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To gain an advantage over the competition and land more conference speaking slots, you have to stand out as unique, compelling and authoritative. Here are three tactics from the public relations professional tool kit to bolster your opportunities:

 1) Trending now . . .  Collaborate with other experts in your niche – or team up with leaders of businesses complementary to your own. Submit your thought leaders as a panel discussion to offer expert perspectives and best practices, prepared to field audience questions. The trend panel is popular with meeting planners and it should become a go-to strategy when you want to land a high profile speaking engagement. When Write2Market put together a panel of experts to speak for the Department of Energy, having a number of perspectives was key to the success of the event. Another recent example of a trend panel is this closing keynote at the World Retail Alliance.

 2) Dig this . . .  Mine your own data to present unique and compelling views of the world, and then present conference planners with an academic or internal expert who can speak to the ways these insights apply in the industry. By owning your own research, you showcase thought leadership and add real value to the conversation in your market–highly prized contributions for meeting planners.

 3) Collaborate . . .   Aligning your company with a well-recognized client, or even a strong business partner, helps to reinforce your credibility as a prospective conference speaker. Look at your clients from the last 2-3 years, and see if you have a personal relationship with someone you can tap. This approach of speaking with a client or business partner on an issue offers your audience a unique angle: your success story from the perspective of a high-visibility client who has directly benefited from your services.

This “live case study” presentation provides firsthand reinforcement and builds appeal for your target audience. For example, MyList, a growing retail technology company out of Orlando, recently partnered with their client Campbell’s Soup, to get the interest of conference speaking planners at the National Retail Federation’s The Big Show.

Now you’ve got the limelight–find out how to further leverage it with great interviews at the show! What are your favorite tips for landing national speaking opportunities?