Advice for conf speakers:— Tomasz Łakomy (@tlakomy) August 25, 2018
When someone you care for is speaking, sit in the first row. Be there for them. Laugh at their jokes, _actually_ watch the talk (Twitter can wait), make yourself visible for them.
Be the audience you'd like to have, and next time you will have it.
My approach to supporting other speakers is not really about the audience I would like (we’re all different!), but more about making two things happen:
- someone being the best they can be
- them getting credit for that
In fact I’ve been a speaker coach and mentor for a few years and have variously watched rehearsals, suggested where to stand and not stand, walked nervous speakers around outside before their talk, fetched water … all sorts of things. However this twitter thread (I got a bunch of tweets and the replies are also great) shows that _anyone_ can give great support to any speaker, whether you know them or not. Here are my favourite three things to do to support anyone giving a talk. Continue reading
The microphone is your friend, honestly :) Even if you think you can be heard, there are some definite benefits to using a mic if it’s available:
- you actually can be heard
- even people with less-than-excellent hearing can hear you
- the video recording can hear you as well
- you now have the option to employ some vocal variety: exclaiming, pausing, stage whisper … it all adds interest and colour to what you are saying
There are a few different types of mic and each one has its own quirks! Continue reading
- Think about what’s interesting that you could share with other developers. The key here is that the people listening should go away with something useful, rather than just the impression that you’re awesome
- Write it down. You don’t need to write the talk before you submit – just a title and an abstract will do. The abstract should be one paragraph, maximum 200-250 words
- A great abstract says why this topic is vital, what cool things will be covered, who should come and what they will learn. I’m paraphrasing but those are the basics!
- Submit your abstract to http://helpmeabstract.com/ to get feedback from some lovely volunteers who will help you (bookmark the gist and keep revisiting it, the system doesn’t notify you or anything … yet. Pretty sure you can submit patches while procrastinating on a slide deck though)
- Did you get this far without submitting? That’s normal :) Remember that your community needs new voices. Each of us is ahead of *someone* on the path, you absolutely don’t need to be the expert to have something to offer to the rest of us. So please, submit :)