Make Your Session Proposal Stand Out

Aurora Gregory, Marketing Communications Strategist and Author of “Get Picked: Tips, Tricks and Tools for Creating Irresistible Speaker Proposals”, shares her insights on what it takes to create a winning session proposal. She has worked with some of the largest companies in the world to help them get their stories up to speed, and in this interview, she provides you with tips on how to get your session proposal ready for prime time.

Listen to her episode of AFP Conversations or read the article

Increase your chances of getting your submission noticed with some of our top tips below.


  1. Your proposal title should draw attention to the subject matter discussed in the body of the submission.


  1. Write a paragraph rather than use bullet points. Your proposal should be a narrative, not a list of ideas.
  2. Clearly articulate the issue or challenge for practitioners that the content of the proposal will address.
  3. Write clearly and use correct grammar. Your description forms the basis for what AFP shares in our program materials, website, etc. If you are copying and pasting any language into your proposal, please do so from a word document to avoid spelling errors and/or adding unnecessary characters to your proposal.
  4. Write and edit the proposal several times before you officially submit. Taking the extra time will make the focus of the proposal clearer for the task force's review.
  5. Avoid commercial biases. Proposals perceived by reviewers as being commercially biased in content are unacceptable. Any submission that is not educational in nature, neutral and unbiased, replicable by attendees without the author’s assistance, and free of commercial motive/intent will not be accepted.

Why is This Proposed Topic Important for Treasury and/or Finance Practitioners?

  1. Write a paragraph rather than use bullet points. Your proposal should be a narrative, not a list of ideas.
  2. Your proposal should explicitly state how your topic would benefit a corporate practitioner.
  3. Look forward. A proposal about new issues corporations will be facing in coming years stands out from proposals that cover familiar topics.

What is Your Vision for How the Session Will be Presented to the Audience?

  1. Write a paragraph rather than use bullet points. Your proposal should be a narrative, not a list of ideas.
  2. Share any additional information on how you expect the audience to understand the information being shared.
    1. Is there a step-by-step process being presented?
    2. Are there audience activities or interactive discussions planned for the proposal?
    3. Are real-world examples and/or case studies used to provide clarity and reinforce learning objectives?
    4. Do you envision polling being used to interact with the audience?

Key Takeaways/Learning Objectives

  1. Clearly define how your proposal will support the advancement of the attendees' knowledge and skills for implementation back at the office. Put emphasis on participants acquiring skills, rather than simply receiving knowledge and information.
    1. Example 1:  Learn how to value major projects by evaluating investment decisions through incremental value quantification.
    2. Example 2:  Learn to apply key approaches to effectively responding to a data breach.

Delivery Format Type

  1. Take some time to figure out the format that is appropriate for your submission. By using a format that fits your proposal perfectly, it will have more punch. Consider the best way for attendees to consume the information you are sharing.
  2. Review the proposal Delivery Format Options  to ensure you understand each before finalizing your selection.

Knowledge Type

  1. Make sure your selected knowledge type aligns with the content being submitted. For example, do not select MindShift unless the content of the proposal directly addresses how treasury and finance professionals think about their roles now and in the future.
  2. Review the Knowledge Type definitions to ensure you understand each before finalizing your selection.


  1. Submit or update the biography for each speaker. This adds professional credibility to your speakers and your proposal in general.
  2. By including confirmed corporate practitioner speakers, you’re ensuring that the planning task force has a more complete vision of your session (if selected) when evaluating your proposal.


AFP Staff is here for guidance—ask questions if you are unsure of an aspect of your submission. Please send any questions to Marcia Solomon at [email protected].