Meta-talk: How to give your first conference presentation, and why you should!

Matt Corks

Drupal North encourages talks by people who are new to speaking, and those from under-represented communities. We can’t make software which serves the needs of our entire society without participation from as diverse a group as possible, and presenting at a conference is a great way both to contribute to the Drupal community and to show others that it includes people like you.

Speaking in front of a large group of people for the first time is hard for most people, but since it is a learned skill almost anyone who has the time can master how to do this, and the same is true for structuring technical content in a way that’s accessible and useful for your audience. As someone who’s been giving presentations on Drupal since 2009, I’m eager to share what I’ve figured out so far about how to do so, in order to encourage others to take their turn on stage.

Topics to be covered:

Why it’s important to include people from many different backgrounds in the Drupal community
How to become more comfortable with public speaking
How to give a great technical presentation
Bonus: bring a draft conference proposal or slide deck -- with your permission, and if time allows, I will do a live review and offer constructive feedback! I'm also willing to do this privately with you after this session.


Matt Corks
Senior Web Developer/Analyst, Montreal, @mvc447
I'm a developer and project manager who has specialized in Drupal since 2005. I've contributed to the Drupal community by giving presentations and contributing patches for many years. I've worked as a developer on web sites for a wide variety of corporate, institutional, and non-profit clients. Prior to joining McGill IT Services in 2017, I built Drupal sites for Evolving Web, the Linux Foundation, the federal New Democratic Party of Canada, and two consulting agencies specializing in work with the non-profit sector.

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