ramblings on PHP, SQL, the web, politics, ultimate frisbee and what else is on in my life

Slides and speaker infos

Last week I attended 3 different conferences: PHP International Conference in Berlin, then Buzzwords also in Berlin and finally Symfony Live in Paris. So I listened to a lot of talks, but also gave my share of presentations with a workshop, 2 talks and a panel for IPC, 2 lightning talks at Buzzwords and then 2 more talks at Symfony Live. One thing I noticed is that I tend to forget to even mention my name, especially since I rarely even have a slide about myself as I create most slide decks for reuse by the community. I kind of expect people to already know my name from the schedule and if they want to know more about me they can check the site or better yet approach to me after the talk. At the other end of the spectrum I noticed most presenters at Buzzwords were spending multiple slides on themselves and their company and past clients. Something I found highly irritating since most talks only had a 20min slot (which imho is a great idea to give more speakers and topics a chance to be show cased). So I did a little twitter poll today about what people want to see in a talk and most said essentially: name + twitter/github handle.


Re: Slides and speaker infos

I do find it annoying when presenters talk on and on about themselves and not the topic. However, I think it's also valuable for the presenter to provide at least some background to, in effect, explain why we should be listening to them. Not everyone knows that Lukas Smith has been working on Symfony CMF and PHPCR for the past 2 years. Are you just some random schlub who submitted a session about something cool that someone else is doing? That's not necessarily bad (I've been that schlub myself at times), but own up to it. Why should we be listening to YOU about THIS topic?

That can be done in a minute, perhaps 2, in most cases. It doesn't need to be big, but I do find if it's not a presenter I already know that explaining "I"m the guy who wrote the Security component" is a useful preamble to "and here's how the Security component works".

Re: Slides and speaker infos

One of the things I've learned about selling business to people whom are not really caring about you is to put company / personal related slides to the end of the presentation. So only mention your name at the beginning of the presentation and stick to the presentation topic.

Only in the end you mention more information about your background. I've found this technique to work pretty good for bigger corporate business sales presentations.