How to get the opportunity to speak at an event
- don’t be afraid to put your hand up!
- research previous events and come up with something appropriate for the event
How to endear yourself to the event organiser
- be an awesome correspondent!
- read all the info you receive about your role in the event carefully – and ask questions if they haven’t been answered (where do I have to be? when do I have to be there? who do I report to? what resolution will the projector be? how long should I speak for? See the resources in the final section below for a couple of great blog posts that will give you countless questions like this).
- be reliable (be where you are meant to be at the time you are meant to be there; get there early; get an emergency contact number before the event; have some contingency plans for getting to the venue – again see the links in the resources section below for much more practical advice like this)
After the presentation
Do as much as is feasible to maximise the chance of ongoing engagement after the presentation.
- at the very least, upload your slides to Slideshare or Speakerdeck
- write a blog post
- create a whole minisite – check out this one created by Charlie Gleason for his presentation at Web Directions South last year
- tweet out links to whatever you do using the hashtag from the event, and let the organiser know about it as well
Events to approach about presenting
These are a fantastic way of getting your foot in the door and your name out there. Go along to a few first, get to know the organiser, and then propose a session.
- Melbourne Web Developers
- Melbourne Geek Night
- Melbourne Joomla!
- Rails Nights
- Melbourne Mobile
And then something Web Directions has coming up on April 4 is What Do You Know – we’ll definitely be looking for presenters!
Technology specific events
- OSDC: late November/early December, this year maybe Auckland
- linux.conf.au: January, Perth
- SAGE-AU: around August
- Pycon: July, Hobart
- Drupal Downunder: mid-February, Sydney
- JSConf Downunder: November, Sydney
- Ruby Conf AU: February, Melbourne
- OZeWAI: October, Melbourne
Professional industry events
- Web Directions Code: May, Melbourne
- Web Directions South: October, Sydney
- UX Australia – Melbourne
- Scott Berkun blogs frequently about public speaking, and wrote this excellent checklist that will get you there on time and ready to go on the day
- Joe Clarke has an even more belt and braces approach
- Aaron Weyenberg spoke (brilliantly!) for the first time for us in Seattle a couple of years back and wrote this really useful and inspirational blog post afterwards: Confessions of a Rookie Speaker