Kelly Colvin-Smith—Senior Alumni Relations Officer
Said Business School, University of Oxford—Oxford
United Kingdom
Volunteer Opportunities
FAQ: Speaking for CASE

What speaking opportunities exist?

CASE welcomes volunteers for in-person and online CASE conferences offered in Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and elsewhere in the world.

Conferences may be focused on:

  • A discipline, such as marketing or alumni relations
  • A specific subject, such as prospect research or social media
  • A type of institution, such as independent schools or community colleges
  • Career-level, such as a newcomer to the profession or senior practitioner
  • All of the above, packaged in the format of a comprehensive event serving the entire profession

CASE offers more than 130 in-person conferences and 30 Online Speaker Series (webinars) events annually.


What content or topics may I submit?

CASE welcomes proposals for individual conference sessions, new conferences and Online Speaker Series events as well as recommendations of qualified speakers. Topics may relate to any of the following advancement disciplines:

  • Advancement or development services
  • Alumni relations
  • Communications
  • Development
  • Institutionally related foundations
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Affiliated areas, such as community relations, government relations or student recruitment

What is the Online Speaker Series?

An OSS event is a live, 90-minute interactive online seminar delivered with the audio portion over the telephone and the visual information over the Internet. Online seminars offered outside of North America are delivered using streaming audio with the visual information over the Internet. The speaker and attendees can be anywhere to participate as long as they have a phone line and a computer with a separate Internet connection.

OSS events typically focus on trends, issues and best practices in advancement.


Do I have to be a member of CASE to be a presenter?

Practitioners at CASE-members institutions and Educational Partners are given preference for speaking opportunities, but anyone associated with the educational advancement field will be considered based upon topic and other criteria.


What criteria are considered in a proposal or recommendation?

The following criteria are key considerations:

  • Relevance to timely industry issues
  • Relevance to the conference topic, focus or theme
  • Balance within the context of the overall program
  • Relevant experience of the presenter
  • Presenter’s public speaking reputation and experience

Who selects conference speakers?

Speakers for in-person conferences planned by CASE headquarters in Washington, D.C., and by CASE Europe and CASE Asia-Pacific are selected by CASE staff and volunteer conference chairs or committees. Speakers for in-person conferences planned by CASE’s eight North American districts are selected by volunteer conference planning committees. Speakers for the CASE Online Speaker Series are selected by CASE staff.


I’m traveling on business and could time my travel so I could speak at a CASE conference. What should I do?

We welcome your suggestions by filling out the conference speaker volunteer form. Generally, we require at least four to six months notice. In addition, you should be able to volunteer for half a day or a day during a business trip and be able to speak on a topic that matches CASE’s programming priorities.


Will I be paid for speaking at a CASE conference?

Specific arrangements will vary by conference, although the following guidelines are generally followed for most conferences:

  • Speakers are generally not paid
  • Speakers may receive reimbursement for travel expenses for select conferences
  • Select conferences may include complimentary registration for speakers

How much time is required?

In-person conferences: The level of time commitment varies by conference but generally includes being available for conference calls or planning meetings with conference volunteer leaders or CASE staff; meeting pre-conference deadlines for session descriptions, biographical information and other details; developing presentations and handout materials; fielding questions; and engaging in post-conference follow-up with CASE staff, volunteers or attendees as appropriate. Deadlines are ongoing, depending on the date of a conference. Most conference agendas are developed six months before the conference dates, and some are developed over eight to ten months.

Online Speaker Series: Speakers are expected to participate in two pre-seminar conference calls to acquaint them with software and format details, present a 90-minute seminar and answer follow-up questions for a brief period after the conference.


How long are presentations?

In-person conferences: Presentations time slots will vary by in-person conference and typically range from an hour to 90 minutes. Master classes or workshops may last two or three hours; a few offered by CASE Europe can last all day. CASE encourages speakers to engage attendees in interactive discussion during conference sessions.

Online Speaker Series: Presentations are 90 minutes, including approximately 60 minutes of a PowerPoint presentation and 30 minutes of Q&A.


Can there be more than one presenter?

Yes. CASE welcomes proposals that incorporate multiple presenters. Generally, CASE recommends that panels include no more than three individuals and possibly a moderator. Panels also present valuable opportunities for practitioners and Educational Partners to collaborate. For the Online Speaker Series, we recommend no more than three people; one or two is optimal.


What kind of support will I receive as a speaker?

CASE staff or volunteer leaders will guide you through the entire process, keep you apprised of relevant deadlines, provide you with details about the conference location and travel and hotel arrangements, and be on site to assist with technical issues.


Will I need to provide my own technology?

In-person conferences: In most cases, presenters using PowerPoint will be expected to bring their own laptops. CASE will provide LCD projectors, microphones and other equipment as appropriate. Not all venues have the same capabilities, so specific details will be provided to each presenter as the conference approaches.

Online Speaker Series: You will need access to a land-line phone and a computer with a dedicated Internet connection. In addition, you will be provided with a headset to attach to your phone to enhance the quality of the sound. You will be asked to return the headset after your presentation.


What happens when I submit a proposal?

Your proposal will be sent to the appropriate office or volunteer group planning conferences that might include your topic. You will receive acknowledgement of your proposal or recommendation upon submission. If your proposal is being considered, you will be contacted by a CASE staff member or volunteer leader to discuss it further. Please note that given the long lead time and planning cycle for conferences, it is possible that those who submit viable proposals may not be contacted until a relevant conference is being planned.


If I’m invited to speak, will I get feedback on my presentation?

Yes. In nearly all cases, conference participants will have the opportunity to give feedback on speakers and sessions. The results are shared with speakers, who typically use them to refine and improve their presentations.


Does CASE have any policies related to conference speaking?

CASE rigorously strives to maintain the educational quality and integrity of all conferences and so encourages all presenters to welcome open dialogue, participant interaction and the free exchange of ideas. As a long-standing policy, CASE does not permit presenters who represent for-profit organizations (either as full-time employees or as consultants) to use presentation opportunities to sell or position their products or services.

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