The deadline for the call for contributions of JS Kongress is June 18 2018. So there is still time to submit something! This blog post gives tips.

How to submit a talk

There is still time!

Note that it is not necessary to completely finish your talk before submitting it. It’s even useful to do that closer to holding the talk, because your memory will be fresher.

Choosing a topic

The first step is to choose a topic. Here, it helps if you know what kind of talks the people who organize the event are looking for.

JS Kongress focuses on three topics: web, hardware and games. Especially submissions related to the latter two topics are highly appreciated.

If you have any doubts or questions, don’t hesitate to send us an email: speakers AT js-kongress.de

Writing an abstract

Write the abstract first. The following questions can help guide that process, but you may not have to answer each one of them explicitly.

  • What is the talk about?
    It is important to be specific and to focus; you are not going for comprehensiveness in talks, especially in short ones.
  • Who is the talk targeted at? Beginners? Experts? What knowledge is required to understand the talk (apart from basic JS)?
    [It may not be necessary to mention the answer in the abstract. But, even then, figuring it out helps you with writing the abstract.]
  • What does one get out of your talk?
  • How is your talk unique, what makes it better than other talks?

Tips:

  • Save your data somewhere. This protects you against data getting lost, problems while submitting the talk, etc. You may also later get a chance to submit an improved version. Furthermore, it’s useful to keep old abstracts and biographies around, as templates for future talks.
  • Don’t rush it. Write the abstract, leave it alone for a day or two, go over it again. Most conferences don’t let you edit data once you have submitted it, so you must get it right immediately.
  • Stay positive and interesting. Self-critical people have a tendency to sell themselves or their talks short. Don’t do that! The abstract is more like sales pitch than like a contract.
  • Avoid language and spelling mistakes. For example, in a talk about JavaScript, you should not spell it “Javascript”. Obviously, non-native speakers deserve more leniency, but using a spell checker is an absolute minimum.
  • Optimize for quick reading. Be concise with language. Bullet lists can help, too.
  • Direct the abstract at the conference attendees, not at the organizers or the program committee. The abstract will be used in the program, which is why the attendees are your real audience.

Writing a title

Create the title after the abstract. It should give at least a hint what the talk is about. Conference attendees should be able to decide whether or not a talk is for them just by looking at the title. In other words, avoid generic titles such as “What I found out about JavaScript”.

Ideally, the title should also make one curious about the talk, but stating what the talk is about may be enough for that.

Writing a a biography

For part of the review process, submissions are anonymized. Later on, however, biographies will be taken into consideration. Tips:

  • Prior experience: Have you done interesting projects? Other talks? Etc. However, we are also interested in giving newcomers a chance. Therefore, it is also OK to mention that you have never presented before and would like to give it a try.
  • Diversity: If you belong to a group of people that is underrepresented in tech, you can mention that. It is one of the factors we are considering during review.

What’s next?

The program committee consists of 10 people whose names are still to be announced. Reviewing the submissions happens in two steps:

  • First, the reviewers review and grade the submissions. During this step, the submissions are anonymized.
  • Second, the conference organizers take the submissions with the best grades and decide which ones will be accepted for the conference. Here, we take more factors into consideration (is a presenter part of an underrepresented group, etc.).

Why JS Kongress?

Why should you submit a talk for JS Kongress?

  • In 2017, JS Kongress is the largest JavaScript conference in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland).
  • If we reject a talk, we give feedback why it was rejected. So you profit from a submission even if it wasn’t accepted.
  • We strive to create a safe and welcoming atmosphere for everyone. Among other things, this includes keeping conversations civil and constructive.This is our code of conduct. It must be agreed to by all attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at our conference.
  • We help with submissions and slides. Just send us an email: speakers AT js-kongress.de.
  • For talks that we accept, we offer trial runs via Skype to give you feedback.