Speaker at Business Conference and Presentation
ATD Blog

Get to Know Luiz Castanha

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Luiz Castanha.jpg
I have been attending the ATD International Conference & EXPO for the past eight years and have also attended ATD TechKnowledge, ATD Mexico, and ATD Brazil Summit as speaker. Now, I’m a member of the International Conference & EXPO PAC, 2019-20, evaluating the global perspectives track.

How did you feel when you first attended an ATD conference? What keeps you coming back?

For those of us who work in training and development, the first time attending an ATD conference is unforgettable. We want to attend each session, talk to everyone, and go to the entire expo. Everything at an ATD conference is relevant—the sessions, the keynotes, the networking events—and you want to embrace everything at once.

Soon you realize that you will not be able to do it all and that you have to look for what is more relevant to you and your company in the short- and medium-term and prepare your schedule.

How do you select sessions? What should attendees do during the sessions to get most out of them?

I suggest analyzing the main problems you are facing day-by-day in your work. With this in mind, consider the tracks and listen to some world-class speakers in your chosen area. I suggest downloading presentations and taking note of key comments and insights. Later it is important to review them and begin practical actions to test the concepts.

How do you network and make friends? What social media tools do you use to connect with people?


This event is a place of contacts and networking. In the sessions we have opportunities to interact with people and give a short description of what we do in our work, and to ask colleagues why they are here and what their challenges and problems are. This is an excellent way to broaden the horizons of business and foster collaboration with some of these people in the future.

For social media, I recommend Twitter to share thoughts and insights. For connections and networking, certainly recommend LinkedIn. There is a feature called Find Nearby that is great for this occasion. Stay connected!

How can someone become a speaker for next year’s conference?

I think if you follow these steps, you will have a good chance to be an ATD speaker:

  • Look for a relevant topic that makes sense to speak on for the demanding audience of ATD.
  • Write a clear and convincing description that shows you have deep knowledge of the subject.
  • Have a good background of theoretical and practical experience.
  • Communicate and interact with the audience in a style that demonstrates a well-told story.· Present with interactions to engage the audience.
  • Share takeaways that are clear and relatively easy for the audience to apply.
  • Avoid being too salesy—your presentation will lose credibility.

What’s the best way to transfer the learning after you return to your home country?


Take one or two concrete ideas and apply them to relevant projects as a pilot. After this first experience, collect results, adjust, and scale the solution.

What is one suggestion you would like to give first-time ATD conference attendees?

Focus on the tracks and your insights, make as many connections as possible, and enjoy!

Any other tips that you think it would be helpful for attendees?

  • Download the app.
  • The ATD conference is the most important event for those who work in our industry. You will find world-class experts, so don´t go back home with any doubts—solve them here!
  • At the ATD Store you will find interesting studies and books from the speakers. You can have them sign your book and network with them.
  • Use the lunches and happy hours to develop your network. Stay connected with them.

ATD Global has organized several opportunities for international attendees to be recognized, learn with each other, network, and have fun! For instance, you can connect with Emma and other colleagues in the Global Village. And be sure to attend the International Orientation, an informative session for new and returning international attendees to network and learn how to get the most out of ATD 2019. Learn more here.

About the Author

Luiz is the CEO of Telefónica Digital Education - Brazil, a company of the Telefónica group which is specialized in learning methods for companies, there are branches in Spain, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Brazil. Luiz is an expert in education startups and education technology. Throughout his career, he has been in technology companies, education consulting companies, has acted as consultant in several digital education projects in Brazil and Latin America. Business administration graduate and also has an MBA in Marketing with expertise in Knowledge Management and Storytelling in Hollywood(LA).

Has several articles published for the HR and education magazine, addressing themes such as leadership, gamification, startups, storytelling, and the use of innovative technology for education. Lately has been implementing technology of augmented reality and virtual reality in the learning processes to improve the user's experience and to develop business indicators.

His company in Brazil has had over 1.000.000 attendants in digital education and over 150 thousand attendants in class. Has generated over 40 thousand hours of virtual content in the latest year. In order to deal with such volumes to bring forward quality education and interesting/teasing content, the company had to innovate and reach for the latest technology to unite engagement and education.

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