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©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Overcoming Imposter
Syndrome to Become
a Conference Speaker
SCALE July 2022


Dr. Dawn M. Foster


Director of OSS Community Strategy


fosterd@vmware.com fastwonderblog.com


Open Source at VMware @vmwopensource


blogs.vmware.com/opensource
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn 2
whoami
• Geek, traveler, reader

• 20+ yr tech career focused on
community & open source 

(Intel, Puppet, Scale Factory, …)

• OpenUK Board, CHAOSS Board and
Maintainer, TODO Group Steering

• Kubernetes contributor & CNCF
Contributor Strategy SIG

• PhD from the University of Greenwich
focus on Linux kernel collaboration
Photos by Mom, Josh Bancroft, Don Park
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn 3
My Journey
2006 - 2007
Panels & Lightning talks
100+ Conference Talks
Many Program Selection Committees
1995 - 2005
Internal Presentations
@geekygirldawn
©2022 VMware, Inc.
Benefits to You and Your Employer


Topic and Conference Selection


Writing Titles and Abstracts


Bio and Other Supporting Info


Insights into the Talk Selection Process


Tips for Writing and Preparing


Resources and Final Thoughts
4
Agenda
Photo by Marco Verch - CC BY 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Attend for free


Access to other Speakers


Advance your career
5
Benefits for You
Image by The Linux Foundation CC BY
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Showcase our talent,


technologies,


and expertise
6
Benefits for Your Employer
Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Talk to your manager


for approval before


submitting a proposal
7
Approval


Process
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Image by the CNCF CC BY-NC 2.0
Topic and Conference Selection
Image by the CNCF CC BY-NC 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
What do you know that


people with less experience


could benefit from learning?
9
Pick a Topic
Image by Tim Samoff CC BY-ND 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Conference talks are


not advertising


opportunities.
10
No Pitches
Image by the CNCF CC BY-NC 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Unique, important,


innovative, relevant,


and focused
11
Topics should be …
Photo by
 
Dan Meyers
 
on
 
Unsplash
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Requires advance planning


to submit proposals
12
Calls for Proposals


(CFPs)
Photo by This.Usually.Works - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Select a conference


that fits your topic
13
Pick a


Conference
Image by the CNCF CC BY-NC 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Meetups, local, and


regional events
14
Starter Events
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn 15
Photo by Gael Varoquaux CC BY 2.0
Writing Titles and Abstracts
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Clear, descriptive, and


detailed, but also concise
16
Abstract
Photo by Jo Zimny Photos - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Paragraph about why the topic is
important and relevant to the
conference.


The session will cover:


• Several


• Main


• Points


The audience will walk away with …
17
My Abstract Formula
Photo by Michael Himbeault - CC BY 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Short and clear


Matches your content
18
Talk Titles
Image by hehaden CC BY-NC 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Photo by Tow
fi
qu barbhuiya on Unsplash
19
Bio and Other Supporting Material
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Your expertise is an important


part of the selection process
20
Bio
Photo by Ian Southwell - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Your best examples of


past presentations,


blog posts, or videos
21
Supporting Material
Image by the Linux Foundation CC BY-NC 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn 22
Photo by Ed Kohler CC BY 2.0
Selection


Process


Insights
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Be clear about your content


and don’t pitch a big reveal
23
Not Enough Detail
Image by James Jordan CC BY-ND 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Proofread and


get feedback
24
Poorly written
Image by Santiago Uceda CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
You’re competing against


other great proposals
25
Don’t get discouraged
Image by Aiky RATSIMANOHATRA CC BY-NC 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Photo by Mike's Birds - CC BY-SA 2.0
26
Tips for Writing and Preparing
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Don’t wait until the


last minute to write your talk
27
Start Early
Photo by Nigel CC BY 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Start with an outline


and have speaker notes
28
Get Organized
Image by vintagemodernquilts | lisa CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Practice, practice, practice


Speak slowly and have pauses
29
Preparation
Image by Jim Griffin - Public Domain
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Your social media,


internal channels,


marketing.


fastwonderblog.com/speaking
30
Promote Your Talk
Photo by
 
Juliana Romão
 
on
 
Unsplash
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
PR training


for questions,


courses on speaking,


and your colleagues


31
Internal


Resources
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
@geekygirldawn
©2020 VMware, Inc. 32
Helpful Articles
My 2 part blog post series on this topic:


Benefits and Barriers and Steps to Success


VMware OSS Blog: Crafting the Perfect Proposal


Dzone: Becoming a Conference Speaker
Photo by Vicente - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Don’t let anything get in the


way of sharing what you


know. Others can learn


from your experience.
33
Final Thoughts
Image by Jim Griffin - Public Domain
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Dr. Dawn M. Foster
fosterd@vmware.com


fastwonderblog.com


Open Source at VMware


blogs.vmware.com/opensource


@vmwopensource
34
Thank You!
Photo by Thangaraj Kumaravel - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome to Become a Conference Speaker!

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Overcoming Imposter Syndrome to Become a Conference Speaker!

