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Anna Filina:
Re: When it comes to submitting talks, how many is too many?
Sep 14, 2016 @ 11:12:35

For those out there that are speakers (or are wanting to try their hand at speaking) at a technology conference, Anna Filina has shared her own thoughts about how many talks to submit to a single conference...and what might be too many.

I read this interesting post by Cal Evans about submitting conference proposals. He makes some very valid points, but I’d like to add my own experience as an organizer, so that when you submit, you have multiple perspectives.

She responds to Cal's comments about filtering talks based on topics the conference has mentioned, submitting a max of four talks and submitting the best idea first. Anna also shares some of her own recommendations as an organizer from the Confoo conference(s).

I know how hard it is to go through so many talks. At ConFoo, we receive close to 1000 proposals. [...] I don’t mean to tell other conferences what to do. However, speakers should always bear in mind that conferences operate differently. Perhaps organizers can create a comprehensive guideline specific to their event.
tagged: submit talk session conference toomany opinion organizer confoo

Link: http://afilina.com/re-how-many-is-too-many/

Lorna Mitchell:
So You're Thinking Of Submitting A Talk
Jul 17, 2015 @ 09:21:40

With another round of "conference season" and Call for Papers starting up, there's some timely advice from Lorna Mitchell with some suggestions about submitting a talk to the conference of your choice.

I've been a conference speaker for a lot of years now, which doesn't make me an expert but it does mean that people ask me for advice pretty regularly! With the Call for Papers open for PHP North West at the moment (awesome conference, first weekend in October, CfP at http://conference.phpnw.org.uk/phpnw15/call-papers/), I've taken this question a few times. Here's my advice in a nutshell.

She shares five tips that she feels can help you make for a better abstract and submission including writing it down before submitting and asking for peer reviews before hitting that submit button. She also links to a few other helpful resources that can provide even more tips to help you even once you've been selected.

tagged: submit conference talk advice opinion callforpapers technical

Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2015/so-youre-thinking-of-submitting-a-talk

Run Geek Radio:
Episode 005 – Time Estimation, Conference Talk Rating, Contest Winner
Jun 19, 2015 @ 11:02:38

The Run Geek Radio podcast has posted their latest episode today. In it (episode #5) host Adam Culp talks about time estimation, thoughts on conference talk ratings and the contest winner from his standing desk contest mentioned in an earlier episode.

This episode Adam Culp announces the winner, David Stockton (Colorado), of the contest launched in Run Geek Radio episode 004. [...] Adam also talks briefly to clarify his views on “soft talks” versus “soft skills talks”, and how he was misrepresented as disliking soft skills talks though the opposite is true. [...] Then this episode is rounded out with a detailed coverage of time estimation in relation to projects, and why it is so vitally important to be accurate. Adam also speaks about how important proper requirements gathering is to the process.

You can either use the in-page audio player to listen to this latest episode or you can download the mp3 of the show. Be sure to subscribe to the feed if you enjoy the show and want to hear more from Adam.

tagged: rungeekradio ep5 podcast time estimation conference talk rating contest winner

Link: https://rungeekradio.com/episode-005-time-estimation/

Community News:
"Are Conference Talks Getting Too Soft?" (Adam Culp & Cal Evans)
Mar 03, 2015 @ 11:57:42

There's an interesting set of posts from PHP community members Adam Culp and Cal Evans each on a similar subject centering around conferences and the presentations made at them. They both wonder if talks are getting too "soft" and not focusing as much on the technology and getting in-depth as they should be. From Cal:

PHP conferences are changing very slowly, and not in a way that I like. I blame myself. As a frequent speaker I am getting lazy. I get caught up in the excitement of the CfP, I write up 5-10 abstracts and shotgun them into the CfP system hoping that something hits the mark. I’ve not actually written these talks. In most cases, I’m pretty sure I can get 45 minutes on the topic, but I don’t know for sure because I’ve not bothered to write it yet. Adam Culp talks about this very thing in his post “Are Conference Talks Getting Too Soft?“.

Adam points out that, while introductory talks and overviews are acceptable level coverage for someone new to the speaking scene (or development), the trend seems to be that everyone is providing less "meat" in their talks.

It is hard to teach a great amount in a 1 hour talk, but if there is not some immediately usable content an attendee will have a tough time proving to their short sighted boss that it was worth their time.

Both Adam and Cal set out a challenge, both to themselves and other speakers in the community. They encourage you to spend more time with your subjects, get in-depth into the topics, present on what you're excited about and maybe even try them out locally first.

tagged: conference talk soft indepth opinion topic adamculp calevans

Link: http://www.geekyboy.com/archives/1076

Matthew Setter:
The Path To The First PHP Conference Talk
Feb 24, 2015 @ 12:08:10

Matthew Setter was encouraged by some recent conversations and conference sessions about getting out into the PHP community and taking up presenting at conferences. In his latest post he talks about some of these conversations and his ideas moving forward.

