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Conference Submissions and Presentations

Conference Submissions and Presentations

Be more effective in your conference submissions and presentations with these 10 quick tips.

(A screencast of this session is available at http://youtu.be/fJz4JJIchaY)

Have you eyed that latest cool conference, thinking, "I'd sure like to go there. Darn, I'd even like to present there! But what would I talk about? How would I write the proposal? How would I deliver the talk with excellence?"

Those are all questions that both I and dozens of my frequently-presenting colleagues and friends have faced over the years. I've taken careful notes over the years, tried many of the ideas, recorded which ones worked and which ones didn't, wrote a book on the topic, and now, have a passion for helping others succeed in this space.

Being a teacher, even for a 30 minute slot at a conference, is a noble undertaking and extremely rewarding. I hope to inspire and offer a few bits of wisdom gained through experience in these 45 minutes together.

"Of all the hard jobs around, one of the hardest is being a good teacher." – Maggie Gallagher

Matthew McCullough

January 31, 2013

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  1. Conference Submissions and Presentations with 10 quick tips made more

    effective @matthewmccull
  2. Matthew McCullough @matthewmccull

  3. None
  4. http://presentationpatterns.com

  5. None
  6. ❶  Find your motivation

  7. Want to do it.

  8. None
  9. Help others do better.

  10. • Teach a skill that you know well and others

    are weak at. • Change opinions about something that is viewed as hot (or not). • Share a story of how something worked out well. • Recount how a popular process didn't work for your team. • Tell how you learned a hard lesson as a team. • Do a technical deep dive and make it approachable to newcomers.
  11. ❷  Investigate your audience

  12. None
  13. None
  14. Ask the conference organizer.

  15. Query past attendees.

  16. Adjust for maximum audience impact.

  17. • What is the technical level of the audience? Basic?

    Advanced? • What languages do the audience members primarily program in? • What kind of social diversity can I expect of the audience? • What age range might I expect? • What educational background will audience members typically have? • What languages will the audience possibly know?
  18. ❸  Craft a story

  19. Freytag can help.

  20. 1 Exposition 2 Rising action 3 Complication 4 Climax 5

    Falling action 6 Resolution 7 Denouement Exposition Clim ax Denouement
  21. ❹  Write the proposal

  22. Think about the weight of your words.

  23. Brief, but impactful.

  24. Lengths: •Title •Abstract •Description

  25. Get inspiration from other proposals. http://www.oscon.com/oscon2012/public/schedule/grid/public

  26. ❺  Market your talk

  27. None
  28. Advertise your talk everywhere you possibly can.

  29. None
  30. ❻  Design the talk

  31. Sketch your ideas

  32. Linearize at the last possible moment.

  33. ❼  Build the talk

  34. You are the talk.

  35. Slides are merely a support.

  36. Color is easy with a little help.

  37. http://kuler.adobe.com

  38. Design is easy, given examples.

  39. http://speakerdeck.com

  40. ❼  Practice the talk

  41. Less than 10% practice their talk.

  42. None
  43. ❽  Seed satisfaction

  44. Place friends in the front row.

  45. The front row controls the room.

  46. ❾  Just talk

  47. No stupid underwear analogies.

  48. The audience members are your friends.

  49. None
  50. ❿  Feedback

  51. Provide a feedback channel.

  52. @matthewmccull

  53. Vent and direct the steam.

  54. Freytag?

  55. None
  56. just two more things...

  57. None
  58. http://oscon.com Submit at:

  59. @matthewmccull