Talks and Proposals 101

Talks and Proposals 101

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Jenny Bramble

March 28, 2020
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  1. Topics and Proposals 101: Let’s Talk About Talks Jenny Bramble

    jenny.bramble@gmail.com @jennydoesthings
  2. Hi, I’m Jenny! • Software Test Engineer • WillowTree Apps

    is home • Likes cupcakes and cats • Really loves gummy bears • 10 years in QA, 8 in support, and more! • Dozens of talks and presentations given @jennydoesthings
  3. Let’s Talk About Talks • Deciding on a Topic •

    Writing a Proposal • Conferences to Target • Once You’ve Been Accepted • Putting Together a Presentation • Actually Talking • Follow-up on Your Talk @jennydoesthings
  4. • Deciding on a Topic • Writing a Proposal •

    Conferences to Target • Once You’ve Been Accepted • Putting Together a Presentation • Actually Talking • Follow-up on Your Talk @jennydoesthings Topics and Proposals 101
  5. Vocabulary! @jennydoesthings

  6. Vocabulary! • Call for papers, call for proposals, call for

    speakers: ◦ Conference is actively looking for people to present ◦ Papers are not usually required • Proposal: ◦ A speaker indicates her interest in speak at the event • Topic: ◦ The general theme of what you’ll talk about @jennydoesthings
  7. Vocabulary! • Pay-to-speak: ◦ A for-profit conference that does not

    cover speaker expenses @jennydoesthings
  8. Vocabulary! • Takeaways: ◦ What should someone know after walking

    away from your talk? • Action items: ◦ What could someone do after walking away from your talk? • Audience: ◦ Who should attend your talk? • Personal goal: ◦ What do you want to do with your talk? @jennydoesthings
  9. Vocabulary! •Speaker: @jennydoesthings

  10. Vocabulary! YOU! @jennydoesthings •Speaker:

  11. Let’s Workshop Your Ideas! @jennydoesthings

  12. Deciding on a Topic @jennydoesthings @jennydoesthings

  13. Deciding on a Topic • Find something you can speak

    about with confidence • Make sure your topic is broad enough to have appeal to a decently large group of humans • Think about what someone can learn from your talk • Be sure the talk is relevant to the situation @jennydoesthings
  14. Deciding on a Topic • What can you talk about

    for 10 minutes, unprompted? • Have you done something cool at work recently? • Is there something you want to learn? • Are you passionate about something? • Do you have a story to tell? @jennydoesthings
  15. Deciding on a Topic • Grab your worksheet and a

    buddy or two! • Think about what you can talk about for 10 minutes, unprompted. Time: 10 minutes @jennydoesthings @jennydoesthings
  16. Writing a Proposal • Introduction to the method • One

    Goal • Five Takeaways • Three Action Items • Two Audiences • Three Reasons to Attend • Title, Speaker Bio, and Headshots • Get feedback @jennydoesthings
  17. Writing a Proposal • Call for papers/proposal are usually the

    same thing • Research the conference’s previous speakers and attendees • Use professional language, but simple words • Find your voice @jennydoesthings
  18. Writing a Proposal Introduction to the method • Decide on

    your personal goal • Determine the top five takeaways from your talk • List three actions humans could take based on your content • Write down your primary and secondary audiences • Come up with three reasons the audience should attend your talk @jennydoesthings
  19. Writing a Proposal One Goal • Talks can have one,

    or several goals, but be clear what you personally want to do • Get people excited • Present one big idea/tech/etc • Present a lot of small ideas • Reframe an existing idea • Tell a story @jennydoesthings
  20. Writing a Proposal: One Goal • Grab your pens and

    think about your goal for this topic. • What would you want to do if you were giving this talk? Time: 5 minutes @jennydoesthings
  21. Writing a Proposal Five Takeaways • Not a hard number

    ◦ No fewer than three (30 min) ◦ No more than five (45-60 min) • The things you want to give the audience or make them aware of • An outline of your thoughts • Can help you expand or shrink content to fit time • Should excite you! @jennydoesthings
  22. Writing a Proposal: Five Takeaways • Grab your pens and

    think about your takeaways for this topic. • What would you want to see tweeted if you were giving this talk? Time: 5 minutes @jennydoesthings
  23. Writing a Proposal Three Action Items • Real, actual action

    people could take based on your talk’s content • How can this talk impact someone’s work or life? • These are a big sell for organizers and participants • If you can’t find actions items for your topic, reevaluate @jennydoesthings
  24. Writing a Proposal: Three Action Items • Grab your pens

    and think about your action items for this topic. • What would you want someone to thank you for helping them do? Time: 10 minutes @jennydoesthings
  25. Writing a Proposal Two Audiences • Primary: ◦ Humans your

