Supporting new speakers and great talks in 2023
The goal is to share information and tips on preparing, submitting and giving talks. To lower the entry bar for some, and help improve their skills for others. One key difference to last year was that its been a lot harder to get new material for this event. With many conferences and other activities around, plus in general folks seemed to be more busy in 2023 than last year.
Thanks to Phil Nash for providing his insights on From nervous wreck to pro speaker in five easy steps, also myself gave a short talk on speaking online and a short overview on the process of submitting talks for Meeting C++. Unfortunately two other speakers had to cancel. But as last year has seen some very good content, that I'm able to repeat some of the highlights for the event for new speakers.
Last year had these great 9 lightning talks covering various topics on preparing and giving presentations:
- Tina Ulbrich - But I have nothing to talk about!
- Inbal Levi - Distilling your message
- Hendrik Niemeyer - Doing research on your talks with Zettelkasten (and some tools)
- Andrei Alexandrescu - Stop working on your slides
- Jens Weller - Presenting Code
- Clare Macrae - Better Code Samples in Programming Talks
- Chandler Carruth - About giving live demos
- Patricia Aas - Telling a story
- Kate Gregory - How to end a talk
With this there exists now a small library of lightning talks covering various topics on speaking. Still many topics and low hanging fruits to pick up for the coming years for speakers to cover.
I'd like to make this a yearly event from now on, to promote technical speaking in our community. New speakers are always welcome and with the online track its a unique opportunity for you to get started.
Starting to speak
Submitting your first or second talk? Above you'll find Tina Ulbrich lightning talk on the issue for finding your topic. The one thing I want to reiterate is on which topics are popular and which of them are more rarely covered. Picking up on these may give you an edge, rather then competing within a field for a few slots. If you look at the programs of the last years, you may also notice that a talk on something you'd like to know more about is missing. Giving that talk is a great strategy for learning and establishing yourself as a speaker.
A lot of folks like to talk about certain standard features and how they did something great with Modern C++. So picking a C++1x/2x feature to speak on can give you competition in the submission space. Talks on the usage of frameworks like Qt, dear ImGui, abseil, folly and others are much more rare, and will always add to a conference program. The same is true for speaking about how C++ is used in a certain field, like gamedev, embedded, science/computing or finance.
And Meeting C++ offers an online track in 2023, not all conferences are still doing this. This lets you submit for a less crowded field, and get a (virtual) foot in the door of the speaker room.
About speaking online
As I've prepared a short slide deck on online speaking, let me write a paragraph on this. Submitting a talk to a conference usually puts your talk into competition with all other talks. This is less true for the online track, you can indicate in the talk submission that you'd prefer to speak online. And maybe its for you the better way to participate as a speaker, not all of us want to be on a stage. Also this lets Meeting C++ include all these, which are not able to come to Berlin. From travel, visa, family or other things keeping you away to attend onsite.
The default for the online track of Meeting C++ is to prerecord the talks. Some companies have their own setup to produce videos, while also I've seen some members of our community enjoy playing around with video editing and recording. Meeting C++ also offers to prerecord your talk with you in October, so there are many options in how to create the video which will be your talk. This also frees you from having technical problems (Internet, Laptop, background noises) on the day of your talk. You simply join the audience, watch the talk and hang out in the chat answering questions.
On the other side, an online program can only exist with content submitted. So for existing speakers with talks that have not yet been given at Meeting C++, that is also a chance.
Submit your talk
Last but not least let me link to the submission form for Meeting C++. You can submit your talk until June 26th to Meeting C++ 2023, also CppCon is a currently open for submissions until June 25th.
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