I go to a couple conferences a year and I try to attend all sorts of things. I have to say in the past 5 years, the best lecture I was at was the County Medical Examiner. She had real-life situations, pictures - it was on gun shot wounds. She did a fantastic job. I will never forget that one and I hope to see it again in the future. I also enjoy the "lighter" subjects and the "inspirational stories". It's a nice break. I like to listen to the things that don't affect us on a day to day basis because I would like a refresher on those "other things".
I really go by the speakers...I know it sounds weird but if they are known to be boring and long winded...then I don't go. If they are know to be energetic and keep your attention I'll sign up for any class they give.
What topics haven't you seen that you would like to see? Do you go to see the same speakers year after year regardless of topic. Would you like to see more research presented? I feel many presentations are the same each year or at each conference, the speaker just tweaks it a tiny bit.
Kevin, I agree that many times you see the same old same old. I recently seen a speaker who did a talk he himself said he has done for over 10 years. Judging by his slides it had been that long since he changed them. Another speaker I seen last year gave the same talk he gave in my town at least 5 years before. What I can tall you as someone who helps organize a conference is that people like to see the names they know. People never get tired of seeing some of the big national names that return year after year. I have also noticed a draw toward the softer topics like Nicole mentioned (hi Nicole). I personally would like to see more leadership and management development. I think that this is under represented aspect of the job.
I agree that people go to conferences because of the names of those speaking. However, when we listen to the same, often dated, lecture time and time again we are doing nothing to move our industry and careers forward. The last EMS conference I attended had interesting topics but no research, and people were playing the same games speakers had developed years ago. They were literally games. So how do we get the speakers to come that are doing the research, and truly leading the field? How do we introduce the new blood into the presentations? As a new speaker, its hard for me to get speaking opportunities with new ideas and different presentations.
I think you are right about the us not getting tired of some folks, btu the are a whole lot we are tired of. I had a chance to see some of your presentations in Michigan this year at EXPO, and you were great. I think of all the presenters there you were my favorite. I think your precepting lecture was dead on and hilarious to boot. I also loved your Peds IV lecture. I hope you make it back next year. I also enjoyed Chris Lebaudors presentations as well. Thanks again.
I agree with most people that say they have heard a lecture give a presentation then hear it later and it is the same. I too am a new speaker and find it hard to get speaking opportunities. I have a list of topics that are new and fresh but can't get them out there to hear. That was my reasoning for starting the group to list speakers. I have found that the groups I have spoken to enjoyed light hearted topics or topics that are not available to everyone. For example we get airway covered in ACLS, BTLS or PHTLS so they don't want to sit through a basic airway lecture but if you change it to fiberoptic airways or make it more difficult airways then you may have their attention longer. The topics I started with were things that I found interesting before I had a chance to experience them. Hope this helps.
So how do those people with new, fun, interesting, engaging topics get their name and ideas out there to have the chance to be heard? There are not great forums for that. It seems its all about who you know sometimes
Do some research. Find out when the conferences you want to speak at issue their "call for presentations" and submit what they ask for in time for the deadline. Contrary to what you might think, particularly at the state level, conference planners often resort to the "old boy network" because they don't get enough good, interesting proposals.
Another way is to "guest lecture" at schools and agency educational programs. That lets you develop your presentation skills, and lets people see what you can do. Then you have a reputation and people start thinking of you when they have a vacancy. It's not very sexy but it's how you get started.
That is some great advice. However at least around my region many of the smaller 100-300 person conferences do not have a call for papers, they seem to do the hand picking. I agree larger conferences on the state/national levels do have calls for papers; however are they willing to go out on a limbs with people they don't know? Or do they look for extensive speaking experience? I can't imagine a conference like emsexpo taking a 1st time speaker, or am I mistaken?