    talk is most geared towards • Secondary: ◦ Humans who can gain something from your talk • Not your audience: ◦ You find these humans in feedback forms @jennydoesthings
  26. Writing a Proposal: Two Audiences • Grab your pens and

    think about your audiences for this topic. • Who do you want to talk to? Time: 5 minutes @jennydoesthings
  27. Writing a Proposal Three Reasons to Attend • You know

    your audience--why should they know you? • Will be tied to your takeaways and action items • Try to think big--be grandiose • This starts to crystalize your vision • This is another big sell for conference organizers @jennydoesthings
  28. Writing a Proposal: Three Reasons to Attend • Grab your

    pens and think about your audiences again. • What are you going to do for them in this talk? Time: 5 minutes @jennydoesthings
  29. Writing a Proposal Title • Try to keep your title

    under 8 words • Try and describe your talk while making it exciting and interesting • If you ask a question in your title, answer it in the talk • This is your hook and needs to be able to grab people walking past @jennydoesthings
  30. Writing a Proposal Speaker Bio • Describe who you are,

    with a short job history if it’s relevant to the talk • Give a few talking points outside of your technical history • Try to quickly establish yourself as an authority on your topic • Sell yourself--this is often the first introduction to you @jennydoesthings
  31. Writing a Proposal Headshots • If you’re planning on doing

    this often, invest in a good headshot • Send several options • Well lit selfies are okay • Try to have simple, solid colored backgrounds • Look professional, but not stuffy @jennydoesthings
  32. None
  33. Writing a Proposal Get Feedback • Ask someone in your

    target audience • Ask someone outside, but tangential to your audience • Ask someone totally outside your audience • Accept their feedback from their point of view and evaluate it as such @jennydoesthings
  34. Conferences to Target @jennydoesthings

  35. Conferences to Target • Avoid pay-to-speak conferences! • Look for

    conferences that cater to your audience • Conferences you’ve attended before are good places to start • Check the Code of Conduct for every conference you submit to, and ask about enforcement policies if they are not posted @jennydoesthings
  36. Conferences to Target • Shotgun approach versus targeted approach •

    Acceptances come in waves • Bookmark conferences that are interesting, even if they aren’t currently accepting CFPs • Tell other people about your topic so they can look out for conferences for you @jennydoesthings
  37. • Deciding on a Topic • Writing a Proposal •

    Conferences to Target • Once You’ve Been Accepted • Putting Together a Presentation • Actually Talking • Follow-up on Your Talk @jennydoesthings Topics and Proposals 101
  38. Questions? Jenny Bramble jenny.bramble@gmail.com @jennydoesthings

  39. Once You’ve Been Accepted • You will often be given

    a discount code for ‘friends and family’ • Book travel and hotel ASAP, especially if the conference is covering costs • Promote yourself • If you don’t have a Twitter account, get one @jennydoesthings
  40. Once You’ve Been Accepted Twitter/ Social • Connect with conferences

    and attendees • Easy way to fulfill the ‘promote our conference’ clause/request • You will be able to see more info on how people respond to your talk • You don’t have to use it all the time--just conferences is fine @jennydoesthings
  41. Putting Together a Presentation Timing Your Talk • Know your

    time limit • Chunk your presentation so you can know what to skip if a section runs long • Taking questions during a presentation is fine, but limit the time spent here • The ‘real’ one will feel different @jennydoesthings
  42. Putting Together a Presentatio n Must Have Slides • Title

    • About you • Content summary • Content! • Content recap • Questions • Sources, more reading, etc @jennydoesthings
  43. Let’s Talk Talks: A Meta-Presentation About Presentations and Proposals Jenny

    Bramble jenny.bramble@gmail.com @jennydoesthings
  44. Hi, I’m Jenny! • Sr. QA Engineer • Likes cupcakes

    and cats • Eats gummy bears every deploy • 10 years in QA, 8 in support, and more! • Dozens of talks and presentations given @jennydoesthings
  45. Let’s Talk Talks: • Deciding on a Topic • Writing

    a Proposal • Conferences to Target • Putting Together a Presentation • Actually Talking • Follow-up on Your Talk @jennydoesthings
  46. Putting Together a Presentatio n Make an Interesting Deck •

    Pick a theme and stick with it • Tell a story • One slide of content per two minutes • Find a slide style that works • Include your Twitter handle on each slide • Interesting visuals are great if they help the presentation • PROOFREED YUOR SLIDES @jennydoesthings
  47. Putting Together a Presentation Make Interesting Slides • Theme •

