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How to get your submission accepted at NDC London

January 18, 2017

How to get your submission accepted at NDC London

Video: https://vimeo.com/205805500

As a member of the NDC London 2017 agenda committee, I give a behind the scenes look at the agenda process and some things to improve your talk abstracts that may increase your chances of being selected.

I use cats in my abstract examples so they are technology agnostic. Plus, everyone loves cats, right?

Links from final slide:
* https://www.promptworks.com/blog/why-your-excellent-talk-was-rejected
* http://www.certsandprogs.com/2015/02/make-me-offer-i-cant-refusewriting.html
* http://helpmeabstract.com/
* https://www.themobilepresenter.com/staticpages/index.php/presenting-for-geeks-ebook


January 18, 2017

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  1. How to get your submission
    accepted at NDC London
    Chris O’Dell
    ● Thank everyone for coming to NDC London

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  2. Chris O’Dell
    The Continuous Delivery
    ● Self Introduction & why on Panel

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  3. ● Why I’m doing this lightning talk -
    ● want the best conference ever and that means the best talks
    from the best submissions

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  4. Liam Westley
    Eirik Langholm Vullum
    Niall Merrigan
    Bryan Hunter
    Chris O'Dell
    Kjersti Sandberg
    Jakob Bradford
    Functional track
    Main tracks
    Conf organisers
    ● Describe Panel and who makes it up

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  5. ● Pre-selected speakers and talks - bigger names need time to
    book and arrange.
    ● 8 rooms
    ● 1 = functional track
    ● 1 = C++ track (new for 2017)
    ● 6 tracks left - 114 slots including ~ ⅓ pre-selected, so about

    View Slide

  6. 2-day lock-in
    ● Review over 700 submissions - 75 slots!
    ● First pass - lots of typos (show lack of care), not relevant
    (sloppy or too generic)
    ● Second pass - learn about the speakers - demonstrable
    subject matter experience, speaking experience

    View Slide

  7. ● Group into themes
    ● Choose from talks covering same topic
    ● Attempt to whittle down the numbers

    View Slide

  8. ● Attempt to fit into agenda slots alongside pre-selected talks
    ● Reshuffle to avoid similar themes at the same time, attempt
    to avoid women speakers at the same time, big names in
    larger rooms

    View Slide

  9. Sample Abstracts

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  10. Have you ever wondered what your cat is trying to tell
    you ? Are you curious why they show you their bellies
    only to slice your hand to shreds? Ever wanted to know
    why they run around your flat at 200mph at 3am? Come
    to my talk!
    ● Rhetorical Questions
    ● What is going to be the content?
    ● Can we take that gamble? Will attendees?
    ● Don’t work up for a big reveal - tell us straight up. Helps
    everyone decide whether to attend

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  11. In this talk we’ll discuss the best methods for walking
    your cat. Though I’ve never owned cats, as a professional
    dog walker, this guaranteed method works regardless of
    breed and chosen leash.
    ● Controversial topic from a non-expert
    ● We’d choose topic expert over beginner (as I’m sure
    attendees would too!)

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  12. Sisal is a more satisfying scratching material than cardboard.
    ● Short and sweet
    ● Shows lack of care - will the talk be similar in this regard?
    ● Opposite: Essay - people give up reading

    View Slide

  13. How I learned to stop worrying and love catnip
    How I learned to stop worrying and love the Domestic Longhair
    How I learned to stop worrying and love cleaning cat litter
    How I learned to stop worrying and love scratched furniture
    How I learned to stop worrying and love yearly vaccinations
    How I learned to stop worrying and love hairballs
    ● The shotgun submitter
    ● “One of these has to be accepted, right?”
    ● Varied topics, we have no confidence in your expertise
    ● We ask for 1-2 of your best talks - lack of respect for
    selection committee?

    View Slide

  14. In this talk we’ll discuss the process for introducing a new cat
    to a resident cat. I’ve been fostering cats for many years and
    have successfully introduced both stray and abandoned cats of
    all ages to my busy home of 5 cats with an 80% success rate.
    We’ll cover steps for the first few days to successful integration
    - from creating a safe space to scent and room swapping and
    more. With these techniques you’ll have a happy catty home!
    ● The Beginner
    ● Excellent abstract - do we gamble on a newbie speaker?
    ● Tells us about your speaker experience, any videos, linkedin,
    twitter, etc
    ● Submit a lightning talk instead - reduced gamble for

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  15. Tips

    Tell us what you’ll talk about - don’t hint

    Tell us why your experience matters

    Provide a sufficiently detailed abstract

    Send your best, targeted talks

    Assume a knowledgeable audience

    Help us to find your presentation experience
    ● Summarise tips

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  16. ● Wish you luck for next year

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  17. Resources

    Why Your Excellent Conference Talk Was Rejected
    - Sarah Gray

    Make me an offer I can’t refuse - Writing abstracts for conference organisers
    - Niall Merrigan

    - volunteers will review your abstract

    Presenting for Geeks ebook
    - Dirk Haun

    View Slide