Posted by: Donna Cunningham | May 21, 2010

Getting to Speak at Conferences, Part 2: Increasing your Visibility

©5-21-2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 Note: this article was originally written to help people get accepted at UAC, but the principles are the same, whichever conference or venue you hope to be asked to speak at.

In part 1, we learned about the United Astrology Congress and how new speakers can apply for this high-profile mega-conference held every few years by a coalition of 5 major astrology groups.  We talked about how the application process works and what it takes to create an appealing topic for a speech. If you missed that article, start by reading it here: Want to Speak at UAC 2012? Get Moving on It Now!

In part 2, we’ll talk about how to become more recognizable and credible to the committee that makes the final selection of speakers. The final selection is a process that will take almost a year to complete, but if you want to try for the group of 30 first-time speakers, you can’t waste a minute. The call for applications will be coming in a month or less, so here are some steps to work on.

 Create a Bio for the Application. 

The selection committee will ask for a summary of your background to decide if you should be a speaker. They may request a brief one—100 words or less—but they need to be the 100 words that show you off to your best advantage, so work hard on it. (Download an article on how to create an effective bio—and help overcome your resistances to doing it—here:  Donna Cunningham – Just Send Us a Bio.)

 Join One or More of UAC’s Sponsoring Organizations and Participate.

If you’re a lone wolf astrologer and nobody knows who you are, your chances of being asked to speak at any conference or local group are remote. (Sometime we’ll have a little heart to heart chat on this blog about groups, but, yeah, I kinda know where you’re coming from.)

Being part of the work of the group is a key having people know your name, so don’t just  join—attend meetings and take part in their activities.  Even better—volunteer for jobs in the group, write articles for the newsletter or journal, and speak.  (If getting your professional work known is a goal, AFAN does really important work for the field as a whole but doesn’t have conferences or a journal that publishes scholarly articles, though it does maintain a newsletter about its endeavors.)

Have a look at the websites and newsletters or journals of the sponsoring groups to see which ones you resonate to most:

Association For Astrological Networking (AFAN)
American College of Vedic Astrology (ACVA)
Council of Vedic Astrology (CVA)
International Society for Astrological Research (ISAR)
National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR)

 Submit Articles to the Magazines and Journals: 

I’ve taught whole classes on writing for these media and may or may not write about it in another post for this series. Suffice it to say, well-written articles increase your visibility and credibility a great deal.  You can add a copy of the printed version to your application to speaker’s committee.  If you’re not having any luck getting your articles published,  start a blog and build a following that way.

Join the Blogosphere:

Though anything but organized, the blogosphere has its own astrological community, and it’s full of amazing people. You will build community and ties with other bloggers by not only having your own blog, but by commenting regularly on other blogs…not just “awesome  post” type comments but comments with information or insights that add valuable content to the discussion.

Readers, feel free to ask questions and to add any tips of your own in the comment section–scroll down below the articles.

Where to Look for More Help and Information:

  • There’s a category of articles about writing on SkyWriter here: Writing/Web Work Tips and the blogroll has very useful links to sites for writers.
  • An absolutely invaluable resource for becoming a successful blogger is to subscribe to the huge, informative site, ProBlogger.
  • Learn about the networks of astrology lovers on FaceBook and other social media sites in Neeti Ray’s article, Astro Tribes and Connecting in the Age of Aquarius.

 Return to Part 1 here: Want to Speak at UAC 2012? Get Moving on It Now!  or see part 3 here:  Countdown! The Call for Speakers for UAC is just Weeks Away

Tips for Bloggers on this Site:

free astrology booklet by Donna Cunningham If this post was helpful, sign up for a subscription, and get a FREE EBOOKLET for Skywriter Subscribers Only: Mothers, Daughters, and the Moon, a 50-page excerpt from The Moon in your Life. Read more about it here: New: Free Booklet For Skywriter Subscribers!

To sign up for a subscription, go to the top right hand corner of the blog and click on “Subscribe.”  Then send me an email with your subscription confirmation or an email post with a request for the booklet in the subject line. If you’re already a subscriber and want a copy, forward the most recent email post to me at

Art credit:  The photo of a lecture at an astrology conference is by Chris Brennan from his article on conferences at:…/  The photo of Rob Hand speaking is from Eric Frances’

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