OSCON 2015; last call for speakers

We met Simon St. Laurent at last year's event and asked for some tips on creating an awesome proposal.

We met Simon St. Laurent last year and asked for tips on creating the perfect proposal.

The call for participation in OSCON 2015 closes on Monday. For those of you either polishing your proposals, or panicking that you’ve not started yet, we thought we’d dig out a few paragraphs from an interview we did with Simon St. Laurent, last year’s co-chair. He had some fantastic advice to help prospective speakers get their proposals accepted, and these are sure to be as relevant to 2015’s OSCON as they were last July.

“First figure out who you want to talk to – the audience is the key thing. Then figure out a title that will get them in the room. We like shiny, bright, exciting titles. But if the audience doesn’t know why they’re supposed to come to a talk, it’s really hard to get them in the room. It doesn’t mean you have to title your talk, “How to do X with Y” but make sure there is some clear explanation.”

“We have a program committee that’s pretty huge and reviews all of these things and not everyone reviews every proposal because there are 1,200 of them, but that makes a big difference. If you can do something that will catch the eye of the committee, get them excited – write a description that goes with it. We definitely want concrete talks. We want to know what you’re going to be saying and what attendees are going to get out of it. The fastest way to write a proposal that is not accepted is to be vague and bland. We don’t need that.”

“I would like to encourage topics that are encouraging this human-device connection and the way technology and community play together or don’t always play together. We will still need a whole lot of talks on ‘here’s how to do these things’, so I don’t want to discourage those by any means. We definitely need a mix of things. But probably a direction we’re pushing is bringing computing out into the world, how we interact with it and with each other – those really are the kind of icing on this beautiful open source cake we’ve built.”

OSCON 2015 is being held in Portland, OR, USA, July 20–24th. You can find much more information about how to create a proposal and the kinds of talks O’Reilly is looking for here: http://www.oscon.com/open-source-2015/public/cfp/360

Good luck!

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