Given at Baltimore Women in Computing. A short guide to getting involved in conference speaking.
Conference Speaking 101
BWIC, June 2015
I am a Public Speaker
• ~30 conferences, user groups, podcasts & events in the past 24 months
• Speaking will boost your career
• You will learn a ton
• Affordable way of attending more conferences
• Make new friends
• Cynical networking opportunities
Almost No One Thinks They
You have something valuable
Technical Conference Speaking
• Expanding on a tool or process you’ve used…
• Stuff that you’d like to learn more about…
• Personal interests…
Writing An Abstract
• A short pitch for a topic in under 300 words
• Good abstracts define a problem and promise a solution
Caching is among the most vital parts of a modern system,
and it is one of the most cost-effective ways of squeezing
that extra bit of oomph from an app. Thankfully, we now
have more caching techniques and tools than ever, but
knowing know how they ﬁt together is difﬁcult. Memcached
and redis are just the ﬁrst step on a journey of building
leaner, faster apps. We'll go from reverse proxies like Varnish
and NGINX to the newest features of redis 3.0 and beyond!
After this session, you’ll have everything you need to create
the right caching game plan for your application!
• Find speakers who are open to mentoring (easier than you might think!)
Calls for Papers
Finding Open Calls
Conferences are Different
• Regional / National
• Community / Corporate
• Monotrack / Polytrack
• Uncompensated - It’s on you
• Assistance available - Expenses may be covered based on need
• Expenses covered - Some or all expenses covered by the event
• Compensated - Speakers receive payment
The Selection Process
• Selection Committee
• Blind Review
• Thematic Coherence
• Demographic Balance
You will get rejected.
• Keep communication with the organizers open
• Be clear about who is arranging travel and lodging
Constructing a Talk
• Think length first, then pace
• Play to your strengths
• Don’t be afraid to develop your own style
Find Your Practice Routine
• I do…
• 2-3 reads in the week leading up, even with familiar material
• 1-2 mirror performances as close as possible to delivery
• It’s OK to be nervous.
• The time goes by REALLY quickly.
• Remember, your audience wants you to succeed!
Learning from Feedback
• Learn to separate constructive criticism from garbage
• A tiny minority will be nasty. They will probably drown out most of the
positive feedback you get. It’s normal.