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Welcome!

If you are reading this article, you are going to give a talk at our conference. We would really like the talk to be successful: technically advanced, vibrant and memorable.

A few things to remember

Travel

Please, discuss the opportunity of travel with your manager:

  1. Will your company make a travel for you?
  2. Where will you be accommodated? It will be more convenient if you live near the conference venue.
  3. Usually the day before the conference speakers are conducted in a city tour. You will be informed about the time and meeting place by your coordinator.

Please, discuss the details of your transfer with your program coordinator in advance:

  1. Russian Visa (if needed).
  2. Arrival & departure dates.
  3. Flight tickets.
  4. Hotel.

When preparing the talk

  1. The most important thing is to come up with the goal of your talk. Please, keep it in mind when preparing and giving your talk. Examples of goals:
    1. To make the audience interested in your approach to the problem
    2. To advertise your own approach
    3. To find at the conference those who have worked with some technology to discuss with them its parts
    4. To teach attendees something useful in what you believe.
  2. You'll have 60 minutes to give your talk including questions & answers. Please reserve 10 minutes for Q&A session.
  3. Please, make sure the title and description of your talk corresponds to its content. In case of a mismatch, please change it.
    *In 2 weeks before the conference, please, check if all the changes after the rehearsals have been applied to your title and description on the conference's website.
  4. From our point of view, the most important features of a talk are:
    1. Practical applicability
    2. relevance
    3. technical depth
    4. simple examples
    5. clarity
    6. speaker's presentation skills on stage
  5.  Just to let you know. There are several options of how your talk can be organized. Besides a classical talk it could also be a battle, a round table or live coding session. If you are considering to give a talk with a co-speaker, please think carefully about benefits of that for the talk. The thing is co-authored talks are more complex in preparation.

Important things concerning your presentation

  1. Don't be surprised in case we ask you to have a rehearsal of your talk. This may happen a couple of months before the Conference in the following cases:
    1. we'd like to adopt your talk in such a way that it would better fit to the topic of our conference and to the expected audience
    2. there are more talks than time slots and we'll have to decide which ones to pick
    3. we'd like you to adjust some particular details of your talk or presentation
  2. Please decide whether you'd like to use your own laptop for the presentation or one of ours
    1. In the latter case — please provide your slides in PDF in advance. 
      1. If you use PPT, PPTX, HTML, Keynote, etc. — please convert it to PDF and send us Smile. If you have problems with conversion of your slides just let us know in advance.
      2. You will have the access to a Dropbox folder. You have to upload your slides there 1 week before the conference.
      3.  You can update the slides in the Dropbox folder until the conference closes. The latest version from Dropbox will be published to the website.
    2. If you prefer to use your laptop — please provide us with the following information:
      1. What is the model of your laptop (vendor & model)?
      2. Which Operating System does it have?
      3. Which video connectors does it have? We need one of the following: HDMI, D-Sub (VGA), Mini DisplayPort (MiniDP, Thunderbolt) but HDMI is preferable.
  1. Equipment
    1. We provide the following equipment: a backup laptop, presenter (Logitech R700 or like), wireless microphone, wireless headset, Full HD projector(s), monitor-prompter;
    2. If you need any additional equipment, please inform us two weeks in advance. Otherwise, we don't guarantee it will be provided.

  1. Please consider the following:
    1. your talk will be recorded on video:
      1. it will be broadcasted live on the Internet;
      2. it will be published on YouTube;
      3. photographer will take photos of you and post them online.
    If you do not agree with this, please, contact your program coordinator to personally discuss this matter. 

The basic rules of presentation design 

In short

  1. In the first and the last slide speaker’s name and surname should be included, along with the speaker’s contact info: email is necessary to be mentioned (twitter as well in case you have any)
  2. The company's name or the name of the project worked on by the speaker should be included in the slides (if the speaker may and wants to publish it).
  3. The name of the talk should be presented in the first slide. It must correspond to the content and to the name mentioned on the conference website.    

Colors

  1. Slides' background should be light colored: it looks better on the projectors located in bright rooms. On the contrary, it is desirable to not dazzle with light slides in a dark room.
  2. The text and background should contrast. Also check the references colors. For example, in the following slide the "framework", "TFMs" words are hardly readable:

Text

  1. If the talk is in Russian, please write all the texts in Russian (except terms).
  2. If the talk is in English, please write all the texts and make all the slides in English as well.
  3. The slides should contain short statements, not literary works. Therefore, the shorter the better!
  4. Each slide should have its numeration below.
  5. Each slide should have the name at the top. This point is important because the audience remembers the place in the presentation by the slide’s name or number. An exception is made for the title slide, transition slides between themes, humorous slides, etc., when the name at the top of the slide title may be excess.
  6. "Verbal noise" that does not add value should be excluded.
  7. All wordings should be as concise as possible, so as not to fill space in the slide. 

