Summit 2011 Speaker Guidelines
Congratulations! There was even greater demand for the few speaking slots this year and your preparation paid off.
This is our 3rd annual worldwide user conference. Last year nearly 600 people from 25 countries attended Summit and we hope (and expect) that Summit 2011 will be even bigger. Now to the specifics on what to expect between now and your presentation in June.
Full Length Sessions
Full length sessions are scheduled for 40 minutes and require significant content preparation. Each session will be rated via audience surveys and Atlassian has very high quality expectations for your session. Plan to work very closely with the Atlassian track owner to prepare your slide deck and practice your material.
Lightning track presentations are scheduled for 10 minutes. Plan to work very closely with the Atlassian track owner to prepare your slide deck and practice your material.
Avoid pitching yourself
Speaking engagements build awareness of and credibility for your organization. The best speakers (and those that will be invited back) know that being perceived as an expert through delivering quality content for the benefit of event delegates is far better than delivering a hard sell. Keep your company profile and contact information down to one or two slides. Your audience will thank you and you will stand a far better chance of being invited back to speak at Summit.
Atlassian has created special Summit 2011 templates that we prefer you use to keep a consistent, professional look to the conference. You are permitted to drop in your company logo on any page of the template, or add your logo to the template. If you need help formatting your company logo, just ask!
Atlassian plans to videotape each session and share the Video and Presentation slides at summit.atlassian.com for customers who were not able to make it to the event. Please let us know in advance if you have any objections to this approach.
Working With Atlassian
- April 20: Completed 1st draft is due
- April 21 - May 20: At least 2 Practice run sessions with Track Owner and other Atlassian staff.
- May 27: Completed final draft is due
If your presentation includes 'how to' or 'tutorial' style information, we recommend drafting a 'cheat sheet' to accompany the presentation. Audience members would be able to use the 'cheat sheet' right when they get back to the office to implement your proposed 'how to' steps. If you create a cheat sheet, we'll need it in hand no later than May 27 so we can make copies for attendees.
There are different managers for each track. When working on your presentation, please speak with your track's contacts.
Concept & Launch
Plan and Track
Code and Build
For Plugin Developers
Equipment and Internet
All presentations will be collected prior to the event and placed on official event laptops (this way, we can avoid the time it takes between speakers to setup new laptops). If you have any exception requests to this approach, please contact your track owner right away.
The latest agenda can be found at summit.atlassian.com/pages/agenda.
Will you be staying at the conference hotel? If so, hotel reservations must be made by May 7 to qualify for the special pre-negotiated discount rate. For more information, visit http://summit.atlassian.com/travel.
Each speaker has their own unique promotional code. This code will grant you a free pass to Summit. It does not include hotel fees, travel costs, or meals outside of the conference. Atlassian is not making money on Summit and therefore we cannot offer additional free passes at this time. Please register by April 15th with the following code atlsum11speaker.
Advice From a Professional
This list is borrowed from Scott Berkun's blog post, How to prepare: checklist for great talks. Some of these checklist bullets will apply, others will not -- ie, take what you like from this list and feel free to ignore the rest.
Before the event
- Questions to ask to prepare:
- Who is the audience? Why are they coming?
- Can organizer provide demographics?
- Can you look at last year’s programs? Were there reviews of the event on blogs?
- What are other speakers speaking about?
- Will this be a keynote lecture (more scripted) or small (more interactive)?
- Create a list of questions audience will want answered in the talk
- Prioritize the list and sketch out stories / ideas / points
- Budget at least 10x time to prepare (1 hour talk will take roughly 10 hours of preparation)
- Develop ten minutes of rough draft material
- Practice the ten minutes. Do not procrastinate.
- Revise material when it doesn’t work, then practice again from beginning. Repeat as necessary. (See Chapter 5 of Confessions for a full description of how I prepare)
- Do a test run in front of people who will give honest feedback (Or videotape and watch).
- Practice with a clock with goal to end reliably with an extra 5 minutes.
- Ask for emergency contact cell#, give organizer yours
- Get directions to the venue, including office-park insanity, and within building insanity
- If appropriate, post slides to web, include URL at end of talk
Leaving for the event
- Get an hour of exercise that morning or night before.
- Check laptop: do you have all cables? Is it working fine? Are slides on it? Battery charged?
- Bring backup slides on flash drive / Extra-backup online somewhere / Print back-up of slides
- Shower, shave, prune, scrub, brush, deodorize
- Ensure you avoid all avoidable stress (get there early no matter what)
At the event
- Register and let organizer know you’ve arrived (txt message if necessary)
- Find your room and watch another speaker speak in it. Notice anything?
- If time allows, mingle and meet people who might be in your audience
- Return to room to catch (at least) tail end of last speaker before you – maximize time to set up.
- Get laptop hooked up to projector immediately. Most problems occur here.
- Find tech person, or call organizer – you’ll need their help to get microphone set up, or to deal with any tech issues.
- Test remote. Test any fancy videos or fancy anything.
- Walk the stage. Get your body comfortable.
- Make sure you have a glass of water or preferred beverage at the lectern.
- Sit in the back row for a few seconds, and imagine yourself on stage. Also check that the text on your slides is readable.
- Relax. You’re prepared and all set. Nothing left to do. Nothing you do now will change anything. Either you prepared well or you didn’t.
- If needed, distract yourself by going for a walk or other physical activity
After the event
- If a speaker follows you in the room, get out of their way so they can get set up
- Make yourself visible so people can find you to ask questions about your talk
- Write questions from attendees on their business cards so you can answer in email later
- Post slides if appropriate
- Email people who gave you their cards, answering their questions
- Thank the organizer and ask for any feedback (positive/negative)
- If your talk was videotaped, ask for a copy so you can watch and improve.
- Have a beer