Need A Good Topic So You Can Apply To Speak At WordCamp?

Help Choosing Speaking Topic

WordCamp Sacramento is happening September 16-17, 2017 at the Sacramento Convention Center and we’re expecting the largest attendance yet.

The event details are coming together and I am so excited about this year’s event! So many awesome things are in the works, like a WordPress contribution day and an all day Beginner Track, actually teaching attendees how to use WordPress.

The Call For Speakers opened last week and I have already heard from several members of our community that they are interested in applying to speak, but aren’t sure what topic would be best. Well don’t fret! We have some ideas.

Topics We’re Specifically Looking For

In the summer of 1967, more than 100,000 people converged in San Francisco’s neighborhood Haight-Ashbury, and many other groups gathered across the United States, in Canada, and in Europe, all to create social change and embrace equality. This social and cultural phenomenon was called The Summer of Love.

During this transformative time, creativity flourished, there was an emphasis on sharing and community, and there was a feeling that anything was possible. The message sent to the world was one of love, peace, understanding, freedom, compassion, and respect.

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love and we’re looking for talks that embrace the same message — Peace, Love, And WordPress.

California’s state capitol, Sacramento is home to a large number of non-profits, consumer groups, associations, groups for social change, and political action groups, as well as the many design, advertising, public relations, marketing, and public affairs firms that serve them.

For 2017, we’re specifically looking for talks that can help members of these organizations use WordPress to further their causes and help more people.

While this list doesn’t cover all topics we’d love to see submitted, we’d love talks related to any of the following topics:

  • WordPress For Non-Profits: Website best practices, collecting donations, increasing donations online
  • WordPress For Associations: Managing memberships, membership levels, payments and dues, profiles
  • WordPress for Coaches And Consultants: Solutions for selling information products, showing testimonials
  • BuddyPress
  • WordPress Multisite: use cases, examples, why you would want to or not want to use multisite
  • WordPress Security
  • Custom Post Types: When to use a custom post type, case studies, examples, and use cases, thinking behind it
  • Using REST API: Use cases and examples
  • Selling With WordPress: E-commerce solutions, best practices
  • WordPress As A Headless CMS: Using WordPress for the back-end and a non-WordPress front-end
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • UX Design
  • Website Content Strategy, Blogging Strategy
  • WordPress Theme Design: How to choose the right theme, custom theme design process, considerations for designing a commercial theme
  • Design: Typography best practices, imagery sourcing and usage, tips for working with a designer/developer, creating a style guide
  • Tools And Resources: Comparing plugins that all do the same thing, design tools and resources, content tools and resources
  • WordPress Performance
  • Problem Solving: Identify a common problem WordPress site owners have and provide solution options
  • Deep Dive: Do a deep dive into using a specific plugin or completing a specific development task

How To Increase Your Chances Of Being Selected To Speak

While we would love to give everyone who applies the opportunity to speak, but if we did, the event would be a week long! Here are a few tips to help increase the chances that your talk is selected:

  • Spell WordPress correctly (capital_P_dangit)!
  • When writing the topic description, include an overview of what you’ll be sharing and what attendees will learn — write it as if this were the final description in the event program and an attendee is trying to decide between your session and another.
  • Mention in your bio why you’re qualified to speak about this topic — beginners are welcome, we’d love to hear what you have learned or experienced first-hand.
  • Steer clear of topics that sound salesy or hype-ish and topics that mention killing it, crushing it, and making tons of money.
  • Remember that this is a WordPress-centric conference. Talks should be about using WordPress, improving WordPress projects, solving problems with WordPress or plugins, pushing the limits of WordPress, third-party integrations with WordPress, etc. Talks may also be about ways users can do more with WordPress, improve their WordPress sites, increase traction/conversions, or improve design. Think about things WordPress website owners struggle with or find challenging.
  • If you submit a talk on marketing, sales, business, or social media, make a point to include in your description how this ties into or relates to WordPress.
  • Follow the instructions outlined in the Call For Speakers.

Your Talk Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated

When too much information is crammed into a talk, attendees tend to feel overwhelmed. But when a talk includes enough information to provide actionable items, but not too much, attendees associate more value with the talk and feel like they can take action.

This means your talk doesn’t have to bee complicated. Some of the best WordCamp talks I have seen — and I have been to A LOT of WordCamps — are the ones that solve one specific problem, keep it simple, provide a solution, and leave time for Q&A.

Here’s an example of a highly focused talk and description that is helpful to attendees (One I would love to see at WordCamp!):

  • TOPIC:
    How To Pick (And Use) Great Images For Your Website And Blog
  • DESCRIPTION:
    If you’ve ever struggled with sourcing images, creating unique brand images, and using images on your WordPress site or blog, this talk is for you. In this session, we’ll cover best practices for using photos on your website and blog, considerations for mobile devices, how to create attention-getting, on-brand images, and how to optimize images for speed and search engines. You’ll also walk away with a list of awesome resources to source images and graphics.

Here’s another example:

  • TOPIC:
    How To Choose The Right Form Plugin
  • DESCRIPTION:
    From contact forms and lead generations forms, to booking forms, project inquiry forms, and surveys, almost every website in the world uses at least one form. But which form solution is the right one for you? In this session, we’ll explore different types of forms commonly used on websites and blogs and a few unique form use cases. We’ll also examine and compare the most popular WordPress form plugins and their capabilities to help you choose the best form plugin for your needs.

Also, remember, you can check out WordPress.tv and search for talks given by others on the same or a similar topic to get an idea on how to shape or structure your talk.

Get Help Writing Your Topic Title And Description

If you’ve got an idea for a WordCamp talk and want some help crafting a title and description, let us know! Contact us to schedule a time to connect. We’d love to help out!

Apply To Speak Today!

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