Distilled seeking less experienced speakers for SearchLove Boston 2019

Over the past 8 or 9 months, you might have heard us talking about the SearchLove community speaker sessions. These are the opportunity to speak for 20-minute in front of 200+ people that we ran at our London and San Diego conferences, delivered by a group of relatively new speakers. Each speaker received support and coaching by the Distilled team, with the aim of giving them a platform to showcase their knowledge, talent and opinions.


Now to the best bit. We’ve been so happy with our previous community speakers that we’re rolling it out to our East Coast conference, SearchLove Boston 2019.  If this sounds like something you’d like to be a part of then we’re on the lookout for speakers who:

  • Are Boston locals (no further than 2-2.5 hours drive from the venue). We want to support the community where our conference runs and help our speakers raise their local profile.
  • Are looking for their first big stage speaking opportunity
  • Are available to join us at SearchLove Boston on June 10 & 11, 2019.

Before you apply we recommend having a read of the details below. Once you’ve done that, grab your camera and send us your pitch to join us in Boston. You’ve got just over 2 weeks to apply (deadline: April 16, 2019)


What’s in it for us and our audience?

Our events team spends a huge amount of time reviewing speaker applications, visiting conferences on both sides of the Atlantic and talking to the best speakers on the circuit at the moment, so we can gather them all under one roof at our SearchLove conferences. We’ve had many speakers that have blown us away and we love it when they ask us if they can speak again, but over the last 9 months we set ourselves the goal to find even more emerging talent.

So far we’ve had 7 community speakers standing shoulder to shoulder with some of the best digital marketers in the world, and they’ve all held their own (some were rated in the top 3 speakers) . What makes this so exciting for us, is that these are marketers who work on the front line of digital marketing at their companies every single day. They take a leap of faith and stand on stage telling us about their successes and failures, so we can all learn from them.

We want to make SearchLove diverse. We all work in an industry that is white male dominated, and we hold ourselves responsible for developing a more diverse pool of speakers who can appear on stages across the world in the future. SearchLove Boston 2018 was our first conference with over 50% women speakers, and that’s a number we want to sustain and grow.

We are aware (as with previous rounds of community speaker applications), that a lot of applicants will be white men, but if that doesn’t describe you then we’d especially encourage you to grab your phone and send us an application.

apply Now

What’s in it for you?

Here’s the full package you’ll receive if you are successful (along with your 20 minutes on stage!):

  • Introductory call with the Distilled team
  • Multiple video calls to run through your presentation with the Distilled team and get feedback
  • Deck review and content call to bounce around your session ideas
  • 1 to 1 ongoing support from a Distilled team member
  • Final in-person review with Will Critchlow and the Distilled team in Boston before the conference
  • VIP ticket to attend SearchLove Boston including attending the VIP dinner with all the other speakers the night before the conference
  • A nice bunch of Distilled and SearchLove swag

We are extremely excited to be rolling this scheme out to our second US event after the success of San Diego & London (where one of the community speakers broke into the top 3 rated speakers!). But as this is an opportunity for local folks, we'll only be accepting pitches from applicants living within the Boston area (2-2.5 hours drive from the venue)  for this particular conference.

A note on the video requirement

As part of the application process, we require all speakers to send us a short video. Ultimately, we are looking for speakers who get us excited, and sometimes words on paper don’t tell the whole story. We also wanted to level the playing field as newer speakers might not have access to professionally shot and edited videos. By doing this we have found that the application process is more inclusive and gives everyone their best chance to shine and stand out.

We do not expect the video to be professionally lit and shot. The most important thing is that we want to see your energy and enthusiasm about your topic and the chance to be a part of SearchLove Boston. Need an example? Have a look at Will’s short video below to see the sort of thing we’re looking for.

Seriously, a selfie video, shot on your mobile phone or webcam is perfectly acceptable, but have a think about how you might stand out from the crowd.

Final words

After reading this, we hope that you’re super excited to take a leap of faith and fill in the application form. If you’re still on the fence, we’d encourage you to just give it a go.

Don’t fall prey to imposter syndrome. You’re working in the industry, doing these things day in and day out. We want to hear about your experiences and share your journey. Don’t worry about how much speaking experience you have - we promise we’ll do everything we can make your presentation excellent. The best advice we can give you is to apply.

Let our previous community speakers convince you

I thought the feedback was the best thing about the whole programme. I was, perhaps, a little sceptical in advance but completely a fan.

[It] was comfortably uncomfortable! Having your work pulled apart is never easy, but it was done in a really encouraging way and brought the best out of all of our presentations.

Andi Jarvis, SearchLove London 2018 community speaker

This experience completely changed the way I deliver my talks. No one had ever critiqued my decks to this extent before or given such detailed feedback - and it was invaluable. Because of the advice from the Distilled team I'm now speaking at two events I've never done before this year!

I've also made friends for life with Luke and Andy. You become a little family (with the Distilled team like your aunts and uncles!) and having that support from other peers within the industry is such a boost.

Laura Hogan, SearchLove London 2018 community speaker

How to apply

You’ll need to tell us:

  • Why you’d like to speak at SearchLove Boston
  • Where you are based
  • What your speaking experience looks like so far
  • What topic you’d like to talk about - the more specific and actionable a topic you can describe, the better
  • Remember, the closing date for applications is April 16, 2019

And you’ll need to send us a short video as described above.

apply now

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