[The PHP UK Conference 2015] was an especially meaningful conference for me, as the opening keynote, by @coderabbi, moved me to take more action, more serious, dedicated, and focused action than I’ve taken to date. [...] I sat there thinking “WOW, I’m really a part of the community“. I also started thinking I want to contribute more, and build a profile just as big as his, and many of the others at the conference. So what to do?

He talks about the encouragement from others he's gotten to get up and present at a conference and the feedback he's gotten on his (unfortunately so far) rejected submissions. He's renewing his effort, though and has plans to document his progress via a "pseudo-journal" during his journey to hopefully serve as a guide to others wanting to share their knowledge with the community. He talks some about his plan moving forward and the work he's doing on the public speaking side to improve his skills.

While not for everyone, speaking at conferences is a great way to share experience, information and start conversations about new technology. If you've ever thought about making the move, follow Matthew's journey or check out these other articles to help you get started.

tagged: first conference talk public speaking phpuk15 community

Link: http://www.matthewsetter.com/path-first-php-conference-talk/

Beth Tucker Long:
How to Submit a Talk to a Conference
Oct 29, 2014 @ 09:21:00

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.

tagged: conference talk submission tips top16 list submit

Link: http://www.alittleofboth.com/2014/01/how-to-submit-a-talk-to-a-conference/

Mastering Zend Framework:
Gary Hockin’s Maximising Zend Framework 2 Performance Talk (Review)
Feb 28, 2014 @ 10:33:30

From the Master Zend Framework blog there's a new post reviewing a talk from this year's PHPUK (2014) from Gary Hockin, "Maximising Zend Framework 2 Performance".

Whether you’re new to Zend Framework 2, or an old hand (can someone really say they’re an old hand after such a short period of time?) the talk covered a range of tools, tips, and techniques for increasing application performance. This wasn’t an academic run through; it was a talk based on practical, hands-on, experience from Gary’s time as a core ZF2 contributor, and his work at Roave, Yamgo and AdSpruce.

The post talks some about the tools Gary used to benchmark his improvements and some common metrics to be aware of in your own results. Xdebug and Xhprof were also recommended for more introspection into what the application is doing and where the bottlenecks lie.

tagged: phpuk14 zendframework performance tools talk session

Link: http://www.masterzendframework.com/reviews/maximising-zend-framework-2-performance-phpuk14

Matt Frost:
Getting Talks Selected
Jan 27, 2014 @ 09:04:23

If you're considering getting into the world of speaking at an upcoming PHP conference, Matt Frost has some advice for you to help you get started. It can be intimidating, so learn from some of his own experiences as a relatively new speaker in the community.

It's a very busy conference season in and around the PHP Community. [...] These conferences are such a blessing to those who are able to attend, the speakers know their stuff and are very open to sharing and talking outside of their sessions. But you're a smart cookie too! You've got ideas and thoughts and knowledge that other people would like to have, so how do you get in on this? I'm going to tell you how I got into it, your mileage may vary, but hopefully it helps.

He points out that submitting a talk and getting accepted is "a lot like the lotto" sometimes, that you can't win unless you buy a ticket (submit that talk). He looks at a few of the other common questions from beginning speakers - what do I talk about, how do I write an abstract and common first time speaking concerns.

There's no magical elixir that will land you speaking gigs at cool conferences. Everyone that speaks, from the seasoned pro to the up and comer, has worked extremely hard to not only put the talks together; but acquire all the knowledge necessary to give the talk in the first place
tagged: talk session technical conference advice beginner speaker

Link: http://shortwhitebaldguy.com/blog/2014/01/getting-talks-selected

Beth Tucker Long:
How to Submit a Talk to a Conference
Jan 03, 2014 @ 09:03:25

If you've ever thought about submitting a topic to speak at a technology conference, but never quite knew how to take those first steps, check out this advice from Beth Tucker Long. It's a list of steps and reminders to follow when thinking about your topics and submitting.

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.

Her list includes things like:

  • First and foremost, remember to hit spell-check
  • Have someone else read your submission
  • Identify a clear problem that the topic of your talk will help solve
  • Be honest about your topic
  • Share past feedback in the comments or notes section
  • Submit a lot of proposals
tagged: submit talk session technology conference suggestions

Link: http://www.alittleofboth.com/2014/01/how-to-submit-a-talk-to-a-conference

Reddit.com:
What are the must see talks/tutorials about php?
Dec 11, 2013 @ 12:47:36

On Reddit.com a conversation has started about some of the "must see" talks or tutorials that are out there for PHP. It starts with a suggestion of this talk about Symfony2 and includes other suggestions of:

If you have a talk or tutorial you think is a good resource for any level of PHP developer, head over and add it to the list!

tagged: mustsee talk tutorial suggestion video phptherightway

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/1shr8o/what_are_the_must_see_talkstutorials_about_php/