    Story • One slide per two minutes • Consistency • Twitter handle • Visuals • Don’t curse • PROOFREED @jennydoesthings
  48. Putting Together a Presentation Make Interesting Slides • Theme •

    Story • One slide per two minutes • Consistency • Twitter handle • Visuals • Don’t curse • PROOFREED
  49. Putting Together a Presentation Make Interesting Slides @jennydoesthings

  50. Actually Talking Making Words Come Out of Your Face •

    Know your time limit • Speak clearly and use clear words • Reference your slides as you go • Don’t be afraid to have a personality • Don’t curse • PRACTICE UNDER STRESS @jennydoesthings
  51. Actually Talking Appearance and Dress • Dress for your audience,

    but stay professional • Don’t wear distracting clothing • Practice in your outfit • Don’t be afraid to have a personality, but consider the impact your choices have on how you are perceived @jennydoesthings
  52. Actually Talking General Tips • Have a water with a

    straw, lid, and make sure the container is heavy • Use your hands as much as you’re comfortable • Slide clickers are life savers--but practice with and without • Don’t be afraid to acknowledge when something doesn’t go ‘right’ @jennydoesthings
  53. Follow Up on Your Talk • Make yourself available for

    questions • Post links to your presentation on Twitter, if you have it • Promote yourself internally at your company • Source feedback from anyone • Network! @jennydoesthings
  54. Follow Up on Your Talk Self-evaluation • Each time you

    present, your talk will change • Make notes about what resonated with your audience • Incorporate good questions into the content • Don’t be afraid to drop confusing sections @jennydoesthings
  55. Follow Up on Your Talk Now...Do It Again • It’s

    fine to redo a talk as-is but... • Every talk can be improved • Think about the questions raised • Consider ways you can tweak the content to fit other venues • Sometimes a talk doesn’t ‘hit’. It’s okay to chuck it and redo it or let it die @jennydoesthings
  56. We Talked About Talks: @jennydoesthings • Deciding on a Topic

    • Writing a Proposal • Conferences to Target • Once You’ve Been Accepted • Putting Together a Presentation • Actually Talking • Follow-up on Your Talk
  57. Questions? Jenny Bramble jenny.bramble@gmail.com @jennydoesthings

  58. Let’s Workshop Your Ideas! @jennydoesthings

  59. Resources @jennydoesthings • 5 Essential Ingredients for an Awesome Tech

    Talk • Tips on giving your first technical talk • How to Prepare a Talk • 10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Giving Good Tech Talks • Finding Your Killed Talk Idea • How to prepare and write a tech conference talk
  60. Resources for My Talk • Top 5 Takeaways • Top

    3 Actions • Audiences • Audience Reasons • Goals • Title • Bio • Description @jennydoesthings @jennydoesthings
  61. Top 5 Takeaways • Speak with confidence • 5 takeaways/3

    actions • Source as much feedback as you can • Practice under stress • Promote yourself @jennydoesthings @jennydoesthings
  62. Top 3 Actions • Think about topics you can speak

    on • Put together a proposal • CLICK SUBMIT @jennydoesthings @jennydoesthings
  63. Audience • Primary: ◦ Humans interested in speaking at conferences

    • Secondary: ◦ Humans who have been told presentations are part of their quarterly goals @jennydoesthings @jennydoesthings
  64. Audience Reason • Get a springboard/template to use to start

    putting together topics • Find out some tips and tricks for slide decks and presentation • Start thinking about presenting @jennydoesthings @jennydoesthings
  65. Goal • Primary: ◦ Present a lot of little ideas

    • Secondary: ◦ Get people excited to speak @jennydoesthings @jennydoesthings
  66. Title Let’s Talk Talks:
 A Meta-Presentation
 About Presentations and Proposals

    @jennydoesthings
  67. Speaker Bio Jenny came up through support and devops, cutting

    her teeth on that interesting role that acts as the 'translator' between customer requests from support and the development team. Her love of support and the human side of problems lets her find a sweet spot between empathy for the user and empathy for my team. She's done testing, support, or human interfacing for most of her career. She finds herself happiest when she's making an impact on other people--whether it's helping find issues in applications, leading scrum, speaking at events, or just grabbing coffee and chatting. @jennydoesthings
  68. Description Speaking at conferences can be terrifying but before you

    even get there, you have the hurdle of actually picking a topic, crafting a proposal, submitting it, and writing your presentation. This can feel incredibly intimidating for a speaker--novice or seasoned! If you've ever thought about presenting at a conference, meetup, or other event, then join Jenny Bramble and her animal companions to dive into the mechanics of talks. She'll cover the basics of putting together a proposal and preparing to give a presentation along with the tips and tricks that have helped her move from novice talker to sought after speaker. @jennydoesthings