If you've ever considered taking the leap and trying your hand at speaking at (technology) conferences but weren't sure where to start Beth Tucker Long, well known PHP community member and speaker, has posted a guide to help you submit a talk to your conference of choice.
I’ve been on both sides of the proverbial conference table. I have been the one submitting proposals, hoping against hope that they will pick mine, and I have been on the selection committee, struggling to choose between hundreds of awesome proposals when you only have a few talk slots available. Through these varied experiences, I’ve learned a few things about what works and what doesn’t when submitting a conference proposal.
She provides a "checklist" of sixteen things that she's learned over the years about submitting ideas to events and what to do/not do when giving the actual presentation including:
- First and foremost, remember to hit spell-check
- Don’t talk about yourself in your talk description
- Explain the practical applications of your topic
- Share past feedback in the comments or notes section
- Submit a lot of proposals
- Don’t submit multiple topic ideas or variable time lengths in one submission
The final three on her list have more to do with the presentation itself than the proposal and, in my opinion, are almost more important: don't talk down to your audience, be brief and be interesting.