Make the talk happen - cfp writing workshop

Make the talk happen - cfp writing workshop

Want to do more public speaking? Thinking about applying to conferences but not sure how to get started? Whether you are a first-timer or an experienced speaker, there are always challenges to identifying the right conferences to speak at, topics to speak on, and abstracts to write that will get you accepted to do that talk you always wanted to do.

These are slides from the workshop on writing proposals for conferences, with brainstorming exercises that you can do in groups and on your own.


Lisa van Gelder

November 20, 2019


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    @WscNewYorkCity @WriteSpeakCode #WriteAboutIt Write/Speak/Code On a mission to empower marginalized

    folks in tech to level up their careers through ↬ writing blogs & books ↬ speaking at meetups and conferences ↬ contributing to and maintaining open source software We run conferences, meetups, and full-day events across the US. ↬ Started in 2013 ↬ NYC chapter founded in March 2015 ↬ Chapters in Chicago, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles; Atlanta, Seattle, Austin
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    @WscNewYorkCity @WriteSpeakCode Coming up... We rotate between: write / speak

    / code / self-care & career events Every third week of the month (approx) ↬ December 18 ◦ Holiday Party at Squarespace! ↬ January 18th ◦ Global Diversity CFP Day ↬ Spring 2020 ◦ Own Your Expertise - one day workshop (free mini-conference!)
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    @WscNewYorkCity @WriteSpeakCode Code of Conduct ↬ Harassment-free environment ↬ Online

    & offline ↬ Ask before taking photos or posting on social media or publicly ↬ Respect Pronouns ↬ Report issues to organizers We prioritize marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort
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    @WscNewYorkCity @WriteSpeakCode #WriteAboutIt The plan for tonight... ↬ Quick icebreaker

    ↬ Brainstorming! ↬ Pick a topic ↬ Write an outline ↬ Write a proposal ↬ Get feedback
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    @WscNewYorkCity @WriteSpeakCode #WriteAboutIt Find a buddy Introductions: ↬ Names ↬

    Pronouns ↬ A favorite thing, like: ◦ technology ◦ movie ◦ amusement park ride ◦ cat meme ◦ song to sing along to only 3 minutes!
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    @WscNewYorkCity @WriteSpeakCode #WriteAboutIt M&Ms game - Pick a color! ↬

    Red: We should do more of.. ↬ Orange: Intro to X technology ↬ Yellow: Bad advice for beginners ↬ Green: Favorite tool/technique ↬ Blue: A hack I used to achieve X ↬ Brown: Something I thought would be useful but wasn’t 10 minutes!
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    @WscNewYorkCity @WriteSpeakCode #WriteAboutIt Topic Brainstorming ↬ Bad advice for beginners

    ↬ What you wish you had known... ↬ Intro to X technology ↬ How to do/fix X ↬ Favorite tool/technique/library ↬ Tutorial ↬ Process ↬ Philosophy ↬ Success story ↬ Disaster Story 10 minutes!
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    @WscNewYorkCity @WriteSpeakCode #WriteAboutIt Outline, summarize What is the single most

    important take-away for the reviewer? ↬ What’s the elevator pitch? ↬ Write a tweet about your talk ↬ Brain dump, pick out main points, rewrite 5 Minutes
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    @WscNewYorkCity @WriteSpeakCode #WriteAboutIt Share with your buddy ↬ Is there

    anything they want to hear more about? ↬ Additional ideas? ↬ Split one topic into two or more? only 1 minute each!
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    @WscNewYorkCity @WriteSpeakCode #WriteAboutIt Proposal tips ↬ State the problem/topic clearly

    in the opening sentence! ↬ Why are you the right person to give this talk? ↬ What will people learn from your talk? ↬ Keep it brief! ↬ Keep it on topic - what is the conference looking for? ↬ Review previous successful proposals
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    @WscNewYorkCity @WriteSpeakCode #WriteAboutIt Example Negotiate like a badass! - Marissa

    Brandt ↬ Technical folx often don't negotiate, and when we do, we often undersell ourselves. Over the course of our careers, missed opportunities to ask for more financially can add up to a substantial loss. In this talk, I'll go over best practices for negotiating; highlight some key issues for women and under-represented minorities specifically; and address how to prepare for different types of negotiations.
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    @WscNewYorkCity @WriteSpeakCode #WriteAboutIt What's next? ↬ 1 month ↬ 6

    months ↬ ...1 year? You can swap contact info with your buddy, and connect with others in the Make The Talk Happen & Write/Speak/Code slack communities. 3 minutes
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    @WscNewYorkCity @WriteSpeakCode #WriteAboutIt How do you find open CFPs? ↬

    #cfp channel in wsc & mth slacks! ↬ ↬ ↬ ↬ ↬
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    @WscNewYorkCity @WriteSpeakCode See you next time! ↬ December 18 ◦

    Holiday Party at Squarespace! ↬ January 18th ◦ Global Diversity CFP Day ↬ Spring 2020 ◦ Own Your Expertise - one day workshop (free mini-conference!)