I got a speaking rejection today. Well, not today, but the day I wrote this.
Not really a big deal, but it was interesting that the event organizer included a note that they had a lot of sessions, hard decisions, etc., and they hope I respect their decision on the schedule.
I speak, or have spoke, a lot in my career. My speaking CV shows lots of events and sessions across the last decade. I had 20 sessions in 2020, a down year. The years from 2015-2020 have me delivering 197 sessions in those 6 years.
This isn’t to brag, but show that I have had lots of success submitting to, and getting into many events across time. I’m semi-popular, though I honestly don’t think many people come to my sessions unless they like the topic.
I don’t take rejections hard. It happens, and I know that my submission has to match up with what the organizers want from the event. Sometimes they might want me to speak because it helps with sponsorship or marketing, but mostly, they want sessions matching their idea of the event.
I’m fine with that, and I wish them the best of luck with their event. As much as I might want to attend and speak somewhere, I wouldn’t complain because they made a different choice. That’s happened in the past, and it’s disappointing, but fine with me.
I would love the chance to alter a session or change my submission to meet a conference agenda, but I also know this is asking a lot from organizers to work with speakers. A few of the larger conferences sometimes do this for certain people, but rarely for me.
It’s hard to be rejected, whether for a speaking slot, a job, a date, a sports team, or anything else. It happens, however, and usually it’s not a personal decision. It’s often that the match isn’t there.
If you get rejected, accept it, don’t complain, and submit to another event. Don’t get discouraged, but learn from it and move on.
If you want feedback from submissions, drop me a note on Twitter. Happy to give my thoughts.