You have a personal history in coming up with strategic plans and implementing them. As such, you have a wealth of experience to pull from as a potential speaker. But the question remains, what should you pick to speak about…exactly? And how should you decide? Here’s our advice.

If you read the speaker application page, you may recall that we are fighting a battle against perceived obstacles to an interwoven short/long-term strategic planning. We all want them to be part of each company’s thinking but there are a number of reasons people give to explain why they don’t think about the long-term.

Some are excuses they put into words. Others are organizational. A few are even cultural. Here is a one way to address their deepest concerns via your presentation in just four steps.

Step 1 – Mind Map Some Obstacles

Start by brainstorming the reasons why organizations don’t have interwoven plans.

Use everything you can find from your experience to fill in as many answers as you can find. Keep in mind the conference theme: “Transcend Short-Termism | Build Long-Term Value.”

Step 2 – Choose a Theme

As you survey your mind map, use any method you are comfortable with to choose an obstacle to focus on. Some use data. Others use prior projects. Gut feel isn’t a bad indicator as well!

Step 3 – Craft a Topic and Sub-Topic

What is the draft/working title of your presentation? Use 10 words max in your Title, and 12 words max in your Subtitle (e.g. How to Save Time in Strategy Retreats | Using Shortcuts that Don’t Produce a Drop in Quality).

You will enter the Title/Subtitle in the application form. 

Still stuck? Here are some possible areas for exploration. Don’t be limited by this list!

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Step 4 – Complete the Application

Fill in the Topic/Sub-Topic of your presentation in the application here.

P.S. If you have done the above steps and are on the verge of something interesting, but can’t quite get over the line…you may benefit from having a thought partner.

We have a number of experts on call to help you finalize your topic in line with the theme of the conference. Send me email to

We’re here to help you break down the obstacles, get over the hump, overcome the crux, beat the bottleneck…whatever is required!