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Expert Tips for Presenting at Education Conferences

K-12 Educators Jul 2, 2024

Let's get you ready for the spotlight!

As teachers, administrators, or technologists, you may have attended education conferences and listened to some great keynote speakers or breakout session presentations. These learning opportunities can be a game-changer for your professional growth, while allowing you to connect with and learn from your peers. If you’re now looking for ways to accelerate that growth and make a meaningful impact in the education community, you may be considering presenting. 

Making the transition from attendee to presenter can be overwhelming! Which is why, we've gathered insights from seasoned presenters who share their experiences and tips on how to get started. From selecting the right conferences to the benefits of presenting, our experts answer some of your burning questions. Let's dive in and learn how you can take the stage with confidence!

Yours for the taking!

How Do Teachers Get Involved in Conferences?

We picked the brains of some conference regulars, members of our Educator Gaggle in The Nest.

I've been attending MACUL (in Michigan) for over 20 years. It used to be more about technology, but as tech mainstreamed, it became a conference for all teachers.
(Additionally,) Edcamps are wonderful in that you can know no one and feel quite comfortable. All you have to do is enjoy what you do and like to have conversations with others who do as well. Sharing ideas has never been so easy and fulfilling.
Eric Bentley
What is an Edcamp? How is it different from a conference?

An Edcamp is a free event for educators to participate in professional development. They are participant-organized and led, and there are Edcamps year 'round all around the world! No tents required.

Unlike traditional conferences with pre-scheduled sessions and keynote speakers, Edcamp sessions are created and led by the attendees. Participants propose topics they are interested in discussing or learning about, and the schedule is built on the spot based on these suggestions.
I attended PETE&C and ISTE through the district, and quickly fell in love with both of these conferences. I then attended the Keystone Technology Innovators Summit (KTI) in 2015 due to a nomination from my building principal. From there I was hooked and couldn’t wait to apply to become a Lead Learner so I could share my passion for edtech with others. The Lead Learners encouraged and empowered me to believe I had a message to share with others. I quickly began applying to present at PETE&C and local conferences at our IUs. I then applied to present at ISTE as part of the Girls Gone Google duo.
Missy Halcott
I am involved in several professional organizations that have conferences. They usually send out a Call/Request for Proposals (often called an RFP) several months before their conferences. After I had attended a few times, I felt confident in knowing that I could provide presentations of the quality that I was seeing.
Kerin Steigerwalt

Advice for Teachers Who Want to Present at Conferences

Start small! If there is a one-hour option at a local conference, start there. As teachers, we can fill an hour pretty easily. Having hands on activities that your participants are actively participating, opportunities for turn and talk are great practices that teachers will use with their kids.
Amy Senato
Thinking of using Goosechase at a conference? Here are some sample templates.
Start with a partner to take the pressure off. It was so much easier for me to be the helper presenter than the main one. As conversations began, I realized that these attendees were just like me, wanting to glean and share ideas. DON'T spend an excessive amount of time on an ornate slidedeck. DON'T prepare a script to read. DO ask yourself, "If I were an attendee in my session, what would I want to see/hear/experience?" Then, give yourself what you want. ;-)
Eric Bentley 
I would encourage educators to present about a topic that they're passionate about. It's an incredibly rewarding experience to be able to share your expertise with fellow educators who are eager to learn.
Amy Ronayne

What are the Benefits of Presenting at Conferences?

Benefits to being involved with conferences are that you will learn so much from other attendees, and you will expand your personal learning network. You will have the opportunity to get feedback from your attendees and that will help you to improve your session or your presentation style for the future.
If you are a (Goosechase) Ambassador and are presenting at a conference, you can request swag or giveaways for your sessions and the company will help to share your session on their social media.
Another great benefit of being involved or presenting at a conference is travel. Presenting at conferences in different parts of the country is an excellent opportunity to see and visit places you may never have been.
Zee Ann Poerio
The best benefit is getting to hear and see things that you wouldn't otherwise have discovered. Sessions are great, but many of the great ideas I've gotten from conferences come during social, less structured times when people are sharing about all sorts of things. You also get a chance to share what you are doing with others, so you get the benefit of collaborating with more people.
Getting involved as a volunteer or organizer is also a way to grow your professional learning community. In addition, presenting at one conference can often open doors to finding out about others, which just keeps the learning going.
Kerin Steigerwalt
Here's a tip: Some conferences provide discounted or complimentary registrations for presenters, too!
Whether it’s a local, regional, district, statewide, or nationwide conference, showcasing your expertise to a larger community can be a transformative experience.
Presenting at conferences can offer immense personal and professional benefits. It not only expands your horizons but also reaffirms your teaching practices, bringing a sense of reinvigoration as you apply new insights and strategies in your classroom.
Familiar sessions can serve as a reminder of successful approaches, prompting you to revisit and enhance them.
Additionally, hearing others present similar content with different perspectives can provide fresh ideas and tips to improve your teaching methods.
Jessie Erickson

Favorite Memories from Presenting at Conferences

Just like in the classroom, I love the "light-bulb moments" when I'm presenting, and also when an attendee personally thanks me because they tried something that I showed them. Presenting about Goosechase is extra rewarding because it's such a fun app to experience with people for the first time.
Amy Ronayne
I am an introvert. This surprises many who’ve seen me present, but I am. Presenting gets me anxious EVERY time. I co-presented my first time with a dear friend and fellow KTI Star. I was so nervous! I remember the room filling up, we shared smiles, some laughs and it took off from there. Some of my favorite memories presenting revolve around the co-presenters I have had the privilege to share sessions with and the connections I’ve made with educators through my sessions.
Missy Halcott
One of my favorite memories from presenting was when one of the attendees in my session was a former student who became a teacher and she told me that she totally enjoyed the session and it was so much fun just like it was when she was a student in my class!
It is always great when attendees will see you after your presentation and they take the time to tell you that they learned something new or are anxious and excited to try something that you shared!
Zee Ann Poerio

Have any questions for these education conference experts? Feel free to reach out and connect with them!

Amy Ronayne - 8th Grade ELA Teacher

X and Instagram: @MrsRonayne

Eric Bentley - Elementary STEM Teacher

X: @EricJBentley

Amy Senato - K-6 Science & K-12 PE Coordinator


Missy Halcott - Assisstant Principal


Instagram: @mkhalcott

X: @APHalcottMK

Zee Ann Poerio - K-8 Computers/STREAM Teacher

X: @MagistraZee


Instagram: @MagistraZee

Kerin Steigerwalt - 7th Grade ELA Teacher

X and Instagram: @kerinteach

We hope this Q&A answered some of your questions and provided you with the confidence to get involved in education conferences. So go ahead, take the plunge, and make the most of the opportunities that await you! Happy conferencing!

What is Goosechase EDU?

Goosechase is an online platform that helps educators create and run interactive learning experiences in their classrooms and beyond. Sign up and try creating an Experience, or contact us to learn more about our school and district-wide solutions!


Rebecca Everson

Goosechase EDU Ambassador Program Manager & K-6 Teacher