Talk Development Program

How do you make one? What are some things I should do on the first call with my speaker, or with my editor? This page will answer that and so much more!

Gathering Information

  • What's the title of your talk, will you describe it for me?
  • Why are you interested in speaking at SUPCONF?
  • How do you feel about Public Speaking? What are you feelings on it?
  • How do you like to prepare, how would you prepare for this?
  • How long do you think it would take you to do the preparation for the actual speaking side?
  • What about the content side? (Delving into the topic, gathering knowledge, etc)
  • When do you want to start working on your talk?
  • What is your schedule like before the event?
  • What do you think will be your biggest challenge(s)

If you can't think of any, here are some things that you might find challenging!

* Creating an outline

* Distilling the bulk of the knowledge into sizeable chunks

* Focusing on the message

* Translating the message into a narrative


You've got questions, we've got answers.

  • How long should my talk be?

Talks should be 15-20 minutes in length

  • Can I stand on the stage before everyone gets there?

You'll have a chance to explore the stage, test the mic and see the space! You'll need to show up a bit early, but you'll be given the time to get a feel for it!

How Does This Process Work?

There are always several ways to get something done. The key thing is to establish structure around the process that works for both the speaker and the editor.

Here's an idea: Figure out when the talk should be ready by and work backwards to establish milestone dates Establish the story of your talk - don't jump from bullet to bullet. Find the narrative Establish the key takeaways or action items. Think about which parts of your talk are more applicable, or easier for the audience to take back to their companies. Just get to a starting point re: content. Nothing needs to be set in stone! Do an audio recording (vs writing it down first) Say what you're going to say, and iterate on that. Writing it down is good, but that doesn't translate to speaking 100% of the way. Audio recordings are a big step closer to giving an actual talk, plus it's great practice! Give feedback to your speaker Play the speaker's audio recording, and set up your own recording. Pause their talk and give live "off the cuff" feedback. Send them this recording This approach allows for rapid iteration. Iterate Practice! Get a feel for what's working, what's not working and start narrowing it down

Breakout Sessions

Cover what the breakout session is, but focus on the talk first. After the talk is "ready to go", come up with a breakout session plan. You should not be spending most of your time on the breakout. What can you do in your breakout session that relates to your talk/topic? A slide giving an overview about what you'll be doing/covering may be useful Ideas: An exercise or activity A lesson or thing to learn Maybe some extra points you want to cover


These points should be covered in brief during your initial call. For more in-depth information about slides, resources for slides, how to make a deck and more, check out the Slides section in this very wiki.

In the past, talk editors have not been responsible for slide decks for talks, but we've given pointers or resources on creating decks. At previous SUPCONFs, talk editors have created the after talk prompt slides.

Each talk will need a final "Key Takeaways" slide. It may be useful to have a "breakout session" slide. We'll provide an opening "intro slide" for you!


We want to come up with a plan that works for both the speaker and the editor. Asking when the speaker is available/wants to start working on their talk can give a great jumping off point to work out a schedule. Milestones that could be on the schedule: Draft of talking points A "first draft" talk-through recording of those talking points Several iterations (these may not need to be "scheduled") Presenting to co-workers, or an audience who has not been involved in the development of the talk. First draft of slide deck Final slides Talk is ready to go Start thinking about breakout session ideas


Ask if your speaker has any questions about Talk Program Breakout Sessions About speaking at SUPCONF Let the speaker know about the Speaker Organizer dinner on Sunday, 3/19. 7pm, Restaurant TBD Do a quick recap of what you'll be emailing them about Action Item: the talk editor will send a follow up email with the items that were discussed and agreed to in the call Action Item: the talk editor will send calendar invites according to the schedule discussed. These should be editable by the speaker, too, for flexibility.


Did you and your speaker talk about:

  • Does your speaker know what their talk is about?
  • How often you'll be in contact, and how to get in contact with each other
  • What they should be doing
  • What you should be doing
  • Did you and your speaker get some dates on the calendar?
  • Is everything in a reference document?
  • Are there any outstanding questions?
  • What are you waiting for, let's get to talkin'!