Why You Should Apply For A #BoS2018 Lightning Talk

Ever wished you could speak at Business of Software Conference?

Well, here’s your chance.

You have 7 days to submit a Lightning Talk for #BoS2018: 1-3 October, in Boston MA.

The format for Lightning Talks is difficult: you have 7.5 minutes, and a slide deck that advances automatically every 30 seconds, to communicate something useful to the BoS Community. Tricky – but very, very impressive if you execute it well. And hey – all Lightning Talk speakers get a free pass to the conference. Worth a shot? Absolutely.

You Should Submit A Lightning Talk For #BoS2018 If…

1 – You’ve Got Something To Say

I’ve got to say this loud and clear straight away – only apply to give a Lightning Talk at BoS if you’ve got something of value to contribute to the community. Just because the talks are short doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be useful. They are not pitches – repeat it, louder – they are NOT pitches. You are not on stage to talk about your company – you’ve got to contribute to the community.

That said, don’t think it can’t be fun. Just take Justin Goeres’ talk from 2011 about the last thing Richard Feynman did, after all the stuff you already know: or Lianna Patch’s talk from last year, about why you should include more comedy in your copy (and potentially more rubber chickens). They both took something that interested them, and made it into something the community could take away and think about. What would you talk to the #BoS2018 attendees about?


2 – You’re Up To The Challenge

The best Lightning Talks are given by people who see the challenge, and rise to it. The format is tricky, but it’s a great opportunity for creativity. People work very hard on their Lightning Talk – both on the decks, and in the telling of the story.

Myabe you could fit some powerpoint trickery into your slides, like Josh Seiden & Jeff Gothelf did in 2016 – their gif-based trickery gave their deck a brilliant sheen, and they delivered their talk in perfect timing. Amazing. Or maybe you’d take a leaf out of Tania Katan’s book, and focus more on the storytelling – we were all completely enthralled by her story and her humour for the full 7.5 minutes. How would you rise to the challenge?


3 – You Want To Launch Your Speaking Career

It’s fair to say that getting on stage in front of 300 software leaders will go some way to making a bit of a name for yourself. Not to mention that the video of your talk will be forever online in our library of previous talks, amongst great names like Eric Ries, Gail Goodman, Jason Fried, and more.

Speaking at BoS has in the past helped give people’s speaking careers a real boost. Need there be any other example than Patrick McKenzie’s (patio11) talk from 2010? A video which is widely (and quite rightly) shared as a brilliant and hilarious talk about positioning your product to appeal to other people – not just white American men. Other Lightning Talk speakers who have gone on to do great things include Claire Lew (2014) and Des Traynor (2013) – they both infact came back to give full BoSTalks in future years! What could giving a BoS Lightning Talk do for your speaking career?


Apply for a #BoS2018 Lightning Talk Here

2 responses to “Why You Should Apply For A #BoS2018 Lightning Talk”

  1. mark stephens says:

    I think a killer reason is that everyone at the conference will know who you are and you will get far more out of the event as a result and for years afterwards. People still remember me for my 2009 talk…

    • I second what Mark said – my 2010 talk made people know me. It was one of the best things I’ve done in my life. If you’re thinking of submitting a talk, just do it!