Guidance on Public Speaking

The Offer

The very short version: If you’d like to speak at a Mac/Apple-focused conference, I’d like to help. Contact me however you like, but a DM or @ on Twitter is likely the fastest first step. Feel free to email, Slack (@marczak on macadmins), or even text. I’m not really picky.

I’ve made this offer before and have worked with a few people in the past, but I’d like to open this wider. Here’s what I said on Twitter:

Hey, Mac/Apple community: an offer. If you’d like to speak at a conference, I will make myself available to help you:

  • Find the right conference
  • Write a proposal
  • Review/give feedback on your talk/slides

…in whatever combination is appropriate.

@ or DM me.

I’d like to help in whatever capacity is relevant to you.

The Who

Who am I to help you with this? Well, I’ve been speaking at conferences and meet-ups of all different sizes since 2003 or so. And yes: Those early presentations were straight-up mediocre. I spend time really thinking about how to improve any public performance, but particularly around conference speaking. I have also been on the conference side of things.

Since 2010, I’ve chosen speakers, scheduled, and run the speaker-side of things for MacTech Conference. Having been on both sides of the speaker equation, not only can I help with your presentation/talk, but I am also in touch with other conference organizers. This means that I can (hopefully) guide people to the event that’s right for them.

The Why

Why do I care? Well, for one—call it selfish—but I like helping people. I find that through helping people, I always learn something myself, so it’s typically win-win. There’s something else, too: supporting the community.

I think the Mac/Apple community is the best in the world, bar none. People are inclusive, free of drama, and really focused on solving problems. To sustain this, though, we need new voices. “Solving problems” in the Apple world tends to run across a narrow band of (big) issues. We really also want to hear from:

  • Admins that are new to Apple platforms
  • DevOps struggling with (or solving) scaling
  • People that are constantly battling bandwidth issues
  • People helping spread tech to areas where it isn’t typically seen
  • Admins challenging the status quo in education
  • Community organizers that are getting tech to kids that wouldn’t be exposed to tech otherwise
  • Devs that help teach people to code
  • People that work primarily/only from a mobile device out of necessity
  • UX designers
  • People that entered tech via some non-traditional route

…and more. The Mac/Apple tech community is a giving, and resourceful bunch, ready to help with these challenges. But to do that, we need the next set of voices speaking up.

I’m helping because I’m in a position to. So, no matter who you are, I’d like to contribute what I can and help get your voice in the conversation.