I would think I have enough years using Adobe products that I would be speaking at Adobe Conferences by now. I wonder where I went wrong?
I must admit, I get a little bit of envy when I see all the Adobe leaders giving their talks about the great apps Adobe offers us.
Given my age (I'm middle aged), and that I now work for a government agency, I wonder if I can ever become one of those Adobe speakers.
And what would your topic be for the speech?
My experience is in Adobe Flash, now Adobe Animate... Photoshop, Illustrator.... Captivate....
O/k, why do you think you should, and how would Adobe know if you are worth inviting to speak at a conference?
The majority of none Adobe speakers at conferences are writers, or well know 'personalities' within their area of expertise. A proven track record of speaking is also required, as anyone new to public speaking will often 'lock up' during their talk. Which is why the old start small advice is often given.
Being an expert in your field is not required, as one only has to attend a few conferences to find out. Being able to put your ideas forward and keeping the attendees engaged and interested though, is a necessity.
Then we come to the Adobe products themselves, which product(s), do you write about that/those products, do you participate in the pre-release program, do you help other in,(for example) these forums, does anyone know about you, (if you work for the government, unlikely, as most try and keep a lower profile than conference speakers).
On top of what was already mentioned .... look up any Adobe Usergroups in your area and offer to do some presentations. Great way to get your first steps into the presentation world of Adobe.
I think it's great that you want to share your knowledge and contribute to your time to help other people learn. You sound like a good person. I may be wrong, but I think you are having a bit of a mid-life crisis, which is normal and nothing to get upset about (speaking from experience here). Everybody wants to feel appreciated and connected and that they have accomplished something lasting in their lives, I suspect you have done more that you give your self credit for. I get some satisfaction by doing volunteer work in my community, on top of my full time job.
You might consider lecturing at a local community college or school as a start, I think you will find it very rewarding. Best wishes.
@Luke Jennings thanks for the kind words. Your suggestions are excellent.
To add on to what the others have mentioned about getting involved, The Adobe forums need people to help answer questions. Many of us who do so are now ACPs (Adobe Community Professionals). As an ACP, you have a better chance of working with Adobe, being noticed, and helping out in a wide range of areas. As ACPs, we also get to help with being a TA at MAX, which could be a good stepping stone to speaking at it. Plus you get to meet so many others that with similar interest, which is difficult to do with just local clubs, unless you live in a large city.