates your ideas. It should be free of grammatical and spelling mistakes. However, we do take into account non-native English speakers. Still, the language of the conference is English, so if your native language is something other than that, you can ask for help from the Program Team or people you already know.
Information for the Program Team
This part of the submission form is used to provide details that will help the reviewers and program team better understand your session. These details will not be published in the online schedule, so you don’t need to be as formal in your language or writing style.
This section should describe the mechanics of what you want to do in the session. Include timings, outlines, exercises, or anything that helps the review team understand your thinking behind the session and how you will manage it. If you have a co-facilitator, be explicit about how they will be involved in the session.
Additionally, if you have given this presentation before, please provide a link to the video, slide deck, handouts, or anything else to help the review team better understand the context of what you would be presenting.
Learning outcomes is a concise list of 3-5 clear takeaways that will add to the attendee’s knowledge from attending your session. They should not suggest what attendees will leverage at work but what they will learn or practice within the session.
To construct them well, ask yourself about the specific topics you address. For example:
- Lots of WIP sources
- What happens with excess WIP
- There are tools to increase focus
Now you want to assign a level of action you think they could achieve as a result of attending your session:
- IDENTIFY various sources of WIP
- ARTICULATE the impact of excess WIP
- APPLY simple tools to create focus
This clarity will give your potential attendees a clear understanding of what they will get out of the session to prioritize the sessions they attend based on their needs.
Tell your story with specifics. Are you a seasoned speaker, or are you new to presenting? If you’re new, that’s OK. Make sure you let the reviewers know in this field. Giving reviewers a sense of your style is helpful. Providing a link to a video clip of you presenting or pitching your session could be very helpful to the reviewers.
Sounds great in theory. Do you have an example?
Why yes, we do! With permission from Ellen Grove, here is an example of an excellent submission that she submitted for one of our previous conferences. Thank you to Ellen for letting us repost your submission content!
Here is another example from Jenny Tarwater.
Hopefully, we’ve equipped you with some tips to help you make your submission stand out. Your submission will help us broaden the knowledge and values of the Agile community, and, in return, we will help you get your message out and find your audience.
Submissions are OPEN NOW!