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Alter.Nation Blog

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Alteryx Certified Partner
Alteryx Certified Partner

Embrace the Stage

 

For me, 2018 was the year of presenting at Alteryx Inspire(s) and it might surprise you that it was the first time that I stepped out of my comfort zone and got on stage in front of 300+ Alteryx enthusiasts in both Anaheim and London!

 

I hope that over the next 5 minutes of you reading this I can inspire you to submit your demo tape, jump on stage, and rock out in front of hundreds of supportive Alteryx Inspire attendees at Inspire 2019 in Nashville.

 

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My (newfound) #1 Motivation for Speaking

 

Before I get into some of the potential reasons for speaking, choosing a topic, tips for submitting the application, and planning the talk, I want to share my experience of speaking at my first two Inspires. Even as an Alteryx ACE, I’d always been reluctant to speak at events (or even blogging!) My main concern was not necessarily nervousness (although I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t), but I always assumed that no one would be interested in what I had to say.

 

“Everyone probably already knows plenty about my topic(s)!”

 

“I don’t know enough to speak at a conference as I’m not an expert.”

 

Those thoughts were completely wiped out during the nods of agreement, Q&A, the thank-yous, the comments after I stepped down from the stage, and the post-session feedback. If there is one thing you take away from this blog post, I’d like it to be that I promise that attendees will be interested in what you present and have to say!

 

Diversity in the Alteryx community is what makes it so great and this is no different to the unconventional Alteryx Inspire conferences. You’ll notice that the agenda will reflect organisations and people from all different industries and backgrounds respectively. Don’t be afraid to submit an abstract, even if you might think your journey is a little offbeat; it’s the variety which makes Inspire so exciting. Alteryx goes out of their way to have topics aimed at all skill levels from organisations of all types and sizes, and speakers from all job-levels and functions.

 

Why Might YOU Want to Speak?

 

Before you start speaking at conferences, you should figure out why you want to present and hopefully some or all these reasons could be the ticket:

 

  • Receiving a complimentary conference ticket to the greatest analytics event of the year (RRP $1,275). Check out Alteryx’s 7 reasons to attend in 2019
  • Reaching your goal to become more involved in the community to share the things you have learnt and how you have approached them. Speaking at an event means that hundreds of people will instantly know who you are and what you’re passionate about. A sure-fire way to become (Alteryx) famous!
  • Adding to your own personal exposure and creating active and easy networking opportunities
  • People will be more inclined to speak to you about topics that they know you are well-versed and interested in!
  • Self-improvement in public speaking
  • Speaking at an event like Inspire can give you a great sounding board in front of a friendly supportive audience to develop your skills
  • Promoting yourself, and your product or your company with the wider community
  • And as an extra incentive, there might even be some extra special speaker perks and swag from Alteryx for getting up onstage

 

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Tips for Submitting

 

As I don’t review the applications I cannot guarantee any of the following will help you gain a speaking slot, but I hope it’ll be useful in helping formulate your speaker submission:

 

  • Come up with a catchy title that’ll make your talk stand out on the agenda. Here are a few that I liked from recent conferences: Analytics Stairway to Heaven, Rev Your Engines: Alteryx Under the Hood, Fuzzy Match Made in Heaven for Kimberly-Clark, Customer Journey Analytics: Keeping the Steam Out of Your Customers’ Ears!
  • Be specific in your abstract – Clearly state what you are planning on presenting: the structure of your session, what the audience will learn and what will be valuable for attendees, if you will have a co-presenter, etc. Make sure you include information on how the topic of the talk has impacted you and/or your organisation. I.e. time savings, return on investment, value added, employee satisfaction, more time spent with your friends and family, etc.
  • What will you show – slides, workflows, tips & tricks? Make sure you’re explicit about what will be going into your session!

 

What Can You Talk About?

 

I won’t go into much detail of the specific topics that you could speak on but here’s a starter for 10 that would spark my interest. Keep in mind that you can apply to speak about anything Alteryx related:

 

  1. Technical deep dive into a specific part of the platform such as: Alteryx Server, Connect, or Promote
  2. Predictive stories and use cases around: Market Basket Analysis, AB Testing, and Predictive Modelling
  3. Deep dive into Developer tools such as: SDKs, APIs, or R and Python
  4. A solution to a common problem you and others face
  5. Enterprise adoption of Alteryx and your learnings and tips for success
  6. Creating an industry leading Alteryx Centre of Excellence
  7. Strong departmental use cases with powerful ROI
  8. Using Alteryx with BIG data (data lakes) and how you’ve set up the infrastructure to be successful
  9. Using Alteryx for AI, ML or IOT
  10. Alteryx for Good stories

 

Tips for Your Talk

 

I’ll save the detail for another blog post once speakers have been selected, but there’s no need to worry about this yet. You will have plenty of time to iron out the structure, content, and messaging for your session once selected and best of all there are many resources available to support you on this, such as:

  • Complimentary speaker coaching/tips from a professional speaker a few weeks prior to Inspire
  • Support from your Alteryx account rep and/or the Alteryx marketing and community teams
  • Opportunities to do practice runs internally and at your local user groups
  • Alteryx ACEs (including myself) are also more than willing to support by reviewing slides and being available to listen to dry runs online

 

So, after reading my first ‘proper’ blog post, are you inspired to present at Alteryx Inspire 2019 in Nashville or London?

If so, start thinking about and drafting your title and abstract now and submit your demo tape for Inspire Nashville 2019 ASAP!

And if you need any extra motivation, you can watch my session from Inspire Europe 2018 with Daniel Brun on YouTube.

 

Cheers!

 

 

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Joe Lipski
Alteryx ACE and Consulting Manager

Joe is an analytics manager at Javelin Group leading client engagement in the Intelligent Retail business line. Joe was one of the five inaugural Alteryx ACEs from 2014 and leads the London Alteryx User Group. Follow him on Twitter @Joe_Lipski

Comments
Quasar
Quasar

Great blog Joe!  For me, this hits home.  I've always wanted to get more comfortable public speaking.  Over the past 5 years, I've been able to speak at Inspires, and other events, all thanks to Alteryx.  I have become much more comfortable doing it, and actually seek it out now!  It has been great for both my professional development, as well as my confidence.  And it all started back in 2013 with my first ever Inspire presentation!