Securing a speaking engagement with a winning synopsis

Following on from my last blog post, Using Public Speaking Opportunities for PR, once you’ve found a seminar or speaking opportunity that you’re interested in, you’ll need to submit a synopsis to the event organisers.  

Some conferences will list the specific speaking engagements available for each conference.  Alternatively, the organisers will ask for speakers to put forward proposals for seminars that would be a good addition to their programme.   

Event organisers will receive many synopses for their events and you need to make sure your one is selected.  It needs to be a short (no more than 250 words), succinct summary of what the speaker will be focussing on in their proposed seminar that is similar to what you might find on the back of a book cover.  

Follow these rules to write a synopsis that will grab their attention.   

 1. The title: give the reader a taste of the seminar eg:

  • Target bullies, protect victims
  • Cutting costs without cutting staff
  • Raising achievement in deprived area

2. The issue: open with the specific issue or problem that will be discussed.     

  • XXX college faced had over 100 incidences of bullying reported in 2010.  Victims felt that the college did not address the incidences quickly while the perpetrators felt they could continue their behaviour without consequence. 
  • The costs of labour are a hospital’s number one expense but reducing numbers of staff compromises care for patients. 
  •  XXX primary school is located in an area of high unemployment and social deprivation.  Over 50% of pupils have special needs yet…

3. The resolution:  briefly describe how the issue or problem was managed.   

  • By making changes to how behaviour was monitored and producing guidelines for all staff, the college has seen reported incidences decrease by over 50% in the past year.  XXX, vice principal, will explain how they are clamping down on bullying.    
  • XXX hospital have reduced expenditure by 25% by targeting ineffienciencies without cutting back on staff.  XXX, healthcare manager, can explain how they  managed to improve efficiency throughout the hospital.
  • For the past two years, the school has achieved higher than average SAT results and improved communication with hard-to-reach parents.  XXX, head teacher, can talk about the specific steps and technology used to achieve this. 

4. The speaker: tell the reader about the speaker and their experience.  This should include any mention of prior speaking experience and membership of advisory panels. 

Follow these simple steps to produce a winning synopsis.  Good luck!

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  • About the Author

    My focus is on achieving great coverage for our clients and the best part of my day is talking with journalists and bloggers. I am the company’s education blogger expert and spend a lot of my time researching what it is that makes them tick. My background in teaching helps me to think from a teacher’s perspective when developing PR ideas and writing for our clients in the education sector. Outside of work I like to run, play the piano and have fun with my kids.

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