Hey there! Perhaps you read our first post about the unconference at the PHP Benelux? Then you know that we explicitly are encouraging first-time-speakers to give a talk at the unconference next weekend.

Here is our promise: it will be worth being brave! Because one thing is sure: no one will become a great speaker without ever speaking.

To support and encourage you, we prepared a “first time speaker toolkit” for you.

1) What to talk about?!

Are you worried you might not have anything to talk about that might be interesting to an audience? Well, we are convinced you have plenty to talk about!

Ideas for your talk might be:

  • side projects
  • open source projects

Just imagine you enter your preferred means of public transportation, let’s say a bus, and if we count all people in there, you would know more about a specific subject than your average co-travelers? This specific subject is somehow related to PHP? Voila – here is your talk idea!

Regarding the “how”, please feel free. The format is flexible so talk/ discuss/ present accordingly to your idea and preparation.

2) be prepared

Sounds strange – why be prepared if the system of the unconference invites exactly that: spontaneous talks. Well, the schedule is not ready beforehand, but you should be!

Preparation and practice might give you just the extra boost in confidence you need.

Of course, the unconference is open for spontaneous ideas. If an idea comes to you at the conference that is perfect, that’s what unconferences are for. Nonetheless, give some time to think if it might be interesting for your audience and how to present it. An example for a minimalistic preparation are some powerpoint slides (these don’t have to be professional). That little preparation helps you to think your idea through (again) and make sure you present it well structured and in a way that is interesting for your audience.

3) the technology – what to expect

This is what you will be working with:

A projector with connection to your Laptop – no worries, we bring adapters. Another possibility is to bring your presentation on an USB stick and we’ll provide the computer. Or, of course, you can email us your presentation. We will also bring a presenter, so that you can move forward/backward in your presentation with a remote and don’t need to walk over to your laptops keyboard.

An electronic form of your presentation is preferred, since there are no whiteboards etc. for spontaneous notes.

For everyone who is worried: there are no video recordings of the unconf presentation/ no live stream – if that would scare you.

The unconference room fits up to 20 people. That is – compared to the main event – a rather limited space which means as a first time presenter that is a ideal (and not too frightening) number of listeners. And furthermore, to be heard, you won’t need a microphone. Just be there and enjoy your fist talk!

Last but not least – you are not alone!

We are there for you! Benny and Katharina from Tideways will be there for any questions you might have and support you!

Mail us if you have any questions before or during the unconference.

Ruth Ruth 24.01.2018