Last week on June 10th, Chiu-Ki Chan hosted the Technically Speaking Droidcon Hangout and spoke with the organizers of Droidcon NYC (Kevin Galligan), Droidcon Stockholm (Erik Hellman), and Droidcon London (Natasha Borsos and Shivam Gadhia). The topic was speaking at Droidcon (which you probably guessed already).
The organizers presented useful info about each conference (submission deadlines, particular events, tickets, etc.). However, what really delighted me was all of the of encouraging and (seriously) empowering general advice about speaking at conferences.
If you want to speak, you should watch/listen to this hangout, even if you are not thinking specifically about Droidcon.
As someone who had wanted to speak, got to speak, and still wants and gets to speak, I had to deal with my own hesitations and questions: "What should my topic be?", "Do I actually have anything to talk about?", "Is my topic interesting enough?", "Is my topic going to get picked?", "Should I submit multiple topics?", "What if I don't get selected?", "What if there are more experienced speakers with the same topic?"
I have also tried to convince other devs to speak and suprisingly (but comfortingly) they felt the exact same way and had the exact same questions.
This hangout directly answers many of these questions, and the conversation between Chiu-Ki, Kevin, Erik, Natasha, and Shivam will hopefully convince you that conferences want you to submit and that you should submit, and that the organizers are other developers who want to and will help you.
For those out there with super short attention spans or just want to scan, I took notes on the different segments of the conversation. Caveat, I did not catch all of the topic-specific questions ("is X a good talk?").
3:39 Hangout officially starts with introductions of the organizers and their Droidcon.
7:53 What topics each organizer would like to see in a broad sense (topics that might not have proposals) and topics that get submitted frequently.
12:36 Kevin talks about how proposal due dates can be more flexible than you think if you have a good topic.
13:06 Submitting proposals for a rapidly changing topic like Android M. Natasha also talks about barcamps, a more ad-hoc way for submitting talk ideas during Droidcon.
16:42 Modifying/updating a less-detailed/early-stage proposal that you already submitting: "updating their things" as they say. Also a little encouragement for people who think they do not have talk ideas.
31:21 Financial support for speaking/traveling.
36:31 Submitting same talk to multiple conferences
37:55 How conferences handle multiple submissions for the same general topic and how to think/submit differently for popular topics.
41:30 Topics not strictly about Android but completely relevant to the community, e.g., open source.
42:39 Percentages of expert vs beginner-friendly talks; Kevin gives advice on advanced but fundamental talks.
44:49 Speaker acceptance announcements for each Droidcon.
46:58 Topic-specific question that leads to a tangent about picking a topic on which you might not be an expert and becoming an expert in that topic before the conference.
48:21 Talking about fundamentals, being passionate about the topic, and making the audience see the interest in a topic. Also making talks fun, weird, interesting.
52:35 Advice for first time speakers
58:43 Session/talk length and how to use the time.
1:00:00:10 Last bits of info about each Droidcon
If You Want to Speak, Go for It!
That pretty much sums it up.