Writing A Talk Proposal

Submit your talks to DDD East Midlands 2021

The Call For Speakers (CFs /CFP ) opens for DDD East Midlands 2021 on the 2nd April 2021. A CFS is the ask for you to submit the talk titles and descriptions for talks you would like to present at the DDD East Midlands Conference.

Why submit to DDD East Midlands?

You may be nervous about the submitting a talk. It could even be your first time going through this process. There are a few reasons why you should chose to submit to DDD East Midlands.

Anonymised voting

The talk titles and descriptions are shown to attendees, with details about the speaker and where they work stripped from the detail. This means when the attendees vote on what talks they would like to see at the conference, they are unlikely to know who is presenting the talk.

One of the reasons we do this is that is gives all speakers a chance of being selected without their name, experience or where they work for being considered.

Speaker support

For those who want it, we will offer support. This year we may not be able to host the speakers workshop, but we will at least organise for mentorship.

We are lovely!

The crew and team of DDD East Midlands try to make an accessible and friendly conference. Our attendees are supportive and kind. Every bit is a representation of the amazing East Midlands community. We’ll look after you.

Coming up with an idea

If you are struggling with deciding or identifying what you can talk about, read our post How To Talk Part 1 - Coming up with a talk which was written in 2019.

Tips for Writing your talk proposal

For the 2019 event we shared the blog post How To Talk Part 2 - Writing a good talk proposal. The advice here still applies.

The post goes into detail of what to consider when writing a good talk proposal, and I recommend reading it, but here are some high level tips.

Sell your story

Talk proposals are a pitch. In a short few paragraphs you want to tell your audience what you are talking about, what they will take away from your talk, and why your presentation is the one they want to see.

There may be multiple people submitting in the same topic area as you. This is your chance to stand out against the other submissions.

Keep it short and clear

Keep your talk description to two or three short paragraphs maximum. These paragraphs shouldn’t have more than 5 sentences in each (as a rough estimate). Those picking talks won’t have a lot of time or patience to read full essays!

Likewise, make sure you are writing enough to ensure your audience knows what to expect from your talk and to sell it!

As for keeping it clear, avoid jargon (words that aren’t familiar outside of the area of expertise) and ensure you write your submission in “plain english”. Not everyone selecting talks will be native english speakers. It’s best that your audience understands your pitch.

Create a Title

Keep the title short if you can. The style is up to you. You can keep it clear and professional, have it vague to make people read your talk description or make it sound like click bait.

Creating a title is hard! It isn’t just you, we all find this bit tricky.

Remember the Code of Conduct

Don’t use titles that suggest innuendo or may be offensive. Any titles that could be considered inflammatory we will ask the authors to change before we share the submission.

Get someone to review your talk idea

As with most things, it is really useful to get a review from someone who is either experienced submitting talks, or who has been part of a selection committee for a conference or meetup.

Help Me Abstract is a great site for getting feedback on your talk submission from experienced speakers.

You could also request feedback in your local groups. The Tech Nottingham Slack is full of people who can help you.

Full list of resources

Can’t wait to see your talks!

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to any of the DDD East Midlands staff. We can’t wait to see your submissions!