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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Willey

How to Become an Industry Thought Leader: Fearless in 5

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

This past month I was the keynote speaker at a conference in Japan, talking about the importance of gender equality and empowering and elevating women at work. One of the five factors I focused on was just how important it is that we have a voice in the industry. One of the participants approached me afterwards to say she’s now inspired to speak at the next big industry conference but she doesn’t even know where to begin. And that’s why in this week’s Fearless in 5 we’ll focus on the five steps you need to take to become an industry thought leader.

Step #1: Believe in yourself and your message. Know that people want to hear what you have to say as long as it’s something that you’re an expert in, you’re passionate about or that you bring value to the table for.

Step #2: Build a strategic road map of the conferences where you would like to speak.

Step #3: Research the hot topics from the previous year’s conference. See what matches up to your message and use that to develop your speaker abstract. This is the summary of what it is that you’ll speak about.

Step #4: Identify timing. There’s always a window of time, generally pretty far in advance before the conference itself, where the conference organizers will put out what’s called a “Call for Speakers.” That’s when you can submit your application and your abstract.

Step #5: Stand and deliver. Get in front of the mirror, say what it is that you want out loud with the script that you use to start with, then cull that down to bullet points, and then key words.

Are you ready to take the stage? If you need help with public speaking contact me or check out Wet Cement at And if you have any tips on how to be a fearless speaker, please share them in the comments below.



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