Generally, the life of an Architect is centred on presentations and many engagements with clients, contractors, dealers, etc., and the voice is the most important tool. A speaking engagement is an organised speech or presentation given to an audience by an individual.  It is a unique opportunity for professionals, captains of industries, etc., to showcase their industry-based experience and knowledge. For every such engagement, great preparation is key to the delivery, as it determines if the stage will be yours again, and securing such speaking engagements takes work. There has to be a proven record of performance and credentials worth sharing and listening to with a unique message over time.

Speaking engagements: How to get invited to present at architecture conferences and events - Sheet1
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Speaking engagement helps the architect to showcase his strengths and skills.

  • It also helps the public connect with new projects and ideas
  • It builds the trust of prospective clients and establishes credibility. 
  • It also helps to promote and grow the professional network.

Different types of speaking engagements range from training to leadership to community seminars, webinars, etc.. An effective presentation and communication will keep the audience engaged and elevate the event, not all the design skills in the world. Event planners usually host a single or a panel of speakers, depending on what they want to address or their desired result.

Architectural speaking engagements are one of such event but are slightly different because of the technicality and theory being put together. They focus on giving solutions to environmental-related topics, events, buildings, practice guidelines, or addressing a societal issue.

Speaking engagements: How to get invited to present at architecture conferences and events - Sheet2

Considerations for Speaking Engagements

The Audience

This is the most important element of any event; who they are, class and personalities are key to note, as it will help streamline the presentations or add further details. The sole aim is to ensure you and the presentation connect to the audience. The feedback gotten will determine if you’ll get the next outing.

Speaking engagements: How to get invited to present at architecture conferences and events - Sheet3
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The Presentation

The topic of discussion is also an important factor to consider, as how it will be understood and what examples and facts to state or cite. How inspiring and challenging will it be for the listeners? Worthy of note also is the manner and mode of presentation, if the organisers have projectors or slides or you’ll use papers, all these affect your composure and use of the stage. If at the end of a well-seated audience and the presentation wasn’t clear or 8understood or interesting. Both the audience and the organisers may not bring you back again.

Time and Stage Comportment.

The whole day wasn’t allocated for the event, thus, it is better to mind the time allocated to you. This can be done by practising privately at home using a stopwatch and ensuring critical points are made and established within a short time.

Getting Invitations

Create a Niche and be Unique.

Invitations are only thrown open to some to speak on everything. It is meant for people with a strong track record over time in a given space, thought leaders, and industry-based professionals with hands-on skills to impact. The first step to get speaking engagements is to establish or identify a niche for yourself within a known or unknown area of knowledge. This will on its own create a network of fellows, build connections and create a community of like-minds that can help expose your thoughts. Skilled speakers have streamlined perspectives and views that create their own natural audience for them. The idea is to stand out from the crowd.

RIBA women speaking engagement women’s day celebration/

Master the details

It is also important to master the subject area of your chosen niche, as various questions may be thrown during the presentation. At first, after creating a niche, you’re seen as a thought leader and a master in that field; coming up on stage and not delivering or spilling out relevant details to the audience will not be encouraging, as you might be seen as a shallow depth speaker. This will help you develop further knowledge and qualifications in that area. Speakers might not have a lot of experience in their chosen area, so they can establish authority in it.

COPS 27 Speakers

UN Climate Change Conference reaches deal to set up ‘loss and damage’ fund (

Develop an online presence.

As you grow on the pathway of knowledge in that area, getting an online presence will be the first doorway to the world as you write and share what you do; some might include videos, scripts, papers, etc., leveraging on small blogs, social media pages, websites, following established public speakers and mentors online, sending personal letters creating private meetings with them is also good to help develop your confidence. As your reach increases, so your content will be getting refined due to feedback.

Writing book reviews and short articles is also a way of keeping your online presence worth the while, especially on very popular books and authors.

Be Active and Attend seminars.

Effective speaking requires consistent work and practice. Being engaged and active in small groups, maybe at church, school, or work, can allow you to identify ideas that resonate with audiences. It is also a way to test and groom your speaking skills, public composure, and management.

Join an interest group.

Social or service clubs, Interest groups, business organisations, and networking are great ways to share ideas and expertise gained over the years. As small as the idea may be, someone out there needs it. Joining any of these might create an opportunity for you to get constructive feedback after speaking and also create room for paid opportunities in the future.

Volunteer as a speaker

Most times, invitations don’t come for free due to the class of speakers required, the fee or level of event organised, or one is not yet noticed or known. However, if you have some good stuff related to the program of events, volunteering is also a good way to sell yourself. A letter can be sent to the event organisers introducing yourself with possible copies of recorded self-engaged engagements, presentation slides, images, or extracts from books written. This will create a window of opening in their next scheduled events. Part of it also requires keeping constant communication with event planners and organisations.

Reach out to established public speakers.

This is key to any young star who hopes to get on the world’s stage. Reaching out to those who are there already creates an extended arm for you. As you engage him or her on questions and expectations, help organise his/her program, assist him/her in preparations, and accompany him/her to the events. This will naturally lead to mastering the act and successful handover and recommendations.


Speaking engagement (2023) (date accessed 12 May 2023)

Invitation for speaking engagements (2023) (date accessed 12 May 2023)

Booking at conferences (2023) How To Get Booked To Speak At Conferences ( (date accessed 13 May 2023)


Edet Samuel is a Nigerian based architect with consistent practice experience in the built environment He began his career as a pupil architect in a firm and grew through the ranks of starting out his practice. He holds a Masters degree in Architecture from the University of Nigeria, and he's currently pursuing Doctorate with focus on Intelligent building management systems, architectural forensics, and Urban design. Edet Samuel has been exposed to a wide range of design projects cutting across major categories of buildings, and has contributed this experiences to students' academic works. Edet is broadly interested in contemporary responses and diversification in architecture, especially in areas of improved working drawings & detailing, design information and management, public health architecture in this era of pandemics that has made the home front the first line of defense, and design as 'preventive medicine'.