Speaker Guidelines

The AMTA 2017 Call for Speakers is open! The completed applications for AMTA’s 2017 educational events are due June 6, 2016. All submissions must be electronic. Contact AMTA with any questions.

Application Guidelines

The 2017 AMTA Call for Speakers application will be used to slate education for the 2017 National Convention, 2017 AMTA Schools Summit and AMTA’s online course portfolio. Read on to learn more about AMTA’s exciting educational opportunities and our commitment to the highest quality education in the profession.


AMTA represents professional, student and graduate members and school members, all of whom are committed to the highest ethical and educational standards.

Education Opportunities

AMTA National Convention

The AMTA 2017 National Convention is September 13-16, 2017, in Pasadena, California. Massage therapists, students, educators, exhibitors and speakers from across the country will engage in top-notch continuing education and networking. There are two education session formats:

  • General Education Session - Two to four hour sessions that are generally accessible to therapists at any level of their career.
  • Intensive Workshops – Eight hour sessions that are intended to be an intensive, hands-on learning environment. These sessions are offered within the main Convention education programming, September 14-16 or as Pre-Convention workshops on September 13.

AMTA Massage Therapy Schools Summit

The AMTA 2017 Massage Therapy Schools Summit is February 23-24, 2017, in Boston, Massachusetts. Teachers, administrative staff, school owners and CE providers attend this important event.

AMTA Online Course Portfolio

AMTA’s learning management system allows us to produce high quality dynamic education online. Online courses can take two formats:

  • Text-based, which requires the ability to produce 15-20 pages of written and properly cited material that will be adapted into an online course. There is potential to develop course material into an article for Massage Therapy Journal as well.
  • Audio, video and/or webinar technology is used to create a dynamic learning experience. You can combine both formats into one course as well. AMTA does not host content from other continuing education vendors.


  • Exposure to other massage therapists, educators and vendors who share your commitment to educational excellence and high ethical standards.
  • The ability to promote your participation with AMTA.
  • The opportunity to share ideas, knowledge and experience with those new to the profession and those with years of experience.

Travel expenses for face to face opportunities are paid including air, hotel and a per diem for meals, as applicable. In addition, a modest honorarium is provided.

Checklist of Required Elements & Format for Proposal

The following items are needed to evaluate your proposal:

1. Complete your application

  • Download the application
  • Submit a completed application for each program. This document has several sections and each section needs to be completed.
  • Name the file with your first name, last name, followed by primary topic and the name of your proposed course.
  • Each word should be separated by an underscore.

2. Follow these application guidelines

When outlining the program content/time frame, use the following as guidelines:

Lecture refers to explanations of the history of a procedure or business skills for instance.

  • Hands-on means the attendees practice the techniques on each other using massage tables. For face to face sessions that are 75% or more hands on for attendees, registration will be capped at 75 in order to promote the best learning environment.
  • Interactive is leading the group in active discussion or having them practice self care techniques.
  • If your proposal is for a two-hour session, the format must be lecture only.
  • If your proposal is for an online course, the format must be lecture only although that can include multimedia demonstrations that incorporate audio and video.

Teaching Assistants (for face to face meetings only, no TAs are provided for online courses)

  • Speakers must secure their own TAs and all TAs are subject to approval by AMTA.
  • All TAs must be licensed and/or legally able to practice the modality being presented in their state of residence.
  • AMTA does not provide payment or any other reimbursement for TAs unless a class is a minimum of 8 hours and 75 percent hands-on. Even if all of these criteria are met, AMTA has full discretion on approving any financial support for TAs.

3. Provide sample handout, outline or writing sample

A sample handout, detailed outline or writing sample (in the case of an online course) is required. The handout or writing sample should reflect the program content as fully as possible. For proposals that are selected, final handouts (if needed) will be requested at a later date. The handout can be created as PowerPoint slides, text or an outline. Convert the document to a PDF before submission if possible. Remember, a handout is preferred for in-person courses.

If you have any of the following credentials, the following items are required and applicable to your application. Combine all of the following documents into one PDF. Only one copy of the following should be submitted.

