Call for Proposals
600 influential decision makers from all levels of Yacht Clubs, Sail Training Programs, and Class/Fleet Leaders from across the country are gathering in St. Pete Beach, FL for three days in February 2023.
Do YOU have something to say? Here is your chance.
Presenting at SLF
Sailing Leadership Forum is only made possible by leaders inside and outside our sport donating their time and talent to educate the sailing community. Sessions include both professional education and personal development. Presenters have vast experience which the sailing community can learn from.
These are our preliminary tracks for 2023:
- Business Development and Leadership – Business operations including budget management, operations, logistics, fundraising, sponsorship, marketing & communications and strategic planning. Understanding leadership, culture, employee happiness, and volunteer management
- Innovation, Sustainability and Technology – Exploring creative programming, innovative competitive event formats and cutting-edge sailing technology. Designing events and programs that go beyond low impact to positive impact, innovations in sustainability
- Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility – Creating inclusive accessible programs, events and workplaces
- Trends, Participation and Growth – Looking to the future to develop programming and events which grow participation.
- Safety On and Off the Water – Comprehensive emergency action and crisis communication plans, lessons learned from recent incidents, Safe Sport guidance, accident proofing your organization and running safe regattas.
- Innovation and Simplification in Race Management – Understanding the Racing Rules, event formats that encourage participation, keeping it simple and fun, grow your race committee volunteer base
- Well-being and Personal Growth – Prioritizing mental health and emotional intelligence
Yacht Club Management
Yacht Club Leadership
We’re excited to share our new session formats with you. Most sessions take place in breakout rooms. Additional format options described below.
Capacity: 100 people
Length of session: 60 minutes
Learning format: Full presentation using provided PowerPoint template.
Set up: Theater or Rounds (room dependent)
AV: There will be a provided laptop available and full audio-visual equipment provided including screen, projector, computer audio and microphone
Firesides are small, intimate sessions for up to 20 people. The learning style is discussion-focused, with the small group size giving participants the chance to interact with each other and you the speaker.
Length of session: 30 minutes
Learning format: 10 minutes maximum for introduction and then a 20-minute discussion
Set up: The fireside area is set up with a small circle of seats
AV: No audio-visual equipment provided.
Hot Topic Tables
Hot Topic Tables are facilitated small group discussions on a carefully selected ‘hot’ topic to encourage peer to peer learning. You will moderate the session and split the group into smaller groups (if necessary) to allow easy discussion.
Length of session: 45 minutes Learning format: You will prepare three to five discussion points on your hot topic to kick start the discussion.
Set up: Long table with chairs for a maximum of 15 attendees.
AV: None provided
Meet the Expert
This is a special opportunity for participants to book a one-to-one session with a speaker after attending their seminar or fireside session. It’s ideal for those wishing to ask more in-depth questions during a one to one appointment.
Learning format: One to one appointments
Length of session: 20-minute appointments
Set up: A table and two chairs
AV: None provided
Chill out and rub shoulders with members of the US Sailing Team and other sailing heroes at Sailors' Corner.
Ways to Pitch a Session
Propose a Session
Want to present at SLF 2023 and have a topic that you think is perfect? Submit a session proposal! Proposals don't require you to present a fully developed session. Instead, we'll ask a few brief questions designed to capture the importance of the issue and the solutions offered. Have an idea outside of the preliminary tracks? We want to hear about it! Submit a proposal and we will consider your session.
Propose a Topic: Share an Idea or Topic Area You Want to See at SLF 2023
We want to hear the big ideas of our attendees! If you have a topic or idea you want us to explore at SLF 2023, share it with us without needing to prep a full session proposal.
Pitch a Speaker
Know a great speaker or subject matter expert? Share the contact with us! Refer someone you want us to consider for a SLF 2023 speaker.
All sessions must be educational in nature and not feature overt marketing or direct selling for a single company or product, although mentions of products and services are acceptable to illustrate learning points. All submissions are reviewed on the merits of the content and chosen with relevance to the program. In short, sales pitches are not allowed!
An official US Sailing/Sailing Leadership Forum PowerPoint template for speaker presentations will be provided, please prepare your presentation slides on provided template. Please bring completed presentation to the show on a USB. Note: sessions are not recorded unless otherwise noted.
US Sailing doesn’t typically compensate speakers for travel or accommodation expenses or pay speaker fees. We view speaking opportunities at Sailing Leadership Forum as mutually beneficial, an opportunity to present yourself and your ideas to an influential and engaged audience together with a chance to leverage the opportunity for yourself or your organization and give back to the sport with your time and talent.
If accepted as a presenter do I have to register?
Yes, ALL session moderators and speakers must register and pay the conference registration fee. A discounted presenter registration rate will be offered.
- Topic suggestions, and speaker referrals deadline: September 1, 2022
- Proposals reviewed: Ongoing through September 30, 2022
- Notification of session acceptance and delivery format: October 15, 2022
- Approved sessions - final descriptions, speaker bios & headshots: December 1, 2022
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 2023 including some popular past 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
- *Speaker Information Required: Name, Organization, Title, Bio and Email
Yes! Please be sure to complete the form for each topic proposed.
Online submission of proposals is required. Email submissions will not be accepted or reviewed.
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.
Speaking at SLF 2023
Breakout sessions take place each day, Thursday – Saturday (February 2-4) of SLF 2023. Breakouts begin as early as 8:30 a.m. and run throughout the day, ending as late as 5:00 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 60 minutes long. New in 2023 we may offer additional session formats ranging in time and format. In the Call for Presentations you must select the requested format of your presentation. This is purely for planning purposes and the US Sailing team will assign duration.
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 2023 become the property of US Sailing (for placement on www.sailingleadership.org, www.ussailing.org, or use in other educational activities of the association).