Post OSCON I: The darker side of speaking

by Kevin Shockey

Three years ago I remember sitting in a session, one of many, and thinking how cool it would be to be a speaker at OSCON. I mean seriously, OSCON is the best software conference in the world, who wouldn't want to be a speaker? As speaker, you join an elite group of software enthusiasts and it looks great on your resume (not to mention the great parties...). I've been fortunate to realize my dream for two years in a row now. This year was a dream come true as I was able to provide not only a session, but a tutorial as well. I've really appreciated the opportunity, and thank everyone who attended my talks. More importantly, I thank my co-presenter Joseph Hill. Without his contributions and technical expertise, my dream would have never materialized.

So while I've been able to realize my dream, I see myself in many other convention attendees. I see them thinking to themselves about speaking at OSCON at a future date. So let me share something I've come to appreciate these last two years. Speaking at a convention like OSCON is not without its sacrifices. Perhaps the biggest sacrifice of all is missing out on the convention itself. Sure, there is a lot of work preparing slides and whittling your message down to its most simple and concise form, but for most speakers, speaking during the convention means you'll miss most of the convention.

4 Comments

Jacob
2006-08-11 08:05:22
I was at your Mono presentation (and Werewolf ;) and I thought you guys did a great job. I was amazed at how far Mono's progressed and thought you covered a wealth of useful topics. I hope you guys are back next year!
David Van Couvering
2006-08-11 13:43:05
Great tips, thanks! Wished I'd had these before my OSCON talk, which I felt went down like a lead balloon. My other talks have been fine, but OSCON is a different beast somehow. I will definitely go to the Aikido talk next year...
pavithran
2006-10-08 13:12:27
Nice one...BTW I am not sure if my talk on APIs Learn How to make your Website ROCK!!
will get selected at foss.in !!
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