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Conference Speaking 101 & 102

Conference Speaking 101 & 102

Presenting at a conference is a very rewarding experience. But it isn't always obvious how to get started. How do you take a basic topic idea and refine it into an hour-long technical presentation? In this tutorial we will cover the steps necessary to take your desire to present from concept all the way to finished presentation, including brainstorming, abstract development, slide development, rehearsal tips, and tips on dealing with presentation jitters. There will be time during this tutorial to start working on your own abstract and talk idea, so bring a concept if you have one.

Jeff Carouth

May 09, 2015
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  1. PRESENTED BY
    JEFF CAROUTH
    @jcarouth
    conference speaking
    101 & 102

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  2. Today we will learn how
    to go about making the
    worst decision of your
    life: becoming a
    conference speaker.

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  3. You will look back fondly
    and remember the time
    you made this error in
    judgement.

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  4. About this tutorial

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  5. This tutorial is a
    workshop. Walking out
    today you should have a
    talk idea ready to go.

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  6. About Me
    • Developer since 2003

    • Lead Platform Engineer

    • Given >30 conference presentations since 2011

    • Mentor & trainer

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  7. Who are you?
    • Have you given a talk at a conference before?

    • Submitted but been rejected?

    • First time at a conference?

    • User group leaders?

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  8. Agenda
    1. About this tutorial

    2. Call for Papers

    3. The Idea

    4. Abstracts

    5. Writing the Talk

    6. Rehearsal

    7. Preparation

    8. Giving the Talk

    9. Rules of Speaking

    10. Pro Tips

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  9. call for papers

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  10. Academic conference
    terminology meaning a
    request for people to
    submit ideas for
    consideration.

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  11. Steps of a CfP

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  12. Find open CfPs by
    following relevant Twitter
    accounts, getting on
    email lists, or just paying
    attention to conference
    websites.

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  13. https://twitter.com/callbackwomen

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  14. http://www.techspeak.email/

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  15. Remember: selection
    committees are looking
    for relevance.

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  16. Passion and speaking

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  17. The 10-minute rant rule

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  18. What did people speak
    about last year?

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  19. Exercise: Jot down a few
    topics you would like to
    talk about.

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  20. An abstract tells potential
    attendees why they
    should attend your talk.

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  21. An abstract should read
    like marketing material
    with a little more
    technical detail and
    accuracy.

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  22. There really is not a “best
    format” or a “silver
    bullet” recipe for
    abstracts.

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  23. Presenting at a conference is a very rewarding
    experience. But it isn't always obvious how to get
    started. How do you take a basic topic idea and refine
    it into an hour-long technical presentation? In this
    tutorial we will cover the steps necessary to take your
    desire to present from concept all the way to finished
    presentation, including brainstorming, abstract
    development, slide development, rehearsal tips, and
    tips on dealing with presentation jitters. There will be
    time during this tutorial to start working on your own
    abstract and talk idea, so bring a concept if you have
    one.
    Conference Speaking 101 and 102

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  24. Presenting at a conference is a very rewarding
    experience. But it isn't always obvious how to get
    started. How do you take a basic topic idea and refine
    it into an hour-long technical presentation? In this
    tutorial we will cover the steps necessary to take your
    desire to present from concept all the way to finished
    presentation, including brainstorming, abstract
    development, slide development, rehearsal tips, and
    tips on dealing with presentation jitters. There will be
    time during this tutorial to start working on your own
    abstract and talk idea, so bring a concept if you have
    one.
    Conference Speaking 101 and 102

    View full-size slide

  25. Presenting at a conference is a very rewarding
    experience. But it isn't always obvious how to get
    started. How do you take a basic topic idea and refine
    it into an hour-long technical presentation? In this
    tutorial we will cover the steps necessary to take your
    desire to present from concept all the way to finished
    presentation, including brainstorming, abstract
    development, slide development, rehearsal tips, and
    tips on dealing with presentation jitters. There will be
    time during this tutorial to start working on your own
    abstract and talk idea, so bring a concept if you have
    one.
    Conference Speaking 101 and 102

    View full-size slide

  26. Presenting at a conference is a very rewarding
    experience. But it isn't always obvious how to get
    started. How do you take a basic topic idea and refine
    it into an hour-long technical presentation? In this
    tutorial we will cover the steps necessary to take your
    desire to present from concept all the way to finished
    presentation, including brainstorming, abstract
    development, slide development, rehearsal tips, and
    tips on dealing with presentation jitters. There will be
    time during this tutorial to start working on your own
    abstract and talk idea, so bring a concept if you have
    one.
    Conference Speaking 101 and 102

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  27. Abstract review
    http://helpmeabstract.com/

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  28. Let’s review some
    abstracts.

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  29. When attempting to introduce tests into a legacy
    application, you might run into situations where it is
    impossible to discern what constitutes a testable unit
    because you are encountering a page script, a big ball of
    mud, or otherwise highly coupled segments of your
    application. Writing proper unit tests for these pieces as is
    is impossible so often we look to writing higher level tests
    and accept that as the end of our testing journey. But we
    should aim to get actual unit tests into our application. In
    this talk we will cover situations where breaking
    dependencies between components would allow unit
    tests to be written and how we can write unit tests for
    code as we move through the application.

