Proposing a Talk
Remember to check the Proposal Guidelines, where you will find the steps to submit your proposal
We are glad you are interested in speaking at PyCon US 2024!
Conference talks will be held May 17-19, 2024 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
Whether this is your first time submitting a proposal or your seventh, you can visit this collection of old proposals for PyCon US - both accepted and rejected - to help guide you through the process.
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.
PyCon US does not want expenses to discourage you from submitting a proposal, and offers speaker grants to ensure that if assistance is needed and your proposal is accepted you can speak at PyCon US. When you create a speaker profile, check the box to indicate that you require a speaker grant. This is not seen by the proposal reviewers and does not affect the review of your proposal.
After proposals are selected, we’ll reach out to you regarding your needs. We understand situations can change and are here for you. If you have any questions about the speaker grants let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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?
There is no official restriction on the topic that you propose for a talk session. Talks about Python or the Python community are most likely to line up with the interests of PyCon US’s audience, and a key consideration that the talk selection committee will be thinking about is your talk’s ability to draw an audience. We observe a limit of one talk per presenter. You may propose more than one, but the committee will ask you to choose only one talk if more than one of your proposals is accepted.
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 US in previous years:
- PyCon 2021 Talks
- PyCon 2020 Talks
- PyCon 2019 Talks
- PyCon 2018 Talks
- PyCon 2017 Talks
- PyCon 2016 Talks
- PyCon 2015 Talks
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:
- The Ultimate Guide To Memorable Tech Talks — Nina Zakharenko (2019)
- On Conference Speaking — Hynek Schlawack (2017)
- How to Get Your Talk Into PyCon — from Ned Jackson Lovely, chair of the talk selection committee for 2016 and 2017!
- Rejected PyCon Proposals — Allison Kaptur (2014)
- Example PyCon talk proposals — Brandon Rhodes (2013)
- Pro Tips for Conference Talks — Craig Kerstiens (2012)
- How I Review a PyCon Talk Proposal — Doug Hellmann (2011)
- Submit your proposal early. The program committee will provide feedback on talks that come into our system, and we will work with you to improve your proposal, but this is only feasible if your proposal is submitted well before the 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 has 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.
- Avoid infomercials.
- That doesn’t mean you can’t talk about your work or company at PyCon US. 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”.
- Do not submit a proposal that is solely or to a large extent written or includes AI-generated text by a large-scale language model (LLM) such as ChatGPT. Your proposal will not be accepted and will be disregarded without a second chance to submit.
- 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 proposals!