Call for Proposals – Presentation & Speaker

Call for Proposals

Over 700 influential decision makers from all levels of Yacht Clubs, Sail Training Programs, and Class/Fleet Leaders from across the country are gathering in San Diego, CA for three days in February 2020.

Do YOU have something to say? Here is your chance.

Request for Presentations

US Sailing conducts a Request for Presentations each year for its Sailing Leadership Forum/NSPS events. The SLF 2020 Call for Presentations is now open. All completed submissions will be reviewed, and notification of accepted presentations will be given by Sept. 1, 2019.

Below are a series of frequently asked questions regarding the following topics:

Request for Presentations process

The Request for Presentations opens May 1, 2019

The Request for Presentations closed on July 30, 2019.

US Sailing is looking for a wide array of topics that are innovative, engaging, inspiring, and informative for the leadership of sailing from around the country. The Forum’s goal is to offer relevant, timely education and training to help attendees do their jobs more effectively and make their organizations/programs more successful. First-hand perspectives provide insight. Proposals should address contemporary or emerging issues confronting the sailing industry and the leaders of sailing organizations across the country. Ideas for 2020 including some popular 2018 & 2019 topics include:

  • Youth Sailors: Ask Them What They Want
  • Women in Sailing Leadership
  • 10 Ways to Optimize Fundraising and Secure More Funding
  • Equip Staff to Foster Achievement and Support Failure
  • Summer Operating Systems: Getting Ready for Summer Programs
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Prepare and Respond to On-Water Crisis
  • Taking the Next Step: Beyond Recycling & Reusable Water Bottles
  • Creating a Player-Centered Youth Environment
  • Busting myths about what motivates employees - it’s not pay and pizza parties
  • Boards of Directors - keeping board members in their lanes; ensuring they are reassured enough to remain there
  • Sales techniques - how selling sailing is different than selling TVs
  • Management Accounting - financial forensics for determining products with the largest contributions to the bottom line

A Session or Speaker Idea Submission must be completed to be considered for SLF 2020. Information required on the submission includes:

  • Title of Presentation
  • Presentation Description
  • Learning Objectives & Takeaways
  • Methodology
  • Track/Topic/Audience
  • *Speaker Information Required: Name, Organization, Title, Bio and Email

The 2020 tracks have not been defined however past tracks have included:

  • Outside the Conventional Box
  • Participation/ Growth/Diversity
  • Management/ Operations/ Governance
  • Technology/Innovation
  • Safety
  • Be Selfish – Takeaways for YOU (the attendee)
  • Youth Development
  • Regattas/Racing
  • Race Management
  • Community Sailing

Yes! Please be sure to complete the form for each topic proposed.

Instructors, coaches, race officials, program directors, class/fleet leaders, yacht club management, organization leaders, and volunteers will find key takeaways from this inspiring event.

Online submission of proposals is required. Email submissions will not be accepted or reviewed.

Review process

The Sailing Leadership Planning Committee will select proposals based on:

  • Extent to which the proposal targets and is relevant to SLF attendees
  • Experience/expertise of presenters/speakers
  • Definition and focus of the topic
  • Timeliness and importance of topic
  • Overall presentation quality
  • Level of interactive and dynamic components offered in the presentation
  • Reflection of the diversity of the audience including organization, geography, gender, experience, etc
  • Encourage active learning (indicate in the proposal what active learning strategies you will use to engage the audience in the session instead of having them passively listen to information)
  • Demonstrate innovative thinking
  • Present ideas, best practices, and/or relevant knowledge to assist attendees in their leadership roles within their organizations
  • Present strategies for effective implementation of gained knowledge
  • Include presenters who have significant expertise in the topic area and can effectively communicate in front of large groups

A team of US Sailing staff and volunteers evaluate the submissions based upon quality and criteria noted above. The team works to ensure the entire program is well-balanced.

  • July 30, 2019 — proposals due
  • September 1, 2019 — all applicants will be notified about the status of their proposals
  • December 1, 2019 – presenter bio, headshot and official session descriptions due
  • February 5, 2020 – confirmed speakers will submit presentation
  • February 6-8, 2020 — Sailing Leadership Forum in San Diego

Speaking at SLF 2020

Breakout sessions take place each day, Thursday – Saturday (February 6-8) of SLF 2020. Breakouts begin as early as 8:30 a.m. and run throughout the day, ending as late as 4:30 p.m.

Submission of a proposal is a commitment that the speakers will be available to speak on any conference day and time as assigned by US Sailing staff. SLF has limited options to accommodate speaker conflicts.

Most breakouts are either 60 or 90 minutes long. New in 2020 we might have “Quick Hit” sessions which would be 20 minutes long. In the Call for Presentations you must select the requested length of your presentation. This is purely for planning purposes and the US Sailing team will assign durations.

No, US Sailing does not allow the promotion of products and services during breakout sessions. Speakers can talk about products and services that have been used to solve a problem or address the presentation topic. Whenever possible presenters should suggest alternative products and services as well.

The submitter will receive notification from the US Sailing Events Department by September 1, 2019.

Presenters and panelists will receive a 50% discount on SLF registration however US Sailing does not pay speakers or reimburse for travel or hotel expenses.

All breakout rooms will be set theater style to maximize seating. A podium and head seating for four (4) is standard in each room for presenters. Additionally, the following AV equipment will be set in each room:

  • (1) computer at the podium
  • Audio connection from computer (to play DVD/video)
  • (1) wireless presentation mouse
  • (1) podium microphone
  • (1) handheld microphone for panelists
  • (1) screen
  • (1) LCD projector

Any additional requests will be considered at the discretion of the US Sailing Events Department and the availability of such resources.

SLF attendees invest a considerable amount of time and expense to attend the Forum. For these reasons, US Sailing works hard to ensure each and every session at the Forum realizes its full potential. Our members expect:

  • Presenters will prepare for their session prior to arrival.
  • Presenters have a significant knowledge and expertise of the subject area, and have sufficient presentation skills to effectively communicate.
  • Presenters will engage the audience. The greatest success you can have is to inspire your audience so they come out of the presentation buzzing with thoughts and ideas. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Engage your audience as quickly as possible.
  • Presenters will not engage in commercial presentations of their organization.
  • Presenters will be conscious of the time limitation of their presentation.
  • Presenters will not simply read directly from written statements.
  • Presenters understand that materials provided for SLF 2020 become the property of US Sailing (for placement on,, or use in other educational activities of the association).

If you do not see your question answered above, please contact