Lists

  1. Maximum 5-7 points of text. If the slide is organized in two columns, each of them may contain 5-7 points.

Fonts

  1. The font size should be at least 14 pt. The font size >20 pt. is recommended.

Source code

  1. Ensure you present the absolute minimum of the code that is required to convey the idea.
  2. Ensure you have relevant highlights/arrows appearing as you talk since on-line listeners won't be able to see laser pointer
  3. Ensure you follow best practices from https://www.slideshare.net/LookAtMySlides/codeware

Pictures and diagrams

  1. Pictures should explain something. Picture shouldn't just fill free space in the slide.
  2. Inscriptions on images should be easily read.
  3. NB: Using other people’s images in their presentation is something that usually requires licensing. We advice our speakers to cite where the image came from and its author. Sometimes not doing this can expose you to copyright claims.

The point of the talk

  1. There should be a "plan" slide with the topics that are going to be discussed in order (it is usually called “Plan”, “What we will talk about”, etc.)
  2. There should be a slide called “Q&A” (Questions and Answers) at the end of your talk.
  3. The important content should be located in the upper two-thirds of the slide, because for some attendees the bottom part can be blocked by other people.

Other

  1. Ratio: 16x9 only! Please, do not use 4x3!
  2. The slides should not be overloaded. For instance, avoid nested bullets and consider splitting a slide into multiple ones.
  3. Slides only help you to deliver the information. The primary tool used to deliver the information is your voice and body language.



The day before the conference

  1. If you happen to be in the city the day before the conference, please be kind to visit the venue and make sure that:
    1. your equipment works and connects to our stuff,
    2. we have all you may need for the talk.
  2. We would like to invite you to the special speaker's dinner the evening before the conference. The details will be available a week in advance.

During the talk

  1. Before starting the talk, please make sure your mobile phone is switched off.
  2. Please repeat the questions from the audience which are asked without a microphone. This is needed for the video record.
  3. You may tell the audience whether the questions are asked during or after the talk.
  4. Please reserve about 5 minutes for questions & answers.
  5. In case you have any difficulties or inconveniences during your talk, e.g. malfunctioning equipment, you'd like a bottle of water etc. — please tell about that to the track owner or anyone from the staff. 
  6. After the talk you can go to a dedicated "expert area" to continue the discussion of the talk and communication with your audience. No one will disturb your communication there for an hour after your session.

Trainings

  1. We conduct classes for speakers on presentation skills and talk structure.
    1. Some of the trainings we conduct ourselves — “The structure of a talk”, “The construction of a plot”.
    2. Some of trainings are conducted by invited experts — “Speaking skills”, “Diction, voice”, “Behavior correction”.
    3. Schedule of these sessions will be available in advance, 1-2 months before the conference.
  2. We start to train talks’ performances a few months before the conference.
    1. If you are not fully confident in your talk — submit it in advance to have more time for its preparation and discussion.
    2. Preparation of a talk takes a long time, so we try not to take more than one or two talks from each speaker, so that you have enough time to prepare.

Please be advised that we do a pre-conference rehearsal (dry run) for every talk, at least a few weeks prior to the conference. Even if you have already delivered the talk before at some other conference, it's still extremely important to do a dry run: there could be a difference in culture, background, expectations of our Russian audience and so on. The program committee can identify things related to slides formatting, talk flow, jokes, clarity of speech (most of our audience are non-native English speakers).

If you have already delivered the same talk before and you have a recording that you can make available to us, then we can review the recording instead of doing a dry run live. But even then, please be prepared to receive feedback from the program committee, which you will need to address before the conference. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we strive to make the conference experience as close to ideal as we can for our attendees and speakers.

Sometimes it is worth having the talk rehearsal recording. For that purpose we use Hangouts on Air from Google.

The recording can be started by any person so in order to start the session you will need following steps. 

    1. Go to https://www.youtube.com/my_live_events and press the "New live event" button on the right top corner.
    2. Specify the name of the conference, the speaker's name, and date:



    3. Select the "Quick" radiobutton on the right bottom corner:



    4. Press the "Go live now" button on the right top corner.
    5. Press "OK" on modal dialogues:

    6. Congratulations! Now you have a running session!
    7. Copy a web link to the hangouts from the address field and send to all reviewers.
    8. Once you are ready to proceed, press green button on the bottom. The "OFF AIR" indicator on the top right corner should change to "ON AIR".
    9. Once you have finished your recording, go to "VIDEO MANAGER" and make that video either "Unliste" either "Private"



Additional Information

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Andrei Dmitriev (dmitriev@jugru.org) and Valentina Mikhno (valentina.mikhno@jugru.org).

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