Imagine you have found a great conference which just opened up the Call For Speakers (CFS) and you have decided to submit a session about a topic you are passionate about. Everyone is excited. You, the organizers, and even the people out there, listening to your promotion about your plans for public speaking; it’s great!
The next step can be vague, abstract, and challenging: Submitting your session so it is selected. What is the key to being selected? The session description! This guide aims to help you nail your session description and improve your chances of being selected as a speaker not only for the Nordic Summit but also for other conferences you want to speak at.
The importance of session descriptions
Why is a session description important? This question could be looked at from different perspectives. From your perspective, it is the session description that will either get you to the conference as a speaker or not.
From the organizer’s perspective, a good session description which is descriptive and answers the questions and themes the organizers are looking for will help evaluate the session more easily. From the audience’s perspective, a good session description will help the audience decide whether or not they will join your session and feel they got what they came for.
What are we looking for?
Nordic Summit is an event for all Power Platform and Dynamics 365 enthusiasts. Therefore we want session submissions where the content is related to e.g. some part of the platform such as Power Apps or Power Automate, the native Dynamics 365 apps or even Microsoft 365 content but with a Power Platform twist. Technical content for professional developers and makers is very much welcome too. See the CFS page for a full list of topics we are looking for.
Making sure your suggested session aligns within one of the topics we are looking for is one thing, but what do we want more? We asked Sara Lagerquist, who is one of Nordic Summit’s main organizers, what session submissions she is looking for. Here is what she said.
I’m keen to see inspiring sessions, simple solutions to everyday problems, traditional how-to’s and my favourite “Lessons learnt”! But mostly it’s about submitting something you are passionate about, because that shines through when you present.
Session description key ingredients
There is always a TITLE of course. Make sure it has the ability to catch the interest and that it is descriptive and helpful for the reader to understand what the session is all about.
A good session description answers three questions. Answers to those questions should describe what the session is about, why it is relevant, and how it is delivered. The answers should also explain how the session covers possible themes and priorities the organized has emphasized, such as:
- Technology like Power Platform or Dynamics 365
- Preferences such as business impact or technology priority
Let’s look at the three questions a session should answer.
WHAT What am I speaking about.
WHY Why am I speaking about my topic of choice.
HOW How am I delivering my session.
In addition to answering the three simple questions, a session description should also include TAKEAWAYS. What will the audience take away from your session? E.g. What will they learn? What will they be able to do?
Session description examples
Let’s look at two concrete examples of session descriptions.
TITLE Help! I need to build a Custom Page!
WHAT New to custom pages and don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered! Templates, Creator Kit – we will take you through it.
WHY Compared to canvas apps and model-driven apps there are a few things that are different to custom Pages. For example how to mimic the UI to look like a part of a model-driven app or how to navigate between the custom page and the model-driven app.
HOW We will demo the different options to open a custom page, how you can use the creator kit to get a consistent UI and share our biggest mistakes we did when we started out.
TAKEAWAYS You’ll be able to choose how and when to use a custom page, what the pro’s and con’s with the different triggers are and how to get started with the creator kit from the POWER CAT team.
TITLE Real-life experiences – Power Automate Governance with Enterprise Customers
WHAT Adoption of Power Automate is growing and has already reached a rate where even small enterprises can have citizen developers building flows in 4-figures. Many times, few considerations have been made on governing Power Automate solutions at scale. It’s time to share experiences and tips on Power Automate governance from a technical and a process owner angle.
WHY When citizen developers find platform and process automation tools, the technical and product owners of Power Platform in an organization must take action to support and properly govern the technical and the business side of the process. Proper governance with agility vs. control in mind enables organizations to factor in the relevant components of governance, such as DLP, ALM, technical vs. process ownership, support, and training.
HOW In this session, the speaker will share experiences and tips on governing Power Automate at scale in the enterprise customer segment. The session also includes demos about technical Power Platform solutions that have been implemented to help day-to-day governance activities.
TAKEAWAYS After attending this session, you’ll learn about agility vs. control in governance, and how that affects decisions like ALM, environment strategy, and DLP. You’ll also learn what should be considered when governing Power Automate from a technical and a business owner perspective. With these learnings, you’ll be able to adapt the speaker’s experiences and ideas to your own Power Automate governance strategies.
Session submissions dos and don’ts
Here follows some session description and submission Dos and Don’ts.
✅ Show your passion! Choose your words so that your passion shines through.
✅ Read the instructions, sometimes it is specified what headlines the organizers expect.
✅ Make sure you are submitting a subject which aligns with the conference expected content.
✅ Include key takeaways to ensure that the audience understand why to attend your session
✅ Add info about the format of the session, i.e. will there be demos or not?
✅ Think a bit extra about title and try to catch the organizer’s and audience’s interest.
✅ Check your grammar, use a tool (spelling checker) of your choice.
❌ Write a whole essay. Instead keep it short but make it stand out.
❌ Submit sessions with subjects not intended for the conference.
❌ Copy the style from someone else in an obvious way.
❌ Don’t miss the deadline for sending in submissions. Obviously! 😉
Our CFS will open on March 1st – and you can stay up to date on what we are looking for, Nordic Summit Call For Speakers. We hope that you feel inspired to create session descriptions and we are looking forward to seeing YOUR submissions!