I’m an experienced and enthusiastic speaker and fortunate enough to get a lot of requests to speak and run workshops. This information is for anyone who might want to invite me to their event.
What will I do if I speak or run a workshop for you?
I’ll be contactable and available in the run up to the event, and make sure that you get any information you need to promote my talk or workshop in good time.
I’ll tweet and otherwise share the fact I’m speaking at your event, where it is a public event, in order to increase awareness and help you sell tickets. If you have special promotions I’ll be happy to share those.
I’ll be happy for you to record my talk and distribute it for free, to take and use photos, and share my slide deck and examples. When I do code-related talks I generally create worked examples and make these available for attendees.
While I do create talks that I use for a variety of events, I tailor the talk for each event I speak at once I understand the type of attendees that will be listening.
I’m a professional and dedicated speaker. This is part of my job. You can rely on my being at the venue when required, fully prepared. While I enjoy the travel and ability to attend events my main concern when at your event is being on top form for my presentation!
Unless otherwise agreed, I’ll attend the full event and be available for any additional things you want speakers to take part in. For example being on a panel of speakers, doing “office hours” with attendees, attending meet the speakers sessions and so on. Just let me know your plans.
What do I expect from event organizers?
I’ll do a great job if you ask me to speak, and you can help by doing the following.
Covering my expenses
I’m not backed by a big company. I’m one half of a tiny little company and as such I can’t subsidize your event.
This means that at a minimum I need my return travel and hotel accommodation covered. I live in Bristol, UK. I can sometimes link up events, making the travel cheaper for all but assume you’ll need to cover me for travel from and back to Bristol.
Please refund me promptly. I want to book my travel early to get good prices but delaying repayment until after the event means I’m essentially giving you a loan! Again, we’re a tiny company, we just can’t keep doing that.
In general I expect to be paid to speak. I will sometimes waive my fee for non-profit, community events, usually due to already being in the area of the event. If you can’t pay speakers please be up front about it when getting in touch, it’ll save us all time. I’d love to be able to swan around the globe speaking for free, but until I win the lottery I have to limit the number of free gigs I can take!
If you run a community meetup or event and you spot that I’m in your town at another event – let me know! I love to fit in talks or even just visits to local meetups when I’m traveling.
Setup and information
Having a Code of Conduct means I know that you are committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. That’s important.
I expect to present from my own laptop. I use a Surface Book running Windows 10, and will have everything I need with me.
Let me know in good time:
- the expected audience for the event. Tell me a bit about the sort of attendees, their technical background, whether they are mostly from large companies or are freelancers and so on.
- slide resolution and any other technical details that might be helpful as I prepare.
- any additional events you expect me to attend as well as my talk
The more you can tell me, the better I am able to shape my talk for your audience.
Bonus points for …
Telling me what you really love about the city where the conference will be (assuming you are local). I love to get a feel for a place, even if I only have a few hours to explore.
Letting me know where is nice to run. I run, a lot. This also saves me getting hopelessly lost on the morning of the conference.
Being aware that many of us speaking-nerds are introverts at heart, and providing somewhere for speakers to chill and recharge in between the tiring but rewarding conversations we’ll have with attendees.
What it’s all about
The most important thing in all of this is that we create a great conference for your attendees. I’m not high maintenance, neither are most speakers, but if we are stressed about basic life issues that will impact our ability to give 100% on stage and one to one with those attendees.
Making a nice experience for speakers isn’t about speaker gifts, posh hotels and expensive dinners. It’s about thinking, “what would these folk appreciate when landing in a country where they don’t speak the language, it’s 9pm at night and they need to speak the next day?” Tiny kindnesses make a big difference at that point, and will enhance your conference for everyone.