If you are reading this article, it means you think on submitting your talk or have already submitted it. We would really like your talk to be successful: technically advanced, vibrant and memorable.
A few things to remember
Please discuss your travel opportunities with your manager in advance:
- Will your company make a travel for you?
- Where will you be accommodated? It will be more convenient if you are going to live near the conference venue.
- Usually the day before the conference we conduct a city tour for our speakers. We will inform you about the time and meeting place later.
Please discuss the details of your travel with your Program Coordinator in advance:
- Russian visa (if needed);
- Arrival & departure dates;
- Flight tickets;
When preparing your talk
- 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:
- To make the audience interested in your approach to the problem;
- To advertise your own approach;
- To find at the conference those who have worked with a technology to discuss some details with them;
- To teach attendees something useful in what you believe.
- You'll have 60 minutes to give your talk including questions & answers. Please reserve 10 minutes for Q&A session.
- Please make sure that the title and description of your talk corresponds to its content. In case of a mismatch, please change it.
2 weeks before the conference please check if all the changes after the rehearsals have been applied to the title and description of your talk on the conference website.
- From our point of view, the most important features of a talk are:
- Practical applicability;
- Technical depth;
- Simple examples;
- Speaker's presentation skills on stage. Don't hesitate to start dialog with the audience, use interesting examples, etc. to keep the audience's attention and make the session overall more lively.
- 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 harder to prepare.
- We strive to make the content of our conferences as unique as possible. Our audience is highly advanced (they attend a lot of conferences) and demanding (they just love all the little details and hardcore ). So we always appreciate original and brand new topics. Our Program Committee will be happy to help you polish you talk and encourage the right audience to attend it ("right" as in "interested and on a par with you").
Important things concerning your presentation
- 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:
- We'd like to adapt your talk in such a way that it would better fit for the topic of our conference and for the expected audience;
- There are more talks than time slots and we'll have to decide which ones to pick;
- We'd like you to adjust some particular details of your talk or presentation.
- Please decide whether you'd like to use your own laptop for the presentation or one of ours:
- In the latter case — please provide your slides in PDF in advance. If you use PPT, PPTX, HTML, Keynote, etc. — please convert it to PDF and upload it to your speaker profile at least a week before the conference . If you have problems with conversion of your slides just let us know in advance.
- If you prefer to use your laptop — please provide us with the following information:
- What is the model of your laptop (vendor & model)?
- Which Operating System does it have?
- Which video connectors does it have? We need one of the following: HDMI, D-Sub (VGA), Mini DisplayPort (MiniDP, Thunderbolt) but HDMI is preferable.
- We provide the following equipment: a backup laptop, presenter (Logitech R700 or like), wireless microphone, wireless headset, Full HD projector(s), monitor-prompter.
- If you need any additional equipment, please inform us 2 weeks before the conference. Otherwise, we cannot guarantee it will be provided.
- Please consider the following:
- Your talk will be recorded on video:
- it will be broadcasted live on the Internet;
- it will be published on YouTube. Therefore, please refrain from using copyrighted sound and/or video in your presentation, otherwise YouTube will block the video of your talk.
- Photographer will take photos of you and post them online.
- After the conference we usually upload our speakers' presentations to the conference website. Please upload your presentation in PDF to your speaker profile at least a week before the conference. You will still be able to update it until the conference closes. The latest version of your presentation will then be uploaded to the website.
- Your talk will be recorded on video:
- If you do not agree with this, please contact your Program Coordinator to personally discuss this matter.
The basic rules of presentation design
- Ratio: 16x9 only! Please, do not use 4x3!
- 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 (twitter as well in case you have any).
- The company's name or the name of the project which the speaker worked on should be included in the slides (if the speaker may and wants to publish it).
- The title of the talk should be presented in the first slide. It must match the title published on the conference website.
- 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.
- The text and background should contrast. Also check the references' colors. For example, in the following slide the "framework", "TFMs" words are hardly readable:
- If the talk is in Russian, please make all the slides in Russian (except for terms).
