SQLRally Call for Speakers Closes December 15, 2010

The call for speakers is open through December 15, 2010, and I hope many of you will take the chance to throw a session or two into the SQLRally hat. Whether you get picked or not for the final program, it’s fun to be in the game, to enjoy the wait and the voting and the announcement to see who gets one of the prized slots at the first every SQLRally.

The final selection will be done by the community, so as you write your entries you might think about:

  • Is the title descriptive, intriguing, but not too cute?
  • Does the abstract tell them clearly what you will deliver? Imagine the voters have to be pick between five similarly titled abstracts, will the text you write give them the best understanding of what you will teach?
  • It wouldn’t be wrong to post your title and description on your blog or twitter for comment before you submit it. Why not get some feedback first?
  • Writing a good bio is hard, it can feel a bit like patting yourself on the back or overselling. It certainly can be overdone, but think of it as a very short resume – if a voter has a choice of five similar presentations have you done the best job you can to show them your technical and speaking experience?
  • Niche topics are ok, might even give you an edge!
  • Remember you’ll be competing by topic category, so it might be worth spending a few minutes seeing what other presentations have been done on that area of SQL and try to stake out new ground
  • Don’t be afraid to go head to head with the big dogs. Yes, it’s harder to win against someone with bigger name recognition, but it could happen – especially if you’ve built your chops and some community recognition of your own. Plus, it’s good to make them keep working at it!
  • Pick a topic you know and are passionate about, even if it is topic most likely to win. Passion wins more often than you might think.

Take the chance, I think you’ll be glad you did, and it’s a great way to contribute to the community, giving us the chance to pick from a great selection and try to build the schedule we want!

2 thoughts on “SQLRally Call for Speakers Closes December 15, 2010

  1. More tips that work for me, anyway:

    – Your abstract should include a description of what attendees will take away. A checklist, 10 tips for printing money, that sort of thing.

    – You don’t have to be the world’s leading expert in a topic to present on it. Knowledgeable, yes, but what you really need to do is bring your experience with the topic. Even if it means you are going to talk about things you tried that didn’t work, things that did work that you almost didn’t try, assumptions you made that were wrong, etc.

    Just bring your story. Play your game as Steve Jones would say.

    – Don’t skimp on the bio, assuming that attendees will know who you are. Even if you are famous.

    – Don’t have your abstract read like a dry lecture. Try to express what is nifty and cool about your story on the topic.

    …I should write a blog post or make a presentation on this….


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