Speaker Guidelines

Applying to speak

You’re applying to speak at a WordCamp? Great! We appreciate you offering to share your WordPress knowledge with the WordPress community. Here are some things to keep in mind when filling out the speaker application:

  • Yes, you can! Whether you’re a user, designer, or developer, WordCamp is an event where you can share what you’ve learned about WordPress and how you’re working with it.
  • Local first. WordCamps are local-focused events that are asked to shoot for an 80% local / 20% visiting speakers ratio. You might get picked as one of the few out-of-town speakers on a WordCamp schedule, but the chances are smaller the farther you get from home, unless you’re the definitive expert on your proposed topic.
  • Volunteers only. WordCamps are 100% organized and staffed by volunteers, and WordCamps don’t pay speakers or cover speaker travel/accommodations.
  • Share > pitch. WordCamps are educational events, not marketing opportunities, so proposing a product pitch will not get you very far with the speaker selection team.
  • No “pay for play.” WordCamps never, ever provide a speaking opportunity in exchange for sponsorship or anything else. Please don’t ask.
  • Make it unique. WordCamp sessions are all recorded and posted to WordPress.tv for everyone to watch, so it’s redundant to have speakers give the same talk at multiple events. WordCamps pride themselves on having unique content.
  • Tell a story. The web is full of tutorials, and most people won’t remember most of the instructions from your instructional talk in a few days (or hours!). The human brain is hard-wired to be engaged by stories, and WordCamp organizers are looking for sessions that will inspire attendees to do more with WordPress.

Preparing your talk

You were accepted to speak? Exciting! Keep these things in mind when putting together your presentation:

  • WordCamps are open to everyone. That means your audience is liable to include people of all ages, backgrounds, and inclinations. Please keep your presentation G-rated, and try not to make jokes that might alienate anyone in your audience.
  • Capital P, dangit! Please capitalize the P in WordPress. Every time. 🙂
  • No fauxgos, please! Use the real WordPress logo.
  • WordCamps are official events. Most attendees see you, a bonafide WordCamp speaker, as someone who represents WordPress. In your presentation, you’ll want to make sure you only recommend WordPress products or companies that honor the WordPress trademark and embrace the WordPress license.
  • WordCamps are about WordPress. Even if your session doesn’t center on WordPress development or design, your audience is there to learn about working with WordPress. The expectation is that WordCamp speakers whose topics are not WordPress-centric will use examples from WordPress websites/admin/codebase to illustrate their points.
  • Prepare. WordCamps are casual events, and the audience is usually forgiving. However, you were chosen as a speaker over many other applicants, and attendees probably chose to see your presentation over someone else’s. Know your topic, have your slides ready for organizers to review a few weeks before the event, and practice your talk.

As a WordCamp Speaker, you agree to:

  1. I agree that WordCamps are meant to benefit the local WordPress community through live events and the broader WordPress community through the sharing of online video and other materials.
  2. I agree that a WordCamp is a casual, locally- and volunteer-organized event, focused on WordPress and reflecting the local WordPress community it represents.
  3. I understand that WordCamp organizers, speakers, sponsors, and volunteers are expected to support the WordPress project and its principles.
  4. I understand that the principles of the WordPress project include:
    • no discrimination on the basis of economic or social status, race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or disability
    • no incitement to violence or promotion of hate
    • no spammers
    • no jerks
    • respect the WordPress trademark
    • embrace the WordPress license; If distributing WordPress-derivative works (themes, plugins, WP distros), any person or business officially associated with WordCamp should give their users the same freedoms that WordPress itself provides: 100% GPL or compatible, the same guidelines we follow on WordPress.org.
    • don’t promote companies or people that violate the trademark or distribute WordPress derivative works which aren’t 100% GPL compatible
  5. I agree that WordCamps are not-for-profit events, organized with budget and funding transparency.
  6. I agree that WordCamps should be accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of financial status.
  7. I agree that I am not an employee of the WordPress Foundation or any subsidiary of the Foundation, and am participating in WordCamp exclusively as a volunteer.

As a speaker, I agree to this WordCamp AV Release Form:

By participating in WordCamp [City Name], I understand that portions of the event will be photographed and/or audio/video-recorded for use by the WordPress Foundation. I agree that the WordPress Foundation has the right and permission to use and publish such media — which may include my name, likeness, voice, city/state of residence, or photograph — for any purpose in any format, online (including, but not limited to, WordPress.tv and WordCamp.org) and/or offline, now and hereafter without further compensation, permission, or notification. I understand that all official recordings from the event are the exclusive property of the WordPress Foundation, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license for general use, and I do not ask for nor expect compensation or notification of the use of official recordings or photographs in which I appear or speak.