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Speaker best practices

Soham Chatterjee edited this page Jun 21, 2019 · 12 revisions

Summary

  • Make the title informative and persuasive
  • Add sufficient detail to the description
  • Add a two minute video
  • Add slides if present
  • Keep the code of conduct in mind
  • Don't let the talk look promotional
  • Don't bother about the voting system

The Title

Title is going to be the one line elevator pitch for your talk. This is going to be your first impression for both selection committee and audience. Your title will be listed with hundreds of proposals from various speakers when selection committee goes through them, even though selection doesn't solely depend on the title of the talk but remember, first impression is the best impression. Your title will be also listed along with all the talks on the conference day for the audience to go through. They are going to decide which track to attend based on your title.

The talk title can be straightforward/precise or descriptive. Examples -

"Meta classes: a deep dive" - straightforward
"Lessons learnt while scaling Django + Postgresql infrastructure" - descriptive

The Description

Keep your description elaborate. It should state the problem, how you are trying to solve the problem and what are the take away for the audience. Remember, description is the part where you can convince the selection team that you know what you are talking about.

Also, to make it better you can add an outline section at end of the description. Outline should list out the topics you cover in the talk and roughly how much time you are going to take to deliver them.

Making it even better

The more details you add to your proposal, you will bring more clarity to the selection committee. If you have your slides ready, don't hesitate to attach them to the proposal. It need not be complete, just a skeleton would also do.

You can try to take a casual 2 minute video if possible and link it to the proposal. This will showcase your presentation style and the increases the odds of your proposal getting selected.

You can check out a sample proposal outline here.

Promotional content

The talk content should not look promotional. If you're talking about a commercialized project (including an open sourced one), make it sufficiently generic. Cover the alternatives and the flip-sides. Make the language neutral and objective.

For example, instead of - 'Simplified infrastructure using AWS Lambda', try something like 'Simplified Infrastructure using function as a service, a comparative study across AWS, Azure and GCP'

If you really need to promote something, contact the sponsorship team.

The voting system

The CFP software (Junction) has a voting feature in the UI that allows anyone to vote on any proposals. However, the votes are not used as a criteria for selection. The selection team uses a completely separate system to review the talks.

Examples

Here are some proposals from 2018 edition that we think are well written:

(This is not to say that these topics are better than others. Its about how well the proposal is written)

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