Tips for submitting to “Call for Papers”

I often get asked, “How did you get to where you are?” To which I respond, “Mediocrity?”

The real answer… public speaking, community involvement, not sucking at what I do and genuinely enjoying my work.

Now, I can’t help you with all these topics. But I can give you some advice on getting start with being recognized. Start submitting to speak at conferences. Conference organizers love new faces. Start with smaller conferences and user groups to build your skill.

Here are a few tips you should find helpful when submitting:

  • Be authentic! Your peers need real-world scenarios they can use. Give original presentation ideas that focus on knowledge transfer, with engaging and relevant examples.
  • Include as much detail about the planned presentation as possible. The more they know about what you plan to present and why it matters, the better.
  • Keep it free of marketing.
  • Keep the audience in mind: they’re forward-minded, professional, and already pretty smart.
  • Clearly identify the level of the talk: is it for beginners to the topic, or for gurus? What knowledge should people have when they come to the presentation?
  • Give it a simple and straightforward title or name—fancy and clever titles or descriptions make it harder for people (committee and attendees) to figure out what you’re really talking about.
  • Limit the scope of the talk: Pick a useful aspect, or a particular technique, or walk through a simple program.
  • Explain why people will want to attend: Is the framework gaining traction? Is the app critical to modern systems? Will they learn how to deploy it, program it, or just what it is?

To be honest, I don’t always follow my own advice. But I do try to stick close to it.

Good luck and let me know if you get accepted to speak somewhere. :)

About Rob Rusher

In his role as Principal Consultant for On3, Rob leads an software development practice to help his clients build rich Internet applications for the desktop, browser, and mobile devices, and to rapidly increase their knowledge and skills to better support their organization's goals. Rob is an Adobe Certified Expert, Community Professional, and Certified Instructor. He has taught and mentored the technical teams at HP, Overstock, Paychex, SAS, the FedEx, and other Government and Fortune 100 organizations. Rob has co-authored four best-selling books on building secure, cutting-edge and rapidly developed applications using Adobe AIR, ColdFusion and Flex. He is very active in organizing and speaking at RIA, Adobe LiveCycle, mobile conferences, and user groups. In addition to growing his software consulting practice, On3, Rob has been building expertise in rich client application development on a wider variety of devices and platforms that extend the applications to change the way we all create and live.