Report: Smart speaker owners increasingly using them instead of typing or swiping

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If You’re Attending MozCon 2017, You Should Definitely Pitch to be an Ignite Speaker

Posted by ronell-smith

Are you a good storyteller, able to hold a crowd at rapt attention for minutes at a time? Do you have a story you’re bursting at the seams to share?

Well, ye olde yarn-spinner, a MozCon Ignite talk sounds like just the thing for you.

The five-minute talks have become quite a hit since being introduced in 2015, with talks leaving folks with belly aches from laughter or tears from personal heartache — and everything in between.

If you have an enticing story in you just waiting for an outlet, we’ll supply the audience.

The MozCon 2017 Ignite talks — one of the signature networking events — take place Tuesday, July 18.

Buy your MozCon 2017 ticket!


Why should you care about Ignite talks?

Often called “lightning talks” for their emphasis on brevity, Ignite-style talks are five minutes in length and feature slides that automatically advance.

The short stories can pack a powerful punch, however, as anyone who saw Michael Cottam’s 2016 Ignite talk can attest:

One attendee penned a heartfelt account of how Michael’s talk helped him reprioritize his life — it’s well-worth a good read. Make sure you have a tissue handy.


You can share your story, too, in 2017. There will be 10 speaking slots.

The only rule we have governing stories told during an Ignite talk is that they cannot relate to online marketing or feature anything resembling career advice.

This is your chance to show some personality.

Take a look at the topics covered from 2016:

  • Help! I Can’t Stop Sweating – Hyperhidrosis, by Adam Melson
  • Life Lessons Learned as a Special Needs Parent, by Adrian Vender
  • How Pieces of Paper Can Change Lives, by Anneke Kurt Godlewski
  • Prison and a Girl that Loves Puppies, by Caitlin Boroden
  • Embracing Fear, Potential Failure, and Plain Ol’ Discomfort, by Daisy Quaker
  • A Plane Hacker’s Guide to Cheap *Luxury* Travel, by Ed Fry
  • Embracing Awkward: The Tale of a 5′ 10″ 6th Grader, by Hannah Cooley
  • Hornets, Soba, & Friends: A Race in Japan, by Kevin Smythe
  • Wooly Bits: Exploring the Binary of Yarn, by Lindsay Dayton LaShell
  • Finding Myself in Fiction: LGBTQUIA Stories, by Lisa Hunt
  • Is Your Family Time for Sale? by Michael Cottam
  • How to Start an Underground Restaurant in Your Home, by Nadya Khoja
  • Flood Survival: Lessons from the Streets of ATL, by Sarah Lively
  • How a Cartoon Saved My Life, by Steve Hammer

And, lucky for us all, Geraldine DeRuiter, aka the Everywhereist, will be back as emcee for the third time in as many years.


The deets: How to pitch for an Ignite talk

  • Simply fill out the form below — you’re limited to one submission
  • Talks cannot be about online marketing or career-focused
  • Current MozCon speakers are not able to pitch
  • Previous MozCon Ignite presenters are not eligible
  • Submissions close on Sunday, May 14 at 5pm PDT
  • Selections will be made by early June
  • All presentations are expected to follow the MozCon Code of Conduct
  • You must attend MozCon, July 17–19, and be present Tuesday night in person

If selected, you’ll receive…

  • Five minutes onstage, Tuesday night at McCaw Hall. (The event lasts from 7–10pm.)
  • $ 300 off the regular-priced ticket to MozCon (If you’ve already purchased a ticket, we’ll refund you $ 300 for a regular-priced ticket or $ 100 for an early-bird ticket. Discounts are not offered for super-early-bird tickets.)
  • Help crafting a winning talk
  • Stage tour of the event space between 5–7pm Tuesday night in advance of the event

Unfortunately, we do not cover travel and/or lodging for MozCon Ignite speaking slots.

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What makes a great pitch?

