🤘 CFP Workshop Wrap up

You might’ve seen that we hosted our first CFP workshop on the weekend and in short, it was a lot of fun!

People having fun

Presentation underway

But not everyone could make it, we understand that, so I wanted to share some of our top tips when it comes to creating a talk submission, a talk itself and also how to handle rejection. If you want to grab the slides from the weekend you can find them here.

Submitting a talk

When it comes to submitting a talk there are three key pieces to it:

  1. The title of the talk
  2. The abstract of the talk
  3. Your presenter bio

So what’s the DDD Sydney’s top tips for this?


You shouldn’t just a book by its cover, but when it comes to a talk the first thing that people will see is the title, so you want it to be catchy. BUt how do we do that?

Abstract body

This is where you can really show off, but try not to be wordy. We’d recommend that you aim to have 2 - 3 paragraphs in your abstract, anything less than that and you might not have enough detail in it, more than that and people might not read it all.

A good abstract should continue the theme of your title and bring home the point of what you’re the best person to talk about your topic. Are you sharing a real world experience and the lessons you learnt? Will you be demonstrating a project that tackles a problem?

6 months ago we decided that we would undertake a new project using some tech. We hadn’t been using this yet within our business but some of us had looked at it and did a small spike so we decided to invest in it.

Over the time that we used it we’ve learnt that lesson one, two, n. If we had our time again we might have more insights.

In this talk we’ll have a look at what it takes to get started, how something happens and do another thing.

Your bio

Your presenter bio is the hardest part to write, in our opinion, because it’s where you have to really present yourself and why you’re the right person to talk about a topic, through your experience and background. Keep it short, we don’t need your life history, and think about whether you want to have a bit of humor in it.

Swearing in your title/abstract

One of our attendees asked the question yesterday of whether you should swear in your talk or abstract. This is a naturally touchy subject, some people are against it, some people are indifferent to it.

Here at DDD Sydney we’d suggest that you avoid that kind of language. There are was which you can express your intent and emotion without overly abrasive language.

Handling Rejection

Unfortunately not every talk can make it into a conference, there’s always the chance you’ll get rejected. I’ve been rejected more times than I can count from events, and it always sucks. But it’s not the end of the world, don’t take the rejection personally. Instead use it as a learning opportunity. Speak to your friends and colleagues, ask them to have another look at your submission to get some feedback. Have a look at the sessions that did get accepted, maybe there was a lot of content on your topic already, or maybe the event is going for a different audience than your target.

Tracy Osborn has a really good post on rejection that you should read.

Wrapping up

We’re hoping that this is a thing that we can do more often, at least during each years CFP!

But more importantly I hope this inspires you to submit a talk, our CFP is still open so why not submit a talk, what have you got to loose!