How to Speak at Fluent

Tips for prospective Fluent Conference speakers.

There’s a good post by Ben Vinegar suggesting tips for getting accepted to speak at Fluent Conference. These are all good tips and, as he says, will work for just about any event you want to speak at. It’s worth a read.

As someone who has spoken at every Fluent so far, and someone on the conference committee, I’d add one other important suggestion - choose a topic where you aren’t going to face as much competition.

This was a strategy that worked for me even before I joined the committee. Having reviewed proposals the past couple years I can say that whatever the hot framework or library of the moment happens to be will get hundreds of similar proposals. Sure, someone will get picked to talk on that topic, so, if you have a great talk, by all means submit it, but your chances are definitely lower.

If you take a closer look at the CFP, you’ll see that it has a long list of topics under the categories of “core web platform technologies”, “tools to help build the modern web” and “building performant and resilient apps and sites.”

I am not speaking on behalf of O’Reilly or Fluent here, but, based on my experience with this event, here’s my best guesses as to which categories will be under-represented in proposals:

  • Tools to help build the modern web
    • People and teams
      • Collaboration tools
      • Engineering culture
      • Building great teams
  • Building performant and resilient apps and sites
    • Performance matters
      • Monitoring, measurement, and metrics
      • Scalability
      • Automation
      • Data science and analytics
    • Modern web essentials
      • Security
      • Privacy
  • The expanding web
    • The web everywhere
      • Monetization of the web

If I were submitting (and, for what it’s worth, I am not), I’d probably pick a topic among those as at least one of my proposals. Again, this is no guarantee, but it has worked in the past for me and it’s more likely to be successful than being one of the 20 proposals on RXJS (to choose a somewhat random example).

Best of luck to any of you who submit!