Proposing a Talk
We are glad you are interested in speaking at PyCon 2018! Talk proposals are due this year on **3 January 2018** [AoE](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anywhere_on_Earth). You can view what time that is locally to you [here](https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?msg=PyCon+2018+CFP+Deadline+for+Talks%2C+Posters%2C+and+Education+Summit&iso=20180103T2359&p1=3399). To learn how to submit a proposal, visit the [main Speaking page](https://us.pycon.org/2018/speaking/)! **Conference talks will be held May 11-13, 2018 at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland, OH.** This document is a guide to help you submit the best possible proposal and offers tips to make your proposal more likely to be accepted. Please keep in mind that many more proposals are submitted for talks, tutorials, and posters than can be accepted. But following the recommendations provided here can increase your chances of acceptance. # Important Dates - September 25 — Our Call For Proposals opens. - January 3 — Our Call For Proposals closes. - February — We send acceptance and rejection emails. - February — The schedule is posted here on the web site. - May 11–13 — The talks are all presented at PyCon 2018. - June — All talks that were recorded should be available online. # Topics and Advice What excites you about Python development or the community lately? What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out? What has been the slowest or most frustrating thing you've had to learn over the past few years, and could you put together a talk that would assist in that process for the next Pythonista who tackles the same problem? Recent articles, blog posts, tweets, and open source projects from the community can be a good source of talk topics and ideas, as can your own experiences as a developer. As you consider different topics, you might be interested in reviewing the slate of talks selected to appear at PyCon in previous years: * <a href="http://us.pycon.org/2017/schedule/talks/">PyCon 2017 Talks</a> * <a href="http://us.pycon.org/2016/schedule/talks/">PyCon 2016 Talks</a> * <a href="http://us.pycon.org/2015/schedule/talks/">PyCon 2015 Talks</a> * <a href="http://us.pycon.org/2014/schedule/talks/">PyCon 2014 Talks</a> * <a href="http://us.pycon.org/2013/schedule/">PyCon 2013 Talks</a> * <a href="http://us.pycon.org/2012/schedule/">PyCon 2012 Talks</a> There are also community members who have blogged about the talk proposal process. Here are a few of the most prominent resources, and a Google search will yield you several more: - [On Conference Speaking](https://hynek.me/articles/speaking/) Hynek Schlawack (2017) - [How to Get Your Talk Into PyCon](http://www.njl.us/essays/pycon-talks/) — from Ned Jackson Lovely, chair of the talk selection committee for 2016 and 2017! - [Rejected PyCon Proposals](http://akaptur.com/blog/2014/09/11/rejected-pycon-proposals/) — Allison Kaptur (2014) - [Example PyCon talk proposals](http://rhodesmill.org/brandon/2013/example-pycon-proposals/) — Brandon Rhodes (2013) - [Pro Tips for Conference Talks](http://craigkerstiens.com/2012/06/19/pro-tips-for-conference-talks/) — Craig Kerstiens (2012) - [How I Review a PyCon Talk Proposal](http://doughellmann.com/2011/10/18/how-i-review-a-pycon-talk-proposal.html) — Doug Hellmann (2011) Another list of resources and links is maintained at the PyLadies blog: - [http://www.pyladies.com/blog/speaking-pycon/](http://www.pyladies.com/blog/speaking-pycon/) # Mentoring First time speakers are welcomed and encouraged. In order to support speakers, we are going to be trialing a process this year for obtaining mentorship and feedback from experienced speakers. Above all we want you to be successful and have a good time telling other attendees about your ideas! We're happy to help with any of the following: - Exploring and brainstorming your interests to help you identify hidden things that would make great talks - Connecting you with experienced speakers to help develop your proposal and talk - Reviewing your outline, slide deck, or notes - Anything else that'd help you be at ease and excited about bringing your ideas to our audience! You’ll find checkboxes for both giving and receiving mentorship on the Speakers Profile page. # Good Ideas * **Submit your proposal early.** The program committee will provide feedback to talks that come into our system, and we _will_ work with you to improve your proposal if we have issues with it, but this is only feasible if your proposal is submitted well before deadline. * Be sure to answer some basic questions: * Who is the intended audience for your talk? (Be specific; "Python programmers" is not a good answer to this question.) * What will attendees get out of your talk? When they leave the room, what will they know that they didn't know before? * Your outline should be an _enumeration_ of what you intend to say, along with time estimates. * It is not necessary to have completely written your talk already, but you should have an idea of what the points you intend to make are and roughly how long you will spend on each one. * If you are requesting a 45-minute slot, remember that these are in very limited supply. Be sure to explain how you will change your talk if we can only offer you a 30-minute slot. * **Ensure that your talk will be relevant to a non-trivial set of people.** If your talk is on a particular Python package or piece of software, it should be something that a significant number of people use or want to use. If your talk is about a package that you are writing, ensure that it's gained _some_ acceptance before submitting a talk. If a tool you're excited about is not used widely, consider shifting the focus of your talk to a related best practice or theme which will have broader applicability and a larger audience. * Include links to source code, articles, blog posts, videos, or other resources that add context to your proposal. * If you've given a talk, tutorial, or other presentation before, especially at an earlier PyCon or another conference, include that information as well as a link to slides or a video if they're available. # Bad Ideas * **Avoid infomercials.** * That doesn't mean you can't talk about your work or company at PyCon. For instance, we welcome talks on how you or your company solved a problem, or notable open source projects that may benefit attendees. * On the other hand, talks on "how to use our product" (or similar) usually aren't appropriate. * **Avoid presenting a proposal for code that is incomplete.** The program committee is _very_ skeptical of "conference-driven development". * **Avoid "state of our project" talks**, unless you can make a compelling argument that the talk will be well-attended and that attendees will gain value from it. * Do not assume that everyone on the Program Committee will know who you are simply because you have presented at PyCon in the past. **Everyone should submit a detailed proposal.** During the first round of review, we won't even see your name on the proposal!