  • A story that’s compelling and that can be told in the allotted timeframe
  • Sharing a topic you’re passionate about and able to succinctly share what makes it so great.
  • Follow the guidelines. Yes, the word counts are limited on purpose. (Do not submit links to Google Docs or other resources. Multiple submissions will result in immediate disqualification.)

****Include links to any videos of you speaking publicly.

If you’d like to see what an Ignite-style talk looks like, check out these videos from Ignite Seattle 30.

Most importantly, get to work on submitting that pitch to grace the stage yourself at MozCon 2017.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Moz Blog

​Take the Stage: MozCon 2016 Community Speaker Pitches are Open

Posted by EricaMcGillivray

[Estimated read time: 3 minutes]

Every year, we take great pleasure in accepting pitches and having community speakers grace our stage. Our community speakers represent a unique opportunity, and our MozCon audience has a lot of love for them.

This year, we’ll have four speakers!

The basic details:

  • To submit, just fill out the form below.
  • Please only submit one talk! We want the one you’re most excited about.
  • Talks must be about online marketing and are only 15 minutes in length.
  • Submissions close on Sunday, June 12th at 5pm PDT.
  • Final decisions are final and will be made in late June.
  • All presentations must adhere to the MozCon Code of Conduct.
  • You must attend MozCon in person, September 12–14 in Seattle.

Everyone who submits a community speaker pitch will be informed either way.

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Community speakers get the following:

  • 15 minutes on the MozCon stage for a keynote-style presentation, plus 5 minutes of Q&A.
  • A free ticket to MozCon. (If you already have one, we’ll either refund or transfer the ticket to someone else.)
  • Four nights of lodging covered by us at our partner hotel.
  • A reimbursement for your travel (flight, train, car, etc.), up to $ 500 domestic and $ 750 international.
  • A free ticket for you to give to anyone you would like and a code for $ 300 off another ticket.
  • An invitation for you and your significant other to join us for the speakers’ dinner.

If you’re curious about what the process look like, Zeph Snapp wrote about his experiences as a community speaker.

How do you pick speakers?

We have a small selection committee of Mozzers who review each and every pitch. We start off by reviewing only topics without biographical details, which ensures our first commitment to making sure topics match our audience. Then we look at everything for a holistic view of what you might bring to the stage.

Things to consider for your pitch:

  • Read my post on how to prepare for speaking, from pitching to the actual gig.
  • Review the topics already being presented on at MozCon to avoid overlap and get inspiration.
  • Focus your pitch on online marketing. MozCon is all about actionable information.
  • Your pitch is for MozCon organizations, so detail what you’re talking about. We need to know the actual tactics you’ll be sharing.
  • Keep within the word limits of the forms. Tricky submissions — like linking to Google Docs for more words — will be disqualified.
  • Do not ask speaker selection committee members to evaluate your pitch before submitting it.
  • No amount of lobbying on social media will positively affect your chances at being selected.
  • Bonus: make sure to link to a video of you presenting and past slide decks.

Feeling a bit nervous?

Every speaker at MozCon gets direction on topics and reviews of content and slide decks. We work hard to make sure our audience will love your talk. We encourage pitches from speakers of all backgrounds, knowledge levels, and speaking experiences. At MozCon, we believe in diversity of voices and helping grow speakers in their careers.

We’re happy to help, including:

  • Calls to discuss and refine your topic.
  • Assistance honing topic title and description.
  • Reviews of outlines and drafts (as many as you want!).
  • Best practices and guidance for slide decks, specifically for our stage.
  • A comprehensive, step-by-step guide for show flow.
  • Serving as an audience for practicing your talk.
  • Reviewing your final deck.
  • Sunday night pre-MozCon tour of the stage to meet our A/V crew, see your presentation on the screens, and test the clicker.
  • A 15-person dedicated crew to make your A/V outstanding.
  • Anything else we can do to make you successful!

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


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