Pitching to talk at your first WordCamp can be a rollercoaster of emotions. It can be fun, nerve wrecking, frustrating, thrilling, and everything in between. Don’t let it discourage you, as speaking at WordCamps are a ton of fun! WordCamps choose all levels of speakers from the brand new to the seasoned veterans. I have heard some great talks from folks speaking at their very first WordCamp.
Why speak at a WordCamp?
The best reason to speak at a WordCamp is to share just how awesome you are. Everyone has a story to share in the WordPress Community, so you might as well share yours! WordCamps are one to two-day conferences showcasing all aspects of WordPress. WordCamp speakers are chosen based on their pitches and passion for the WordPress Community. All speakers are volunteers and are never paid for their time or their travel from the WordPress Foundation. They do however get great bragging rights and typically a great dinner out of it. Plus, sharing your love and knowledge back to the community is a great feeling.
How do I pitch to a WordCamp?
First of all, you have some leg work to do before you should actually pitch to a WordCamp. You have to go in with a plan of action.
- Come up with a topic (or four)! You have to know what you want to speak on before you can request to speak. The best thing is to talk about your passions in WordPress and what you know. The more love you have for a certain topic, the more it will show in your pitch, and then later in your talk.
If you need inspiration on topics, take a look at previous WordCamps to see what other people have talked on. There are so many options out there that no two talks will ever be alike.
- Write an outline of your talk(s) once you have settled on a subject. The more precise the outline, the easier it will be to write your pitch.
- Now that the outline is done, write your pitch! Make sure your pitch is both informative and fun. Make sure it covers all the basics of what you will be talking about.
- It will need a snazzy title. A fun title can go a long way but you still want to make sure that it is relevant to the talk.
- Also, one of the hardest things for me to do is to write my bio. Bios need to always be written in the third person. They can be witty, informative, professional, or a mix of all the above.
- The last but the most important step, submit your pitch(es) to the WordCamp of your choice!
Now what do I do?
You sit back and relax. All of your hard work is done. Once submissions have been closed, you will receive an email from the WordCamp organizing team letting you know if you have been chosen or not. This can sometimes take a few weeks after the close. Do not worry though. They will always respond. If you are chosen, congratulations!!! If you are not, please do not take it personal and always try again. Even some of the most renowned speakers are turned down for some camps. That is the beauty of WordCamps, you will never have the same conference twice.
- Make.WordPress.org is a great place to look for encouragement on writing your pitch.
- WordCamp Central can show you all of the upcoming WordCamps around the world.
- Use Meetup.com to find your nearest WordPress Meetup.
- My friend Josh Pollock gave some great advice on Tourque