Proposing a Talk

We’re thrilled you’re interested in speaking at PyTennessee! This page endeavors to help you craft the best proposal possible and help you get your talk accepted to PyTennessee 2020. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that PyTennessee gets more proposals than we can accept and even with a great propsal we can’t guarantee that any individual proposal will be accepted. If you have any questions about your proposal or would like any feedback on your proposal, please feel free to contact the organizers.

If you’d like any information about what it’s like to speak at PyTennessee or what kinds of things are available to PyTN speakers, please see our Speaking Overview page.

Remaining Timeline

Topics and Advice

Acceptable topics at PyTN cover a wide range. As long as your topic can be reasonably seen as relating to Python, it’s a great candidate for a talk. Of course not all talks have to be technical in nature. PyTennessee strives to create a conference with a good balance between technical talks and professional skills talks. Want to talk about Django? Perfect. Want to talk about diversity and inclusion? Excellent. Want to talk about upcoming Python features? We love it. Want to tell people how you use Python to better manage your recipe collection? Please do! PyTennessee prides itself in being a place where speakers can take risks and try out new things. If you think something might make a good talk, then we’re likely to agree with you.

Recent blog posts, tweets, articles, and open source projects can be a great source of inspiration for a talk. Your own experience as a developer is another. Remember, someone will always be where you were 6 months ago, and they’d love to know what you know right now.

Once you’ve picked your topic, you might try reading one or more of the posts linked below. These are blog posts from the Python community about the talk proposal process, and there’s plenty of good advice and information contained within:

Note: some of the articles above are about conferences other than PyTennessee and even languages other than Python, but the lesson contained therein will generalize well to a PyTN proposal.

Speaker Mentoring

If you’ve never given a conference talk before, then PyTennessee is a great place to give your first talk! This year PyTennessee is trying something new: providing speaker mentoring from a professional coach to first-time speakers*! We will have 10 slots available for first time speakers to get feedback and advice on how to make their talks as effective as possible. Once your talk has been accepted, you’ll receive an email from the organizers with a link that will allow you to sign up for a mentoring session with our coach. Speaker mentoring will be a free service provided by PyTennessee, so speakers needn’t worry about their ability to pay for a coaching session.

Generally Good Ideas

Things to Avoid