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Next February, at the IIeX Europe conference in Amsterdam, there will be an entire track devoted to brand new speakers – people who have never spoken at a conference before. Jaceey is one of six mentors helping our new speakers so let’s get to know her a bit better.

Why did you volunteer to be a mentor for new speakers at IIeX?

Jaceey Sebastian, Chair of Atlanta

Jaceey Sebastian, Chair of Atlanta

I have been fortunate and blessed to travel to a lot of places in the world as a participant but the one area that I never really considered until recently is to become a resource person/presenter/speaker.  I had many of the same tools and sometimes even more experience and training than some others who took the presenter’s path.  I believe that had I taken that path sooner my career would have been enhanced.  Therefore, I want to pass this lesson and some training on to others who are younger or who are thinking about doing more public speaking.  I also never really had a mentor.  It almost seems like the speaking track was reserved and that no thought was given to diversity.

What do you think holds people back from speaking?

People tend to be scared of public speaking in general but I think for our industry the lack of a “training ground” and the lack of foresight by some of our industry groups did not help to encourage a more diverse group.

What should our industry do to get more new speakers on stage?

Be purposeful in wanting to get away from the same old same old.  Let people know there are opportunities and be intentional in providing training.  The new speakers track at IIEX is a great way to start.  Hats off the the Greenbook team for being leaders here.

What advice do you have for new speakers? 

Go get it!  Seek out the new research speakers clubs in your city! Get connected or start one!  Get to know the folks who present all the time at conferences.  Seek local opportunities to speak and hone your skills.  They do not have to be research based.  Let your bosses know this is also good for business.  Find topics that you are passionate about and put topics, research and papers together when you can.


If you’ve never spoken at a conference before, please submit for this track. Choose any topic that touches market research like biometrics, neuroscience, eye-tracking, AI, and IoT or any traditional quant and qual methods.


If you HAVE spoken at a conference before, you can still help. First, you can march right over to the junior researchers in your office and help them fill out a submission form. And second, since junior researchers don’t always have the financial resources for travel expenses, you can support them through a sponsorship. Email anniepettit at gmail dot com to find out how you can help.

Now go submit!