Past speaker shares tips
By Rebecca Long
It’s the final month of the Call for Proposals for the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference 2019! Submissions are due in just a few weeks, so don’t delay!
My journey to speaking
In 2015, I attended the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference for the first time. I went with a small group from my work, and we all greatly enjoyed the talks we went to and the people we conversed with while there. I was overly excited to be at a quality assurance conference surrounded by my peers with similar mindsets, values, and goals in their careers.
While at the conference, my manager encouraged me to present, and so I submitted a proposal in 2016. And was accepted!
I found it to be a supportive process that led to many fantastic connections and new friends. It was my first professional speaking adventure post-graduate school. I was nervous about doing it but am SOOO very glad that I did. I encourage any and all to consider submitting a CFP to PNSQC this year and every year going forward!
I spoke at PNSQC in 2016 and it was a blast! I enjoyed it so much that this year I am volunteering as a reviewer. You might get to work with me on your paper and talk!
The experience I had leading up to presenting at the 2016 conference was a positive one. Organizers will provide so much help and support to prepare you for the conference. You will be assigned reviewers, who will meet with you regularly and help you complete your paper. You will participate in speaker conference calls with organizers to ensure you get important schedule updates and answers to any questions you may have. There is a speaker workshop before the conference starts to help you with last minute preparation and answering your FAQ.
Tips to help prep
From my experience (as shared in more detail in my previous post), here are some quick tips and tricks to help prepare you:
- First of all… be brave! Brave enough to submit your CFP. Be brave to speak and share your story of software quality.
- Have a support system from friends, family, and colleagues to help with feedback, ideas, proofreading, etc.
- Practice your presentation ahead of time with people you trust to give you honest and constructive feedback.
- Get to the conference early and find the room you are designated to speak in. Go check it out, stand in the front or wherever you will be speaking from and get a feel for the layout.
- Try not to make last minute changes to your presentation!
- Buddy system! If possible, bring a friend or colleague with you to the conference for moral support.
- Find a way to start your talk that fits your personality and helps you break into your talk. Especially helpful if you are nervous.
- Look at past papers and presentations from past presenters to get a feel for what’s been done.
- Try to work the conference theme (“A Culture of Quality”) into your topic, presentation, and/or paper.
What are you waiting for?
You still have time to submit your proposal! Get yours in today.
It’s a fantastic conference to attend, and even more, fun to present at!