  • If applicable: A copy of undergraduate, graduate or any advanced degree diploma
  • If applicable: Copy of health care provider license, massage, chiropractic, medical etc.
  • If applicable: Certificate of completion of massage school/program
  • If applicable: BCTMB or other national massage certification
  •  If applicable: BCTMB approved continuing education provider certificate

Course Topics

Speaker proposals are welcomed from a broad range of topics, including:


  • Marketing strategies and plans
  • Ethics
  • Business management: financial, legal and/or records retention, for example
  • Employer focused topic: managing employees, being an employee, being an independent contractor, for example
  • Client management: communication, intake and follow up, for example

Health care

  • Special needs clients
  • Massage practiced within a traditional medical setting


We are looking for proposals in two areas in this topic:

1. Specific techniques, for instance:

  • Therapeutic applications
  • Neuromuscular applications

2. Serving specific populations, for instance:

  • Aging population
  • Athletes
  • Hospital and hospice patients
  • Managing chronic pain
  • Rehabilitation/recovery


  • Importance of research in building a practice
  • Incorporating research into curriculum
  • Using research to work with other healthcare professionals
  • Evaluating published research
  • How to write case reports
  • Research relating to specific techniques, for instance: therapeutic applications, neuromuscular applications
  • Research relating to serving specific populations, for instance:
  • Massage for diabetics

School Topics

Teaching Skills

  • Teaching adults with varying abilities/differing learning styles
  • Classroom management
  • Conflict management 
  • Motivating teachers and students
  • Ethics
  • Creative methods for teaching topics like anatomy, physiology and pathology

Issues Facing School Administrators

  • Attracting and retaining students
  • Successful placement programs
  • Student satisfaction
  • Teacher satisfaction
  • Marketing for schools

Review Procedure

Applications are peer reviewed by a group of committees comprised of massage therapists with experience in education. Committees are provided with the proposals along with relevant survey and evaluation data to guide them in their decision-making.

  • The Education Operational Committee recommends the topics and speakers for the general education program at National Convention.
  • The Teachers Development and School Summit Operational Committees recommend the topics and speakers for the teachers track at National Convention and Schools Summit, respectively.
  • The Massage Therapy Foundation Education Committee and Executive Committee recommend the topics for the research track at National Convention.
  • Online courses are reviewed and considered in relation to the other programming selected by the above committees and in light of editorial calendars for our varying publications. From that review we are able to select the topics that help balance our education portfolio.

All complete applications must be received by June 6, 2016 to be considered. There is no limit on the number of proposals a potential speaker may submit for consideration.

All submissions will receive notification in writing of the status of their proposal by January 30, 2017.

AMTA will accept only electronic submissions. This is important: 1) to reduce unnecessary paper waste, 2) to assist in the efficient review by the committee, and 3) to efficiently transfer information to NCBTMB as an Approved Provider and to state boards of massage therapy for continuing education credit approval.


Criteria for Selection: Presenters are selected by a committee on the basis of instructor qualifications, instructional content and methods, teaching style, relevance to the profession and relevance to the conference theme. Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

1. Is the application complete? Incomplete applications will not be considered.
2. Does the presenter have a thorough knowledge of the subject matter?
3. Does the presenter have previous teaching experience?
4. Does the program address topics stated in the call for speakers?
5. Does the outline include relevant research and theories pertaining to the topic?
6. Are the learning objectives clearly stated?
7. Are the learning objectives attainable given the course length and outline?
8. Is the program content clearly stated and appropriate to meet the learning objectives?
9. Is the learning environment stated and appropriate?
10. Are the handouts/sample presentation relevant and of good quality in content?

Speaker Selection Policies

  • AMTA does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, age, national or ethnic origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or physical disability.
  • Presenters for face-to-face meetings (AMTA National Convention and AMTA Schools Summit) will be selected on a rotational basis and are not eligible to present at the same meeting the following year.
  • Upon selection, speakers are asked to enter into a speaker agreement with AMTA.
  • To ensure quality programming, speakers may be asked to review the program content with staff and may be requested to make adjustments to the presentation.

Continuing Education Credit

AMTA is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) as an Approved Provider of continuing education. AMTA will submit all required documentation to the NCBTMB and to state massage therapy boards, as applicable, for approved speakers. Additionally, the National Convention’s education programs meet the continuing education requirement for AMTA membership.

For more information about the submission process, contact AMTA.

Completed Applications

Send your completed Call for Speakers application, with appropriate documentation, to education@amtamassage.org no later than June 6, 2016.

Mac users: Be careful to not use Apple Preview to fill out the form, but rather Adobe Acrobat Reader. Read on for instructions.

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Satu F., AMTA member since 2003

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