speaker proposal tips

APRA Annual Conference Education Session Proposal Tips

Below are some tips on submitting a successful proposal. Some sections are tips on how to complete/answer specific questions on the proposal form; others are just general tips for a successful proposal. It is highly recommended that you refer to this page as you complete your proposal.

Needs Identification

Provide a clear explanation of how the need for the course was identified. Also, identify the gap between the existing condition and the desired condition. This should identify a problem and solutions to the problem.

Example: Children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders are entering recreation and youth development programs in record numbers as parents recognize the potential benefits of having their children participate in natural environments. Many recreation professionals lack the skills and confidence to welcome and support youth with ASD while desiring to provide those services. This workshop will provide concrete strategies for adapting to the environment while supporting positive behavior and communication, resulting in meaningful participation for all. (Kids Included Together, presented at NIRI, Sept. 2008)

Learning Outcomes

Provide three observable and measurable learning outcomes. Limit to one sentence (20 words or less) per outcome. These are REQUIRED for approving Continuing Education Units.

Learning outcomes are statements that specify what learners will know or be able to do as a result of a learning activity. Outcomes are usually expressed as knowledge, skills, or attitudes.

Learning outcomes should flow from a needs assessment. The needs assessment should determine the gap between an existing condition and the desired condition. Learning outcomes are statements that describe the desired condition – that is, the knowledge, skills, or attitudes needed to fulfill the need. They represent the solution to the identified need or issue. Learning outcomes provide direction in the planning of a learning activity. They help to:

  1. Focus on learner's behavior that is to be changed
  2. Serve as guidelines for content, instruction, and evaluation
  3. Identify specifically what should be learned
  4. Convey to learners exactly what is to be accomplished

When writing Learning Outcomes, use verbs that are observable and measurable. Since the learner's performance should be observable and measurable, the verb chosen for each outcome statement should be an action verb which results in overt behavior that can be observed and measured. Sample action verbs are: compile, create, plan, revise, analyze, design, select, utilize, apply, demonstrate, prepare, use, compute, discuss, explain, predict, assess, compare, rate, critique

Certain verbs are unclear and subject to different interpretations in terms of what action they are specifying. Such verbs call for covert behavior which cannot be observed or measured. These types of verbs should be avoided: learn, understand, know, appreciate, become aware of, become familiar with.

Example: Upon completion of the session, the participant will be able to assess limitations and capabilities of various types of surveillance equipment and select appropriate equipment to ensure adequate coverage of a given area.

Learning Format

All proposals must be submitted using the APRA online proposal form and must include a completed outline. Upon submitting a proposal, you will receive an automatic confirmation for your records if it was submitted successfully. 

Plan your submission in advance. We suggest that you first collect your thoughts for your proposal and complete the outline for the session before going to the online website. Collect contact information and biographies from your co-presenters before beginning the form. Review the sample form at the end of this document to prepare your proposal.

Use clear, error free language. Session proposals require clear and concise titles, persuasive learning outcomes-focused descriptions in a short and long version, and three action-oriented learning outcomes that answer the question “upon completion of this session, participants will be able to…”.

Avoid all commercial bias. Any submission that is not educational in nature, neutral and unbiased, and free of commercial motive/intent will not be accepted. If accepted, those in violation of this policy may forfeit future speaking opportunities.

We seek to create the premiere event for the Parks and Recreation industry in the State of Arizona, and therefore priority is given to proposals that include original content designed exclusively for APRA. Priority will also be given to those sessions that include engaging, interactive formats where the presenter shares in the learning and discovery.

Education Session Outline

Each proposal must submit a session outline. The outline must show the sequence of instruction and planned instructional strategies. Include times and relate the outline to the Learning Outcomes. 

Sample Outline

  • (Session Title)
  • (Speakers’ name)
  • (Total length of presentation, in minutes*)
  • Introduction (length of this portion, in minutes)
  • Audience grabber & Introduction of topic for session description 
  • Objectives for audience
  • Presentation of your topic (length of this portion, in minutes)
  • Needs identification and the importance of your topic
  • Suggested solutions/strategies/resources
  • Benefits/impact of implementing suggested strategies
  • Case studies/examples/audience participation
  • Conclusion (length of this portion, in minutes)
  • Questions and answers

Education Session Length

The total length of a presentation should add up to:

  • Each session is scheduled for 60 minutes
  • 1 hours sessions are eligible for .1 CEUs

General Proposal Tips

Session proposals that present a complete overview of a topic are the ideal type of proposal. So, keep in mind, complete session proposals compete more successfully.

Sessions should provide a variety of perspectives. Do not propose a session in which three team members from the planning department talk about the same project. Provide comparisons from community to community, from different perspectives within the community, from different parts of the country, or from differing points of view. We're looking for multifaceted discussions.

Understand that all your speakers are giving a live presentation; make certain your speakers are good speakers.

Put effort into the proposal. The more thought you put into the proposal up front, the smoother the process of pulling your session together will be. Be certain to review and edit your proposal. It may be helpful to have someone else look it over to make certain your ideas are expressed clearly.

Consider using elected and appointed officials or colleagues from allied professions, agencies, and departments as speakers.

If your proposal is selected, we request that you remain as flexible as possible regarding your session’s assigned day and time within the conference schedule.

Try something new! APRA encourages innovative and well-designed sessions. Please note that due to the large attendance at sessions meeting rooms will be set up to accommodate as many attendees as possible. We will limit attendance in sessions once the meeting rooms are at capacity.

Preparing and Submitting an Education Session Proposal

Fill out the form completely!  If you do not provide certain requested information, your proposal will not be processed.

Be sure to provide complete contact information for all speakers. We will use this to contact them as we prepare for the conference. All session correspondence will be sent directly to the lead speaker and all speaker correspondence will be sent to each individual speaker.

Enter all session information as indicated by the required fields. If you leave a required field blank, you will be unable to submit the proposal.

The Education Committee will review all session proposals and contact the individuals once they have narrowed down the list of prospective speakers.  The typical timeframe speakers can expect to be notified if selected is May 15 - June 1.  

Speaker Information 

Additional details click here

Deadline to Submit

February 24, 2024

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