This question is part of the following Ask The Expert session:
The best way to obtain a speaking slot is simply to reach out to the conference organizers and ask. Most conference websites have an enquiry form or contact form, and that’s a good place to start. Reach out to them, highlighting what value you could bring to the program and what your area of expertise is.
If you are a good fit, they’ll be happy to receive your request and you can take it from there to plan your session title and so on.
If you are not a good fit, don’t take it personally. Conference organizers need to think about the big picture and what makes most sense in the context of their agenda and target audience. It doesn’t mean they don’t think you’d be a good speaker. It just means they don’t think you’d be a good speaker at this particular event to this particular audience.
Please note that in some cases, even if they turn you down initially, if you were willing and able to become a sponsor this may open up the possibility of a speaking slot.
Also, a lesser known tip, if they are on the fence about you speaking and you can’t afford to be a sponsor, there are other things you can offer that can sometimes sway them in your direction. Do you have a great database of people to share with them for their marketing campaign? Can you help them secure other speakers/sponsors? Do you have a blog or online community where you can promote the event? Sometimes offering an additional benefit to them of having you involved in the project can help ensure a speaking slot for you – it’s not guaranteed, but it’s worth a shot anyway!