By Denise Felder~


Have you ever looked at a speaker in a business meeting or professional conference and thought, “I could do that”?

Or do you think the opposite? – “There’s no way I could stand in front of the room like that.”

Either way, you are probably more qualified than you think to lead a presentation at work.

Employers want students and employees to have the skills needed to make good presentations – verbal communications, ability to relate with different types of people, research skills, and the willingness to take responsibility for projects.

Who can lead presentations?

  • Anyone wanting to share learning about a topic
  • Students demonstrating their knowledge
  • Job seekers establishing subject matter expertise
  • Employees demonstrating leadership skills
  • Leaders influencing change

Most professional events welcome speakers from diverse age and cultural groups.

You don’t need to have 20 years’ experience to present. You just need a strong interest in your topic, and the desire to help your colleagues learn more about it.

“Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers.” ~ Josef Albers

Presenting at a professional conference, like the 2015 CTE Works! Summit in November, is an opportunity to share your perspective with colleagues.

In addition to adding to your professional development, many conferences, including CTE Works!, offer discounted or free registration for those leading concurrent sessions.

Professional conferences often ask colleagues to submit a proposal of what they would like to present. Having your presentation topic chosen by the conference organizers can be a prestigious addition to your resume.

8 reasons to submit a presentation proposal:

  1. Be a voice for your students, clients, professional community.
  2. Provide learning and new information for attendees.
  3. Collaborate with colleagues as co-presenters.
  4. Co-present with students or young professionals to provide experiential learning.
  5. Receive feedback on research or developing projects.
  6. Share ideas and build relationships with others interested in your topic.
  7. Practice public speaking and engage adult learners.
  8. Increase your visibility within your professional community.

The deadline to submit presentation proposals for the CTE Works! Summit is Friday, July 17, 2015 for high school and college educators and advisers, and workforce practitioners and administrators.

Interested Career Technical Education professionals and teaching students can find the criteria for successful proposals and the session strands on the Summit’s Call for Proposals page.

If you are not a CTE professional, check with professional organizations in your career field to find out how to present at upcoming events.


Featured image courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight under Creative Commons 2.0.

“UFV_GEO_PRESENTATION” courtesy of the University of Frasier Valley under Creative Commons 2.0

5 thoughts on “8 Ways Presenting at Conferences Helps Your Career

  1. I agree with the author of this blog that presenting at professional conferences is a wonderful way to help your career. I have had the experience of presenting at 4 professional conferences and those experiences have helped me grow professionally and allowed me to connect with other professionals in the field. When I presented my research at the Association for Psychological Science I connected with researchers that gave me positive and critical feedback for my research. Having the opportunity to present my work also allowed me to practice presenting and developing a professional identity in which I took with me when I interviewed for graduate schools.


  2. Presenting at a conference is something I think would be incredibly influential to my future career prospects, in terms of establishing my own expertise and networking. However, I have found the prospect very intimidating! This blog post was a good, and timely, encouragement. I think more than anything I would find value in planning for the presentation. Creating it through my own research, sending it for consideration, and then dealing with subsequent feedback, would be useful even if the first few opportunities don’t end with me actually speaking.


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