    Testing Legacy: Breaking Dependencies

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  30. When working with a legacy application, it is often difficult to
    figure out how to add unit tests because of highly coupled
    segments and components in the application. In this talk we
    will look at how we can break dependencies between highly
    coupled components for the purpose of introducing unit
    tests. Walking out of this talk you should have a great idea
    how you can improve the architecture of your codebase and
    introduce lower-level tests where you had none before.
    Testing Legacy: Breaking Dependencies

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  31. PHP7 is going to be released soon. There are a lot of new
    improvements to the language. In this talk I will introduce
    the better parts of PHP7 that you can use if you upgrade. I
    will show you new features with examples of how you can
    use them in real-world applications and even some tips on
    how you can use PHP7 today with your existing applications
    for testing.
    New Features in PHP7

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  32. Ruby on Rails is a popular framework in the Ruby
    community. In this talk I will tell you:

    • How to install Rails

    • How to make a new application

    • How to deploy an application

    • Where to learn more about Rails
    Ruby on Rails

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  33. Exercise: Develop one of
    your topics into a rough
    draft of an abstract.

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  34. Writing the Talk

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  35. Outline
    Outline or Mindmap

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  36. Conference Speaking 101 & 102

    =============================

    Outline

    -------

    0. Intro (1 min)

    1. About this tutorial. (4 min)

    a. It's a workshop.

    b. About me

    c. About you

    d. Agenda

    2. A CfP (3 min)

    a. What is it?

    b. What they are looking for.

    c. How to find open cfps.

    d. Elements of a submission

    i. Abstract

    ii. Notes to organizers

    iii. Tips and tricks.

    3. The Idea (13 min)

    a. Passion.

    b. The 10 minute rant rule.

    c. CfP tells you what talks they want.

    d. Exercise (10 min)

    5. Abstract (23 min)

    a. What to include.

    b. What not to include.

    c. Formatting.

    d. Refinement.

    e. Abstract review.

    f. Examples

    g. Exercise (15 min)
    6. Writing the talk (25 min)

    a. Outline.

    b. Flow.

    c. Rule of Three.

    d. Slides.

    e. Exercise (20 min)

    7. Rehearsal (20 min)

    a. Privately.

    b. Publicly.

    c. Timing.

    d. Frequency.

    f. User group.

    g. Exercise (20 min)

    8. Preparation (4 min)

    a. Backups.

    b. Backups.

    c. Projector.

    d. Bag essentials.

    i. adapters.

    ii. Batteries.

    iii. Remotes.

    iv. Chargers.

    9. Giving the talk (8 min)

    a. Rules for day of:

    i. Do not edit slides.

    ii. Night before: get some rest.

    b. Bring water.

    c. Get up to the stage as early as possible.

    d. Connect your laptop, ensure you can project.

    e. Remove your conference badge.

    f. Silence your phone.

    g. Ensure notifications are turned off.

    h. Plug in your laptop.
    10. Rules of Speaking (5 min)

    a. Talk don't read.

    b. Slow down. Pause.

    c. Learn your filler words.

    d. "Engage."

    e. Work in some jokes.

    f. Examples.

    11. Pro tips (7 min)

    a. Speaker survival kit.

    b. Questions.

    c. Include ways to contact you.

    d. Go to the restroom before your talk.

    e. If you have bullets, put a joke in the

    last one.

    f. Write slide transitions in your speaker

    notes.

    g. Schedule live tweets of your talk

    (Omni)

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  37. Presentation Flow
    Act 1: Statement of Problem
    Act 2: Resolution of Problem
    Act 3: Summary and Retro

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  38. Presentation Flow
    Act 1: Statement of Problem
    Act 2: Resolution of Problem
    Act 3: Summary and Retro
    5 min

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  39. Presentation Flow
    Act 1: Statement of Problem
    Act 2: Resolution of Problem
    Act 3: Summary and Retro
    5 min
    35 min

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  40. Presentation Flow
    Act 1: Statement of Problem
    Act 2: Resolution of Problem
    Act 3: Summary and Retro
    5 min
    35 min
    5 min

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  41. Rule of Three
    Rule of Three

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  42. Slides
    Slides

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  43. Slides should benefit
    your audience. You
    should not need them.

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  44. The fewer words, the
    better.

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  45. Slides should reinforce
    the content you are
    presenting. They
    shouldn’t be the content.

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  46. • You should use bullet points sparingly.

    • If you do want to use bullet points in your slides, that is okay.
    But be careful of how much content you put into each bullet
    and how many bullets you are using per slide. People get
    very bored reading a bunch of text in bullet lists.

    • Large and long bulleted lists are distracting to the audience.
    They will be reading the slides instead of listening to you.
    People are not good at reading and listening. So you could
    just say complete nonsense and likely 75% of the audience
    wouldn’t even know.

