Talk proposal guidelines
Tips and guidelines for submitting a successful proposal.
Think about the audience
Our events bring together a diverse crowd of passionate makers: product managers, designers, entrepreneurs. Like you, they're in the trenches every day trying to work out how to build amazing products, and they want to learn from your own experiences.
Personal, candid talks focused on a specific problem or outcome will have the strongest chance of making it in the lineup.
- A community of passionate makers
- Candid stories and practical talks
- How you (try to) build great products
JAM is not:
- A way to pitch your company or product
- A platform for sharing success stories (there's enough online already!)
- A series of lectures, theories or 'big-picture' talks
Find a topic you care about
Here are some ideas you can explore when thinking of the message or story you want to share:
- Product story: can you share a candid case study of a a product or feature you built? From the problem to the end result, talk us through your decisions, struggles and lessons. Help the audience learn from your unique process.
- Failure story: we hear a lot about launching, but not so much about failing. Tell us about a time you (or your team) failed. Why did it happen and what did you learn from it?
- Career & personal growth: we often talk about products, but rarely about the people behind them. From your career choices to current challenges, reflect on your personal story and inspire others on their own journey.
- The maker's rollercoaster: the ups and downs of creating a product are relentless, yet rarely discussed. Reflect on it through the lens of your own personal experience. This can include how you handled conflict, solved a particular problem or developed a new process.
Your team & processes
- People: your stories and 'how to' talks on creating high-functioning teams, working well with others and developing product leadership skills.
- Ways you work & tools of the trade: from your favourite research framework to the way you set up your roadmap, show us how you get things done and why you do things a certain way.
Craft your proposal
As you craft your proposal, consider the following elements:
- Impactful – Your talk solves a clearly defined problem for the audience, using one key message or story. Don't just identify a topic for your talk; be as specific as possible about its outcomes. What do you want the audience to learn, (re)think or do differently?
- Original – Your talk doesn't feel 'deja vu'. We haven't heard about this exact topic at other industry events. And the personal nature of your content makes it unique. If it's important to you, chances are it’s important to others as well.
- Relevant – Your peers value real-world stories and experiences they can relate to. Make sure you use a guiding message or story that will keep people engaged and interested. If your talk aims to 'educate' around a specific framework, make sure you back it up with practical examples.
What can I expect if I'm selected?
As much feedback and support as you need to help you kill it on stage! Creating a great talk is an iterative process, and we work closely with every speaker to make this happen.
Here's what you can expect:
- Resources and guidelines on how to nail your key message
- Support from the JAM team at any step of the talk prep process
- Feedback from a speaking coach to polish your content and delivery
- An opportunity to practice your talk, one month before the event
- Access to the Alumni Speakers Slack channel
You'll also receive:
- Budget for your travel and accommodation
- An extra ticket for a +1
- A ticket to the following year's conference
- An invite to the Speaker dinner``