  • 1. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Overcoming Imposter Syndrome to Become a Conference Speaker SCALE July 2022 Dr. Dawn M. Foster Director of OSS Community Strategy fosterd@vmware.com fastwonderblog.com Open Source at VMware @vmwopensource blogs.vmware.com/opensource
  • 2. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn 2 whoami • Geek, traveler, reader • 20+ yr tech career focused on community & open source 
 (Intel, Puppet, Scale Factory, …) • OpenUK Board, CHAOSS Board and Maintainer, TODO Group Steering • Kubernetes contributor & CNCF Contributor Strategy SIG • PhD from the University of Greenwich focus on Linux kernel collaboration Photos by Mom, Josh Bancroft, Don Park
  • 3. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn 3 My Journey 2006 - 2007 Panels & Lightning talks 100+ Conference Talks Many Program Selection Committees 1995 - 2005 Internal Presentations
  • 4. @geekygirldawn ©2022 VMware, Inc. Benefits to You and Your Employer Topic and Conference Selection Writing Titles and Abstracts Bio and Other Supporting Info Insights into the Talk Selection Process Tips for Writing and Preparing Resources and Final Thoughts 4 Agenda Photo by Marco Verch - CC BY 2.0
  • 5. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Attend for free Access to other Speakers Advance your career 5 Benefits for You Image by The Linux Foundation CC BY
  • 6. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Showcase our talent, technologies, and expertise 6 Benefits for Your Employer Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash
  • 7. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Talk to your manager for approval before submitting a proposal 7 Approval Process Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash
  • 8. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Image by the CNCF CC BY-NC 2.0 Topic and Conference Selection Image by the CNCF CC BY-NC 2.0
  • 9. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn What do you know that people with less experience could benefit from learning? 9 Pick a Topic Image by Tim Samoff CC BY-ND 2.0
  • 10. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Conference talks are not advertising opportunities. 10 No Pitches Image by the CNCF CC BY-NC 2.0
  • 11. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Unique, important, innovative, relevant, and focused 11 Topics should be … Photo by   Dan Meyers   on   Unsplash
  • 12. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Requires advance planning to submit proposals 12 Calls for Proposals (CFPs) Photo by This.Usually.Works - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • 13. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Select a conference that fits your topic 13 Pick a Conference Image by the CNCF CC BY-NC 2.0
  • 14. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Meetups, local, and regional events 14 Starter Events
  • 15. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn 15 Photo by Gael Varoquaux CC BY 2.0 Writing Titles and Abstracts
  • 16. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Clear, descriptive, and detailed, but also concise 16 Abstract Photo by Jo Zimny Photos - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • 17. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Paragraph about why the topic is important and relevant to the conference. The session will cover: • Several • Main • Points The audience will walk away with … 17 My Abstract Formula Photo by Michael Himbeault - CC BY 2.0
  • 18. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Short and clear Matches your content 18 Talk Titles Image by hehaden CC BY-NC 2.0
  • 19. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Photo by Tow fi qu barbhuiya on Unsplash 19 Bio and Other Supporting Material
  • 20. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Your expertise is an important part of the selection process 20 Bio Photo by Ian Southwell - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • 21. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Your best examples of past presentations, blog posts, or videos 21 Supporting Material Image by the Linux Foundation CC BY-NC 2.0
  • 22. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn 22 Photo by Ed Kohler CC BY 2.0 Selection Process Insights
  • 23. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Be clear about your content and don’t pitch a big reveal 23 Not Enough Detail Image by James Jordan CC BY-ND 2.0
  • 24. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Proofread and get feedback 24 Poorly written Image by Santiago Uceda CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • 25. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn You’re competing against other great proposals 25 Don’t get discouraged Image by Aiky RATSIMANOHATRA CC BY-NC 2.0
  • 26. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Photo by Mike's Birds - CC BY-SA 2.0 26 Tips for Writing and Preparing
  • 27. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Don’t wait until the last minute to write your talk 27 Start Early Photo by Nigel CC BY 2.0
  • 28. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Start with an outline and have speaker notes 28 Get Organized Image by vintagemodernquilts | lisa CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • 29. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Practice, practice, practice Speak slowly and have pauses 29 Preparation Image by Jim Griffin - Public Domain
  • 30. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Your social media, internal channels, marketing. fastwonderblog.com/speaking 30 Promote Your Talk Photo by   Juliana Romão   on   Unsplash
  • 31. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn PR training for questions, courses on speaking, and your colleagues 31 Internal Resources Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
  • 32. @geekygirldawn ©2020 VMware, Inc. 32 Helpful Articles My 2 part blog post series on this topic: 
 Benefits and Barriers and Steps to Success VMware OSS Blog: Crafting the Perfect Proposal Dzone: Becoming a Conference Speaker Photo by Vicente - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • 33. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Don’t let anything get in the way of sharing what you know. Others can learn from your experience. 33 Final Thoughts Image by Jim Griffin - Public Domain
  • 34. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Dr. Dawn M. Foster fosterd@vmware.com fastwonderblog.com Open Source at VMware blogs.vmware.com/opensource @vmwopensource 34 Thank You! Photo by Thangaraj Kumaravel - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0