Speaking at a WordCamp

Applying to speak

You’re applying to speak at a WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more.? Great! We appreciate you offering to share your WordPress knowledge with the WordPress community. Here are some things to keep in mind when filling out the speaker application:

  • Yes, you can! Whether you’re a user, designer, or developer, WordCamp is an event where you can share what you’ve learned about WordPress and how you’re working with it.
  • Local first. WordCamps are local-focused events that are asked to shoot for an 80% local / 20% visiting speakers ratio. You might get picked as one of the few out-of-town speakers on a WordCamp schedule, but the chances are smaller the farther you get from home, unless you’re the definitive expert on your proposed topic.
  • Volunteers only. WordCamps are 100% organized and staffed by volunteers, and WordCamps don’t pay speakers or cover speaker travel/accommodations.
  • Share > pitch. WordCamps are educational events, not marketing opportunities, so proposing a product pitch will not get you very far with the speaker selection team.
  • No “pay for play.” WordCamps never, ever provide a speaking opportunity in exchange for sponsorship or anything else. Please don’t ask.
  • Make it unique. WordCamp sessions are all recorded and posted to WordPress.tv for everyone to watch, so it’s redundant to have speakers give the same talk at multiple events. WordCamps pride themselves on having unique content.
  • Tell a story. The web is full of tutorials, and most people won’t remember most of the instructions from your instructional talk in a few days (or hours!). The human brain is hard-wired to be engaged by stories, and WordCamp organizers are looking for sessions that will inspire attendees to do more with WordPress.

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Preparing your talk

You were accepted to speak? Exciting! Keep these things in mind when putting together your presentation:

  • WordCamps are open to everyone. That means your audience is liable to include people of all ages, backgrounds, and inclinations. Please keep your presentation G-rated, and try not to make jokes that might alienate anyone in your audience.
  • Capital P, dangit! Please capitalize the P in WordPress. Every time. 🙂
  • No fauxgos, please! Use the real WordPress logo.
  • WordCamps are official events. Most attendees see you, a bonafide WordCamp speaker, as someone who represents WordPress. In your presentation, you’ll want to make sure you only recommend WordPress products or companies that honor the WordPress trademark and embrace the WordPress license.
  • Check your slides. There are a few requirements for how your slides should be put together – make sure to check them out before you prepare.
  • WordCamps are about WordPress. Even if your session doesn’t center on WordPress development or design, your audience is there to learn about working with WordPress. The expectation is that WordCamp speakers whose topics are not WordPress-centric will use examples from WordPress websites/admin/codebase to illustrate their points.
  • Prepare. WordCamps are casual events, and the audience is usually forgiving. However, you were chosen as a speaker over many other applicants, and attendees probably chose to see your presentation over someone else’s. Know your topic, have your slides ready for organizers to review a few weeks before the event, and practice your talk.

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Resources for new and veteran WordCamp speakers

Presentation Zen

Delivering Great Technology Presentations

An Introvert’s Guide to Better Presentations

The Secret Structure to Great Talks by Nancy Duarte

Create + Prepare Slides

Here is a quiz on this article. Read quizzes page if you have any questions about quizzes and how to navigate them.

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