Introduction: Conference CFPs

Let's explore what you will learn in this chapter.

Call for papers

When conferences want speakers, they have two options: invite well-known speakers or open up a selection process for all other speakers. If you’re a new speaker, you’ll mostly get your speaking opportunities through the latter process, which is called a call for papers (CFP).

Don’t let the name fool you – you don’t have to write a paper to get accepted! The term is a holdover from academic conferences where you would submit papers you’d worked on. There are other commonalities – you send in one or more proposed talks, with a title and abstract, and a review committee looks through all the submissions to curate the lineup. This is usually done three to six months in advance, so you have time to work on your talk if and when it is accepted.

Speaking can open many doors for you

Speaking can open many doors for you, from building your professional network to getting in front of employers to promoting a great idea or library that you want everyone to know. Everyone should try speaking-- to teach what they learn and improve their communication skills.

“The biggest boost for my career the past five years wasn’t working at Facebook or being a manager; it was developing public speaking skills.”

- Charity Majors

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