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On Speaker Rejection Letters — Postcards From My Life

Ever applied to speak at a conference but been rejected? Cal Evans explains what it looks like from the side of the conference organizer.

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Dear Reader,

This is an excerpt from a project I am working on titled “Spin a Good Yarn”. Details available soon.

Rejection letters are just the participation certificates of adulthood.Conference organizers get this question all the time: “Why was my talk not selected?”. The smart ones know not to answer it. Think about it. There is no upside for the organizer in answering that question. It generally boils down to something along the lines of, “Your talk didn’t fit.” or, “There was a better talk/speaker giving a talk on this topic.” Either way, every time I have answered this question as a conference organizer, it has led to hurt feelings. So most conference organizers won’t answer it.

If you weren’t selected, assume it was not personal, that they don’t necessarily hate you, and that it just wasn’t the right time for your talk at their conference.Arguing with a conference organizer, calling them names, insisting that it was based on race, gender, or anything at all, is a great way to make sure that you never get invited to speak at their conference…ever. If you submit and do not get selected, be an adult. At the very least, don’t whine or mock the conference publicly. If you want to ingratiate yourself with the conference organizers, use the social media network of your choice to congratulate those that were selected. Most conference organizers hold out specially priced tickets for people who submit and do not get selected. Consider buying one and attending anyhow. Doing this will give you a better idea of the conference, the feel for it, and will put in a great position to do better next year.

Arguing with a conference organizer, calling them names on social media, insisting that it was based on race, gender — or anything at all except that there were other talks that fit the schedule better – is a great way to make sure that you never get invited to speak at their conference… ever.

Above all remember that conference organizers usually have 10 talk proposals for each speaking slot they have. Every CFP you submit to is stacked against you. So yes, you are going to collect a lot of rejection emails. If that bothers you, don’t start down the road of speaking.

Until next time,
I <3 |<

Photo Credit: Topher McCulloch
Used under a Creative Commons License.

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Published at DZone with permission of Cal Evans, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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