Speaker 101

Drew Mailen
December 1, 2023
5 Min

So you want to speak at ETHDenver? Well that’s awesome because we’d love to pack our sessions with the most qualified, intelligent people around! Good thing they’re all working in crypto (wink, wink). 

Last year we received over 2,000 applications for about ~750 speaker spots. Unfortunately, we cannot accept everyone. 

The good news is that our stewards created some helpful tips to give your speaker application the extra TLC that it deserves. 

Below are some tips to get you started on your speaker application journey! Before applying, we strongly encourage you to watch other speakers from previous years on our Youtube channel.

1. How We Select ETHDenver Speakers 

Photograph by Tim Gillies

As a general note, we select 50% of our speakers based on community-merit (you #BUIDL cool stuff, we give you a stage). The other half of the speaker pool is drawn from our sponsors. 

2. What Makes a Good Speaker Application Submission?

ETHDenver brings together tens of thousands of people from all over the world who crave advanced, insightful information. At the same time, we receive thousands of speaker applications for only several hundred slots. 

Do you want to standout from the crowd? Following these 6 tips will improve the odds of your speaker application being selected compared to the other ones. 

1) Meet the Deadline

Photograph by Tim Gillies

Speaker Applications will close for guaranteed review at 11:59pm on January 14, 2024. All submissions after this deadline are automatically waitlisted. The earlier you apply, the better your odds are of being selected. 

2) Format Choice

Photograph by Tim Gillies

Formatting matters! Please carefully consider all of the format options available from the list below. 

Choose the one that best matches your intention for the session. Panels are great, but we love short form presentations and fireside chats with 1 - 2 speakers. 

All panels will be limited to 4 speakers total, which includes your moderator. 

Session Formats 

The following (5) formats are the types of sessions that can happen at ETHDenver 2024. Please read each description carefully and choose one that best suits the type of session you’d like to apply for. 

Panel (40 Minutes):

Diverse discussion around a specific topic. Established episodic podcasts also accepted. Four speakers maximum (INCLUDING moderator). No exceptions.

Fireside Chat (30 minutes):

Conversation between two speakers (often a moderator and a expert), discussing a specific topic.

Solo Presentation (20 minutes):

Short solo presentation or workshop  grouped in an hour block (Content Stewardship to determine grouping based on topic)

Technical Workshop (20 minutes):

Technical workshop  grouped in an hour block (Content Stewardship to determine grouping based on topic)

Creative Expression (20 minutes):

An activation, exhibit, or creative content for the Ethereum community.

3) Consider All Programming Tracks

Photograph by Tim Gilles

Be sure to consider the complete list of tracks and select the one that best fits your proposal. Often, our most popular programming topics like Infrastructure & Scalability are also the most competitive in speaker applications.

Infrastructure + Scalability

Web3 has come along way from it’s ETH Killer ICO days where it was a race to most the highest throughput. Despite the distance we’ve traveled, we still have a long way to go. Infrastructure and scalability added to the ubiquity of the internet. Now it’s Web3’s turn. 

Explore the latest innovations in infrastructure, scalability solutions, and tools that are shaping the future of Web3. Delve into discussions on improving transaction speed, network efficiency, and developer experience for building decentralized applications. Discover how Web3 scalability solutions are enabling new and exciting use cases across various industries.

DeFi, NFTs, + Gaming

Some say that gaming and NFTs will deliver the next bull market. Others say it will be on-chain assetization from institutions (RWAs FTW?). It's one thing to say it, but it’s another thing to show them! Here’s your chance. 

Uncover the latest trends and developments in DeFi protocols. Argue over the technicalities of NFT marketplaces. Discuss your strategy for your favorite blockchain-powered game.

DAOs + Communities: 

DAOs have the opportunity to take co-ops like REI into the 21st century. There are a lot of great ideas, but execution is rarer than a holographic Charzard card in 1999. Are you building incredible DAO-tooling? Forming a DAO? We want to hear from you! 

Engage in discussions on the rise of DAOs and their impact on governance and community building. Understand the principles of DAO structures, tokenomics, and community management. Discover how DAOs are transforming how communities collaborate, make decisions, and manage resources.

Impact + Public Goods: 

Effective altruism did not work. People love talking about how Web3 will bank the un-banked. Meanwhile, we have developing countries transforming their entire economic infrastructure around Web3. How strong can we really be as an industry if we fail to help the most vulnerable and marginalized around us? 

Explore the potential of how Web3 technology can address social and environmental challenges to create public goods. Delve into initiatives using blockchain to promote sustainable development, financial inclusion, and social impact. Discover how blockchain can foster collaboration and innovation for the betterment of society.

Identity, Privacy + Security:

Do you identify as your Chromie Squiggle or Punk? One of the themes of Web3 is the convergence of finance with identity. However, the role of identity, privacy, and security in Web3 is just getting started! 

We need educators that are pushing the boundaries of identity, privacy, and security, to make this industry a safer environment. It’s scary out there. We need more hugs and less rugs. 

Explore the critical role of identity, privacy, and security in the decentralized ecosystem. Understand the challenges and solutions in protecting user data and privacy in blockchain applications. Discover innovative approaches to identity management, decentralized authentication, and cybersecurity in the Web3 realm.

4) Depth & Specificity 

Speaker 101_Visual 4.jpg https://drive.google.com/file/d/13HBOa0BpxgFj-q5BTKR3Yc_HyfDbB_w-/view?usp=drive_link 

Our attendees crave advanced, in-depth information. We have enough shilling. The best content is deep and advance, yet narrow in scope. Trying to cover too much is one of the biggest mistakes that speakers make. Drill down on one specific topic. Stick to the solution. Don’t shill. 

5) Unique Proposals

Speaker 101_Visual 5.jpg https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QVd5j6JCeUJF9oXyOwq6XikAYc8ZBTWe/view?usp=drive_link 

ETHDenver attendees value ideas and opinions they can’t find anywhere else. There is so much arkane knowledge in this space. Pass down what your unique knowledge base to the #BUIDLers of tomorrow. Create proposals that are differentiated from other content that is widely available. Save the generic content for Web3 events. We’re an innovation festival! 

6) Diversity Matters

Speaker 101_Visual 6.jpg https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NnrGvxRZ8Y5mechd4zCkoIxDr_8RYGbL/view?usp=drive_link 

Part of what makes Web3 amazing is how incredible diverse it is. We love to see diversity in gender, race, location, employment, and thoughts. All 3-4 person panels should be reflective of how diverse the industry is.

How to Apply to be an ETHDenver 2024 Speaker

Speaker 101_Visual 7.jpg 


Do you have the next big idea? If so, we’d love to hear it! Use this link to apply to be an ETHDenver 2024 today!