Join the Slack channel: #presentation-help
Public Lists of Conferences:
IBM Box Note with Info
Presentation Help Workshop:
Writing the Proposal and
IBM Developer Advocates - 2019
Today we’ll go over:
1 - Finding a Topic
Finding a topic that fits you and
2 - Your Audience
Thinking about your audience
before writing your proposal.
3 - Themes/Narratives
Finding themes and narratives for your
4 - Getting Started
How to write a proposal that is
ready for calls for proposals
(CfPs) and calls for speakers.
5 - Where to Submit
Finding places to submit your
Finding a Topic
Finding a topic that fits you and your interests
What are you
Brainstorming Talk Ideas
◉ What are you actively learning?
◉ What books are you reading?
◉ Whose work do you admire?
◉ What are you good at?
◉ What problem have you solved at work?
◉ Where do you want to go next in your career?
Being a Developer Advocate is as much about building your own
personal brand as it is about representing IBM out in the community.
Writing your proposal to fit your audience
Who is your audience?
Think about what makes your
Themes and Narratives
Finding Themes and Narratives for your talk
The subject of a talk, a piece
of writing, a person's
thoughts, or an exhibition; a
The difference between a
Theme and Narrative
A spoken or written account
of connected events, a story.
What’s Your Big
And what are the little pieces that will tie it together.
Your talk proposal should start with a
big, eye catching idea (Theme) and then
go on to tell your audience what they
will learn (Narrative) from your talk.
How to write a proposal that’s ready to submit to CfPs and calls for
Start with a strong TITLE.
Abstract Example #1
TITLE: Learning HTTP
HTTP is the fabric of the web and the growing API economy. Whether you're building a backend or a
frontend application, creating an API, or consuming an API, it’s helpful to understand the basics of
HTTP. Topics covered will include HTTP methods, request headers, request URIs, response status
codes, response headers, resource representations, authentication, content negotiation, and caching.
Interactive examples will be provided using an HTTP REPL (read–eval–print loop) as the client and
Apache CouchDB or IBM Cloudant as the server.
Abstract Example #2
Title: Go Offline First to Save the World
From supporting hospitals in Africa to providing electric power to Haiti to supporting families in rural
Alaska, the Offline First approach to application development is truly saving the world. This session
will uncover the approaches used in successful real world examples of Offline First and show you
the tools and techniques that will allow you to build the same kinds of things.
Abstract Example #3
Title: Introducing Apache CouchDB 2.0
Apache CouchDB is an open source document database featuring an HTTP API, JSON documents,
and peer-to-peer replication. Take a tour of the new features and improvements in the
newly-released Apache CouchDB 2.0 including clustering capabilities for horizontal scalability and a
declarative MongoDB-style ad hoc querying system.
Abstract Example #4
Title: Love to Community Organizers
An active tech community creates a vital pipeline of talented and connected people, which
ultimately supports individuals with learning opportunities and businesses with talent. Being a tech
community organizer is hard. I want to share with you some tips on how to work with organizers in
your community. If you do it right, you can both benefit, and in turn your local tech ecosystem can
benefit as well. The first step… buy your local community organizer a beer with no strings attached.
They’ve earned it.
Dos and Don’ts
◉ Keep it to a paragraph or
two (at most) in length
◉ Start with a memorable
◉ Say what your audience
will learn/take away
◉ Indicate WHO will
◉ Start with “In this talk…”
◉ Use acronyms
◉ Use long words
◉ Use run-on sentences
◉ Be too salesy
◉ Name drop
Where to Submit
Finding places to submit your proposal to...
Look for an Enforceable
Code of Conduct
Does it provide
a system for
Does it outline
Does it provide
Lists I’ve Found:
Thanks to Susan Malaika
A list and tips that work for IBMers:
Ongoing Help for IBMers
Join the Slack Channel: #presentation-help
◉ Weekly Office Hours on Thursdays at 12pm
◉ Practice your talk in front of a live audience
◉ Get feedback on your abstract
◉ Ask questions and get real world answers
Link to these resources and slides:
You can find me on twitter at @Mo_Mack