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Ben Ramsey: Writing an Effective Talk Proposal

Note: This article was originally published at PHPDeveloper on 20 April 1932.
PHPDeveloper

if you've ever considered contributing to a PHP (or any other technology conference) but weren't sure about how to even get started writing up a proposal for a session, you should check out this recent post from Ben Ramsey with a good guide (and some advice experienced speakers could use too).

Earlier today, I was asked "Any tips on how to write a proposal for a major conf?" I've never shared tips on this, and since the calls for proposals for Sunshine PHP and Midwest PHP both end tomorrow, I thought it would be a good idea to share my approach to writing conference proposals. Remember those standard, five-paragraph essays you used to write in high school? Remember how you thought they sucked and wouldn't provide any practical benefit to your life? Well, it turns out they do have some redeeming qualities.

He suggests that this "five paragraph essay" format helps you not only come up with a more fleshed out, full idea but also can provide you with the abstract to submit to the conference (possibly the first paragraph). He mentions the need for a "hook" and finishing off with an opinion that's the basis of the talk. He also has a reminder of a few things - don't talk down, don't use negative language and try not to use absolutes.