@madpilot makes

Calling future speakers!

There has been a lot of debate recently about diversity in Web conferences. It is a topic that seems to rear it’s head on a semi-regular basis. As some of the players in the conference circuit have pointed out, maybe we as potential speakers can make the conference organisers’ lives a bit easier.

It is hard to encourage diversity when the pickings are thin – this isn’t to say that the talent from all realms isn’t out there, maybe the people who put on the conferences just haven’t heard about them?

Kevin Lawver has blogged about How to Get to Speak at Web Conferences and point #2 has given the inspiration for this post. Below are a list of some of the events which encourage people to get up and speak about what they love. The list is Australian-centric, mainly because that is the circles I hang with, but I would love to hear of similar things going on around the world (Hint: leave a comment and sell your event!).

So maybe you, oh humble reader, should sign up to a event near you and get your name out there – you never know who might be listening.

  1. AWIA Mini-talks – Ok, I have a vested interest in these because I organise them… Currently Perth based, but AWIA is looking to expand them Australian wide. Two speakers get 10 minutes to speak on a topic of their choice on the first Wednesday of the month. Check out the podcasts.
  2. WebJam – The WebJam organisers have just announced a second WebJam event which is on in a couple of days. WebJams are even more fasted paced – 16 speakers get three minutes!
  3. BarCamps – These “Un-conferences” encourage collaboration and knoledge share – they provde a great opportunity to speak in front of a group and show others what you know. There are BarCamps coming up in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide next week – Check out the Wiki web site for details of who you can get in contact with.
  4. Melbourne (and soon to be Sydney) based Tequp is kind of similar to BarCamps, except they are weekly (And I thought organising monthly meet ups was hard!)
  5. The web standards group will often have speakers at their meetings, and I’m sure you local organiser would be more than accommodating.
  6. A number of big conferences have experimented with open-mic type session: The Future of Web apps had one, New Zealand based Webstock has it’s 8×5 seminars which looks like it is something similar.

Not a bad list, but I am sure I’ve left off heaps and heaps – I want this list expanded people!!!

Edit: SomeoneMeri Williams has created a wiki aimed at mentoring people that want to get into the speaking biz.


  1. We also need to generally get people that don't normal go to these events to do, hence increasing the pool of potential speakers.

    More Mentoring of speakers needs to happen as well

    Add on - Search Engine Bootcamp


    May 24, 2007 - Melbourne

    July 26, 2007 - Brisbane

    September 13, 2007 - Sydney
  2. Myles - something we're doing at "Webstock Mini" is a "10 x 2". !0 people talking for 2 minutes on the same subject. It's based on "20 x 2" . Seems another good way to get people speaking who probably wouldn't be. And 2 minutes is way less daunting than 45 or 60 :)
  3. And the new Speaker Mentoring wiki


    started by Meri Williams
  4. Hi Myles -- great list! Would you mind terribly copying it over to the Conferences & Opportunities page over at Make Me A Speaker?


    Would really appreciate the help fleshing out that page!
  5. Mike,

    I certainly hope more conferences take heed and do something similar - it's great to see.


    I've added AWIA Mini-talks - I'll get in contact with the WebJam and Tequp guys, as they would be better able to explain how their events work :)
  6. Brilliant, thanks mate!

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