While running CFP Land I’ve had the opportunity to meet with and learn from dozens of speakers around the world. The community has been amazingly welcoming and helpful, so I wanted to give some of this knowledge back by releasing a comprehensive guide to speaking at technology conferences.
Because everyone reading this will start at a different level of speaking experience, you can either jump straight to the section you find most relevant using the Table of Contents below, or read all the sections sequentially by looking for the “Next” link at the bottom of each page.
Table of Contents
- An Introduction to Technology Conferences – This section looks at some of the dimensions you might use to compare technology conferences as well as reasons for attending them.
- Why Speak? 11 Reasons People Get on Stage – In this section, I’ve collected the most common reasons people cite for wanting to speak at conferences, so if you’re on the fence, this might help motivate you.
- How Conferences Choose Speakers – A look at the different methods for selecting speakers as well as some factors that make some speakers more successful than others.
- Finding and Selecting CFPs (“Calls for Proposals”) – This section looks at various methods for finding and selecting conferences to speak at.
- Submitting Abstracts – Writing and submitting an abstract for a conference is a skill that can take years to master. Here are tips from dozens of experienced speakers about what works.
- What Comes Next? Dealing with Success or Rejection – A collection of some of the reasons your talk might be rejected, what to do when you do get a talk accepted, and how to respectfully decline giving a talk when you can no longer commit to it.
- Preparing a Presentation – Common presentation formats, tools, and advice from technology conference speakers from around the world.
- Preparing for the Conference – Know what to expect on the big day! Logistical details and conference-day tips conclude the guide.
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About This Guide
Whether you’re preparing for your first speaking engagement, speaking at your 100th event, or not sure how to even get started, this guide will get you on the right track. I’ve compiled advice from over 30 interviews I’ve done with conference speakers, dozens of blog posts I read, and my own experience as a speaker to create this comprehensive guide to speaking at technology conferences.
As you read through these chapters, you may have your own ideas or resources to suggest. That’s great! I’d love to continue refining and building this guide with help from the community. Just shoot me an email with the tips you’d like to add, and I’ll keep updating this resource.
Also, be sure to check out the dozens of open CFPs listed on CFP Land right now. If you don’t want to miss any in the future, be sure to also sign up for our mailing list below.