Speakers

KnoxBUG welcomes speakers of all experience levels to present topics of interest to the BSD community. Our meetings are an excellent opportunity for speakers on technical topics who haven't spoken in other environments. Of course, we also welcome those who do have long histories of public speaking on technical topics.

Please keep in mind that KnoxBUG meetings contain people of varying technical degress of expertise. But most speakers have found that the audiences can be technically challenging beyond the usual technical user group norm.

Most importantly, please note that we do not accept presentations with sales pitches or focused on proprietary software. Respect your audience. We are all volunteers, and to have KnoxBUG attendees spend an evening listening to sales talks or to hear about software that is not friendly to the open source community is not appreciated.

Process

  1. Attend at least a few KnoxBUG meetings. There's no better way to understand the audience than by being an attendee.
  2. Come up with an idea for a topic.
  3. Submit that topic to [ damianos at knoxbug dot org ] 
    • Short Title
    • Talk description paragraph
    • Your biography paragraph
  4. Feel free to discuss your meeting with admins on our irc channel (#knoxbug on freenode). We are here to help in every way possible. We are a very useful resource and can assist you in understanding the audience, how to make the topic relevant or accessible, and so on.

Topics

Appropriate meeting topics including the following:

  1. Directly *BSD-related, covering any or all of the BSD Unixes. While meetings often are about one BSD or another, consider incorporating similarities or other approaches from other BSDs.
  2. General Unix topics that are relevant to the BSDs are also appropriate. KnoxBUG prides itself in maintaining the rich history and approaches of Unix into its meetings. We consider the BSDs a continuation of the classical Unix tradition, and meeting topics in that vein are always welcomed.
  3. Specific relevant software packages that are relevant to our meeting participants can be appropriate in some cases. However, we are not looking for boring presentations that cover "make install then edit the config" meetings. These are uninspiring and generate little discussion. Illustrate the problems, the tweaks, the non-traditional implementations, or more generally, the angles that set the presentation apart from reading a how-to.

Once approved, communicate with admin

  1. We want to post your slides. Either email the slides or an external link to the presentation.
  2. Your meeting may be recorded. If you prefer not to to have it recorded, tell us before the meeting.
  3. Meeting locations usually have a digital projector; however be sure to tell us if it is required, and be sure to bring any appropriate video adapters.
  4. Meeting locations usually have internet access, however be sure tell us if it is required.
  5. Finally, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Slides

  1. Slides are strongly encouraged for presentations.
  2. If you need guidance creating effective presentation slides, take a look at slides from past KnoxBUG meetings. Here are just a few tips:
    • Show up at the meeting location early enough to test your hardware compatibility and to prepare for your presentation.
    • Avoid screen resolutions higher than 800x600, and be sure to test that before the meeting with your laptop. Higher resolutions are often difficult to read in many meeting locations.
    • Aim for font sizes equal to, or greater than, 16 point for 800x600.
    • Begin with a brief introduction. Then present the information. Finally review important points.
    • It is often more effective to have bulleted points appear one at a time so the audience listens to the presenter rather than reading the screen.
    • Limit the number of colors and fonts, and the amount of information, on a single screen. It may not look right through a projector.
    • Check spelling and grammar.

General Presentation Tips

  1. Speak slowly and clearly.
  2. Not all locations will have a microphone, so be prepared to speak up.
  3. Do not turn your back to the audience.
  4. Avoid reading bullet points directly from the slides; rather, the text should be a cue for the presenter to discuss the message.
  5. When answering questions, please repeat them so that the rest of the attendees can follow the discussion.
  6. When answering questions, stay on topic. Dismiss extraneous tangents with an offer to contine the discussion after the talk.