    • The general rule is to have at most three bullet points per
    slide. I would also suggest not using full sentences as it will
    only lengthen how many words you need on the slide.
    Bullets

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  47. Illegible Code Samples

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  48. Legible Code Samples
    class Container {
    protected $s=array();
    function __set($k, $c) { $this->s[$k]=$c; }
    function __get($k) { return $this->s[$k]($this); }
    }
    class Foo { }
    class Bar {
    protected $foo;
    public function __construct(Container $c)
    {
    $this->foo= $c->foo;
    }
    }
    $c = new Container();
    $c->foo = function() { return new Foo(); };
    $bar = new Bar($c);

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  49. Even More Legible Code Samples
    class Container {
    protected $s = array();
    function __set($k, $c) {
    $this->s[$k] = $c;
    }
    function __get($k) {
    return $this->s[$k]($this);
    }
    }

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  50. Exercise: Take your
    abstract and turn it into a
    high-level outline.

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  51. It is my opinion that you
    cannot rehearse enough.

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  52. Private rehearsal
    Rehearse Privately

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  53. Publicly
    Rehearse Publicly

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  54. Exercise: With your
    partner, take 10 minutes
    to talk through your
    outline. Switch and
    repeat.

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  55. Make a backup of
    everything you need.

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  56. Backups in the Cloud

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  57. Backups on Drives

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  58. Bring adapters for video
    output. VGA is still
    popular.

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  59. Bring things that will help
    you succeed and promote
    yourself, your company,
    or your cause.

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  60. Survival Kit

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  61. Marketing & Swag

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  62. Giving the Talk

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  63. Develop your own pre-
    talk routine and rules.

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  64. Bring water with you
    Bring Water

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  65. Get in your room as early
    as possible.

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  66. Plug in your laptop

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  67. Connect your laptop to
    the projector. Ensure you
    are able to project what
    you want to project.

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  68. Don’t wear your badge
    during your presentation.

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  69. Silence your phone and
    notifications

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  70. Rules of Speaking

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  71. Imagine if I turned my
    back to you and started
    reading this slide to you.
    Wouldn’t that be terrible?

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  72. Slow down. Pause.

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  73. Learn your filler words.
    Actively avoid them.

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  74. Work in some jokes.

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  75. Things to avoid.
    Don’t Broadcast Your Mistakes

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  76. Live demos can be
    awesome. They are also a
    risk.

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  77. Develop a Survival Kit

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  78. Repeat questions back to
    the audience.

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  79. Include Contact Info

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  80. Go to the restroom before
    you speak.

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  81. If you have bullets,
    include a joke towards
    the end of the list.

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  82. Write slide transitions
    into the speaker notes as
    a reminder.

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  83. Schedule live tweets
    about your talk to be
    tweeted during your talk.

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  84. Expect rejection. It’s a
    cold, hard fact of this
    endeavor.

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  85. Why didn’t my talk get
    selected?
    https://carouth.com/blog/2015/02/05/my-proposal-was-rejected/

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  86. What did we learn?

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  87. Develop talk ideas based
    on passion and/or pain.

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  88. Subscribe to newsletters
    and Twitter accounts to
    more easily find open
    CfPs.

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  89. Abstracts should convey
    a problem and what
    attendees gain by
    attending the talk.

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  90. Design your talk around a
    consistent theme. Limit
    what you try to convey.

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  91. Rehearsal is key to being
    successful with timing.

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  92. Prepare for things to go
    wrong. Have a Plan B.

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  93. Get yourself ready in your
    room as early as
    possible.

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  94. Try to talk with your
    audience rather than
    speak to them. Your talk
    should feel engaging.

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  95. Make it easy for attendees
    to talk about your talk and
    to ask follow up
    questions.

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  96. Thank You
    @jcarouth
    joind.in/14034

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  97. BONUS: LIGHTNING TALKS

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  98. Lightning talks are
    generally 5 minutes long
    and cover a very small
    subject.

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  99. Exercise: Take one of
    your topics and turn it
    into a lightning talk.

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  100. Thank You
    @jcarouth
    joind.in/14034

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  101. Steps up to Radyr Station - https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuartherbert/4782800980/

    Passion - https://www.flickr.com/photos/photobrixie/4873166236/

    Rest, Rant - https://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/7911122500/

    Mobile and wireless technologies review - mindmap - https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougbelshaw/4865571845/

    Three Threes - https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremybrooks/4146565830/

    2008 World's Strongest Man Contest - https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonscottmeans/2838522958/

    Rubber Duckie, You're the One - https://www.flickr.com/photos/realestatezebra/2608418319/

    Go ChiLUG! - https://www.flickr.com/photos/fallentomato/8042130250/

    Time - https://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/5281453002/

    plastic water bottles - https://www.flickr.com/photos/zone41/4102673364/

    Engaged - https://www.flickr.com/photos/renaissancechambara/3543135684/

    Standup Comedy - https://www.flickr.com/photos/cosmic_flurk/5712236914/

    Just Slow Down Baby - https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/7884404756/

    Restroom - https://www.flickr.com/photos/smartsignbrooklyn/10213630306/

    NoPhone - https://www.flickr.com/photos/k6designs/14730252400/

    Photo Credits

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