- If the talk is in English, please make all the slides in English.
- The slides should contain short statements, not novels. Therefore, the shorter the better!
- Each slide should have its numeration below.
- Each slide should have the title at the top. This point is important because the audience remembers the place in the presentation by the slide's title or number. The only exceptions are the title slide, slides that serve as transition between themes, funny slides, etc., when title at the top may be excess.
- "Verbal noise" that does not add value should be excluded.
- All wordings should be as concise as possible, so as not to fill space in the slide.
- Maximum 5-7 points of text. If the slide is organized in two columns, each of them may contain 5-7 points.
- The font size should be at least 14 pt. The font size >20 pt. is recommended.
- Ensure you present the absolute minimum of the code that is required to convey the idea.
- Ensure you have relevant highlights/arrows appearing as you talk since online listeners won't be able to see laser pointer.
- Ensure you follow best practices from https://www.slideshare.net/LookAtMySlides/codeware.
Pictures and charts
- All the pictures should explain something. They shouldn't just fill free space in the slide.
- Inscriptions on images should be readable (text should contrast with the background).
NB: Using other people's images in their presentation is something that usually requires licensing. We advise our speakers to cite where the image came from and its author. Sometimes not doing this can expose you to copyright claims.
Use reasonable (2-5) number of bars/lines per chart.
- Ensure axis labels are visible (default font size is good for printed documents but too small for the slides).
- Avoid pie charts (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pie_chart#Use_and_effectiveness).
The point of the talk
- In the beginning of your presentation there should be a slide with the list of the topics that are going to be discussed (this kind of slide is usually titled "Plan", "What we will talk about", etc.).
- In the end there should be a slide titled "Q&A" (Questions and Answers).
- The important content should be located in the upper two-thirds of the slide, because for some attendees the view of the bottom part can be blocked by other people.
- The slides should not be overloaded. For instance, avoid nested bullets and consider splitting a slide into multiple ones.
- 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
- If you happen to be at the city the day before the conference, please be kind to visit the venue and make sure that:
- Your equipment works well and connects to our stuff;
- We have all the materials you may need for the talk.
- We would like to invite you to the special speakers' dinner the evening before the conference. The details will be available a week in advance.
During the talk
- Before starting the talk, please make sure your mobile phone is switched off.
- Please repeat the questions from the audience which are asked without a microphone. This is needed for the video record.
- You may tell the audience whether the questions should be asked during or after the talk.
- Please reserve about 5-10 minutes for Q&A.
- In case you have any difficulties or inconveniences during your talk, e.g. equipment is malfunctioning, you'd like a bottle of water etc. — please contact the track owner or any other organizer.
After the talk you may go to a separate discussion zone to continue the discussion of the talk and communication with your audience. No one will disturb you there for an hour after your talk.
Trainings and rehearsals
- We conduct classes for speakers on presentation skills and talk structure.
- We ourselves conduct trainings on talk structure or plot construction.
- Invited experts conduct trainings on speaking skills, diction, voice, behavioural adjustments.
- We start to train talks' performances a few months before the conference. If you are not fully confident in your talk, submit it in advance so we have more time for its preparation and discussion.
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 spoken at other conference(s), 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 could give you some tips about 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 provide us with, 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.
Everybody can start the recording. In order to do that you need to:
- Go to https://www.youtube.com/my_live_events and press the "New live event" button in the right top corner.
- Enter the name of the conference, the speaker's name, and date:
- Select the "Quick" radiobutton on the right bottom corner:
- Press the "Go live now" button on the right top corner.
- Press "OK" in the pop-up window:
Congratulations! Now you have a running session!
- Copy link to the Hangouts from the address bar and send it to all reviewers.
- Once you are ready to proceed, press green button on the bottom. The "OFF AIR" indicator in the top right corner should change to "ON AIR".
- Once you have finished your recording, go to "VIDEO MANAGER" and make the video either "Unlisted" or "Private".