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Technical Speaker Starter Kit

Resources for Technical Speakers

How do I find out about CFPs? (calls for presenters)

  1. Search open CFPs on Papercall.
  2. HUGE list of software conferences (Thanks to Heather Wilde! 👍). Separate list of front-end conferences.
  3. Lanyrd
  4. Speaknet Google Group and Speaknet Slack
  5. Conference Radar
  6. Follow @TheWeeklyCFP, @mozTechCFPs, @callbackwomen, SpeakerAlerts, and any conferences you're interested in on Twitter.
  7. Sign up for Technically Speaking list.
  8. Sign up for Community Megaphone and follow @CommMegaphone.
  9. Subscribe to the mailing list of each conference you're interested in.
  10. When you watch a good conference video on YouTube, Vimeo, etc, note which conference it was and subscribe to their mailing list and follow them on Twitter.
  11. Join local meetups.
  12. When you attend conferences or meetups, ask people what conferences they attend.
  13. Reach out to thought leaders and ask them which conferences they recommend.
  14. A list of Hacker Worthy Conferences
  15. Consider trying SpeakerMatch - You can list yourself as a speaker for hire.

How do I get accepted?

  1. How to write an abstract from Kent Beck
  2. Conference Speaker? Here’s 7 Tips for Getting Accepted
  3. Tips to increase your acceptance rate
  4. What I'm Looking For in a Talk Proposal
  5. What Your Conference Proposal Is Missing
  6. Get constructive feedback on your abstract before submitting to a CFP: Help Me Abstract

Got accepted? Great! Time to write the talk:

  1. How to prepare and write a tech conference talk
  2. The Talk on Talks by Zach Holman
  3. 5 Essential Ingredients for an Awesome Tech Talk

How do I stay organized?

  1. Use Evernote or Word to keep a list of all your abstracts.
  2. Create a spreadsheet of all conferences you're interested in. Order them by time of year. Note what makes each unique (travel covered, venue, distance, etc). This will help you pick between the many options.
  3. Create checklists to make sure you take care of things. Ever since reading The Checklist Manifesto I utilize multiple checklists: 90 days before speaking, 1 day before speaking, 0 days before speaking
  4. Each time you speak, log your talk on Lanyrd, and on your personal blog. Tweet a link to more resources. Consider printing a handout that summarizes the key points. The principle at play here is Jeff Atwood's: Do it in public.

What books should I read?

Note that some of the books below are available in audiobook format. If you don't have time to read a book, multi-thread your life by listening while driving and excercising.

  1. Resonate by Nancy Duarte
  2. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
  3. Slideology by Nancy Duarte
  4. Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo
  5. Presentation Zen Design by Garr Reynolds
  6. Show and Tell by Dan Roam
  7. Start with Why by Simon Sinek
  8. Do You Talk Funny? 7 Comedy Habits to Become a Better (and Funnier) Public Speaker by David Nihill
  9. Speak to Win by Brian Tracy
  10. The Storyteller's Spellbook: How to make your ideas more compelling and your career more magical by James Whittaker

Related Resources

  4. Speaker Style Bingo: 10 Presentation Anti-Patterns by Troy Hunt
  5. How To Become A Tech Conference Speaker
  6. Awesome-speaking list
  7. Getting started with speaking - a guide for technical people by Christos Matskas