I just sent this note out to my PubPro 2013 mailing list, and I thought I’d post it here, too. Apologies to subscribers who are getting this twice.
I hope you’ve all had a good start to 2013. Some exciting developments on the PubPro front: Ingram and Friesens have come forward as event sponsors, meaning we’ll get to feed our volunteers lunch and book an additional room for sessions. We’re on the constant lookout for more help, though, so if you have any ideas for sponsors we could approach, please let me know. The more we can get on board, the lower your event fees will be.
With our unconference less than three months away, I thought I’d devote this month’s update to FAQs about presenting.
Do I have to present?
Nope—only if you want to.
All right, I want to. Should I give a presentation or lead a discussion?
Presentations are better suited to disseminating expert knowledge…
Say you’ve developed a great system for archiving all of your royalty-free images. By allowing all of your designers to search the database, you’ve cut down on duplicate payments for identical images and have been able to use the same image for multiple projects, saving an estimated $2,000 a year. You want to tell others how you created the system and give a demo of how it works.
… whereas discussion groups are better for ascertaining how others approach a particular problem that you face.
You’re thinking of creating a proofreading test for new freelancers, but you’re not sure if it’s worth it or how to write or administer such a test. You want to see whether and how others test their freelancers and what they’ve learned from their experiences.
That said, the sessions can take on any format and be as interactive as you wish. Maybe you want to give a brief presentation to set the tone and offer context but then open it up to a discussion. Go for it—there are no rules.
What about the time limit?
Okay, there is one rule. We’d like to accommodate all speakers and keep the event on schedule, so please stick to the forty-minute time limit, including Q&A. Each room will have a volunteer time keeper who will give the speaker a five-minute warning and a one-minute warning.
Do I have to make slides if I’m giving a presentation?
Nope—only if you think they’ll help. If you do make slides, bring them on a USB flash drive. They should be in PDF or PowerPoint format. Keep a backup somewhere in your email or in the cloud.
What happens on the day of?
Arrive early and give a one-minute pitch of your presentation or discussion to the crowd at the opening session. Based on how participants respond, we’ll add your topic to the schedule. Once the schedule is set, participants can attend any sessions they choose.
What’s with this whole voting thing? I don’t want to spend time putting together a presentation if I’m not going to be able to give it.
We’ll have plenty of slots to accommodate presentations; voting is mainly for room assignments, since the rooms that we’ve reserved accommodate different numbers of people.
One issue we may run into is that multiple people may wish to present about the same thing. In that case, it’s up to you to decide whether you’d like to go ahead with your presentation. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have several sessions on the same topic, because it gives participants an alternative if they want to attend a different session at the same time as one of them.
Note, however, that if several people pitch the same discussion topic, we may consolidate those into a single session.
What if there are two sessions I want to attend at the same time?
Shortly after the event we’ll be asking all presenters to send us their notes and slides. We’ll package them up in a folder and share that with all event participants. It may not be the same as being there for the actual session, but it’s the next best thing.
Will there be WiFi?
Yes! So it’ll be possible to demonstrate online tools, live-tweet tips you’ve picked up, etc.
That’s it from me for now. If you have any further questions about presenting or about the event in general, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can find more information about PubPro 2013 on our main event page.