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IABC Africa launches Call for Speakers

25th Annual IABC Africa Regional Conference,
Johannesburg, 24-25 October 2018

The International Association of Business Communicators Africa (IABC Africa) invites speaking proposals for our Regional Conference in Johannesburg, 24-25 October 2018.

The conference theme is COMMUNICATION INTERCHANGE – connecting business, technology, culture and people. Our goal is to connect communicators across Africa and the world to inspire, create connections, foster best practices, and promote leadership in business through the communications profession.

The Conference will feature two days of inspiring keynotes and best-practice sessions by experts and business leaders from across Africa.


The Conference
This year IABC Africa will be hosting its 25th Annual Conference, and with such an incredible milestone we would like to make this year’s conference extra special and unforgettable! We want to ensure a high-energy, fast paced conference, much like the vibe of our host city.
There will be no time for yawning this year!
We have also lengthened the time of the networking opportunities to ensure you get adequate time to #createconnections and catch up with old friends and make new ones.

We anticipate this will draw over 80 senior communicators from across Africa.

Presentations must inspire and inform delegates on the challenges of leadership in an ever-changing political, social and workplace landscape.
Participation in the conference provides speakers with the opportunity to gain visibility and recognition as a subject matter expert in front of influential business communication professionals from a wide variety of industries.


The Theme
When thinking about the conference theme: COMMUNICATION INTERCHANGE – connecting business, technology, culture and people, we would like you to imagine our Jo’burg and Pretoria interchanges, jam packed, fast paced and taking you where you need to go…
This year we will cover a wide range of topics, from the latest technology, innovation, and trends in the digital sphere, to the more complex human interactions, cultural diversities, engagement of the people within your organisation as well as external audiences, and then, the even more challenging topics such as reputation across its many facets. Recognising that communication has been abused and misused to create divisions, mistrust and pollute our world with fake news. Exploring how communication should build engagement, create trust, promote transparency and support inclusivity. And dealing with the crisis mode, which has become almost business as usual for most of us today.
We will share case studies from our Gold and Silver Quill awards winners and have the ever-popular student TED talks.
This year we will be introducing and offering our unique CSI initiative to students of the profession – a chance to grow in their profession and give future communicators a view into the real world of work.


Share your experience

Sessions will include keynote speeches (5030 mins + 10 min Q&A), traditional presentation (30 mins + 10min Q&A), Ignite presentation (TED talk style presentation of (7mins), or be part of a themed panel discussion.

We are interested in speakers and content that:

• Represents outstanding business communications that makes a real impact
• Captures the latest knowledge and ideas in the profession
• Leads on how to reinvent our communication practices
• New content that has not been shared before
• Represents the diversity of communications in Africa
• Showcases innovative tools and techniques
• Engages delegates on the dynamics and distinctive challenges for the Africa region
• Case Studies from Gold and Silver Quill winners and PRISM Awards – Best of the Best

This is what IABC looks for in a keynote presenter:

• An authentic, dynamic speaker with a compelling presence who is able to connect with a senior audience in a meaningful way
• Knowledgeable about international business communication and able to articulate the tangible importance and critical value of communication to an organisation
• Prepared to offer innovative content that will resonate with an audience of international business communicators
• Proven ability in terms of presentations to international audiences at commercial business conferences

Speakers must also note the following:

• Help the reviewing committee understand how your session can contribute to the goals of the conference. We want our conference attendees to have a meaningful experience during each session. One way of doing that is to make sure that all sessions are connected to our theme. Make it really clear to the reviewing committee how your session aligns with the track and conference theme.
• Convey your personality. It’s really difficult to assess your abilities as a speaker from a written submission, but it’s not impossible for you to convey your personality through the description of your session. Try to do this as much as possible so we get a sense of who you are.
• Engage participants in problem solving. Conference attendees prefer presenters who engage with them and give them an opportunity to interact. Help the committee understand how you intend to engage attendees (e.g. examples of exercises and case studies of prior engagements) and demonstrate the value of your session.
• Include a video. A video of you speaking enables the reviewing committee to see you in action. Your ability to deliver is just as important as the quality of your content. Without a compelling video, another speaker might be selected because he/she provided evidence of his/her speaking ability.
• Don’t recycle a presentation you’ve already delivered. We aim to keep track of who has presented at previous conferences, so we continue to deliver new insights and ideas.
• Share your experience. Year after year, conference attendees tell us the sessions they value most are those that deal with real challenges and how they have been met through innovative communication strategies. We favour presentations that share experience, tools/techniques and give attendees something they can take back to work to implement.
• Don’t assume that membership and IABC volunteerism is all you need to get a speaking slot. In the eyes of the committee, your content and speaking ability are the most important assets you bring.
• This is not a pitch opportunity. You may not use the conference platform to sell your business services. While we appreciate that you and your company may be subject matter experts, absolutely no sales pitches are allowed in your presentation. We provide you, as a speaker, with a complimentary pass to the conference, where you are welcome to network with delegates before and after your session. Final presentations are due 4 weeks before the conference and are reviewed by the programme advisory committee.

Apply now!

To be considered, read up about the Global Standard and IABC career levels, prepare a short description of your presentation, a bio, and two references, then complete the speaker agreement form which will be sent to you. Sessions will be organised along conference tracks:

• Leadership and Strategy
• Crisis communications
• Technology and Innovation
• The future of communications
• Diversity & Inclusion
• Communication Skills
• Marketing and Brand
• Reputation

Speakers will be selected through a peer-reviewed process, alignment to the IABC Global Standard and the degree to which sessions inform, engage and deliver on the conference theme.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 11 May 2018. We look forward to hearing from you. Keynote speakers and sessions will be announced in the lead-up to the conference.

Please take these guidelines into account when developing your speaker submission:
• Complete all sections of the submission form and assume we know nothing about you – we can’t make decisions on incomplete information
• Stay within the word limits of the submission – this will help us review your submission as well as provide sufficient information for our conference program
• Be clear on how your session will contribute to the goals of the conference
• Convey how attendees will benefit from your session.
• Ensure your presentation is topical and relevant -not a recycled presentation from a previous conference
• Include links to a video of you speaking so we can see you in action – delivery is important as is content

Please note: the IABC does not pay speaker fees – all aspects of the design and content of the conference are delivered on a volunteer basis. No flight or accommodation costs are provided as part of your speaking opportunity. Please consider this when applying. Speakers will be entitled to complimentary standard registration for the conference and associated social activities.

For more information or to apply, email info@iabc.co.za

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