The deadline to apply to speak at WordCamp Seattle 2017 is sneaking up on us FAST. All applications are due by midnight, this Saturday, August 5th.
We’ve got one more little gem to share with you to get you thinking about applying.
We interviewed one of our standout speakers from last year, Kristin Kinnamon. Her WordCamp session was about Usability Schmoozabillity: 5 Tips to Make Your Website Work for Customers. And she has a compelling success story to share and some bits of advice as a direct result of her WordCamp session…
WCSEA: What made you decide to apply to speak at WordCamp?
KRISTIN: I am passionate about website usability and accessibility. Making a website easy to learn and use is not just the responsibility of the web developer or of the content provider or of the graphic designer or business or website owner. We all have a part. Since I only have responsibility for some parts of a website, I need to evangelize to succeed.
WCSEA: What did you enjoy most about speaking at WordCamp?
KRISTIN: Speaking at WordCamp makes you part of the “in” crowd. I enjoyed meeting other speakers at the hosted happy hour. I enjoyed fielding questions from the audience after my presentation – it makes you realize where your arguments or knowledge is weak and where you need to add more explanation. I also enjoyed the day when I didn’t speak and could just be a participant – but one who had access to the speakers room. Very handy.
WCSEA: What benefits did you reap from your speaking opportunity?
KRISTIN: After my presentation, another speaker – the owner of a web development company – followed up with me about a client he was working with who needed an ADA accessible website. That conversation in October translated into an early morning phone call in January from a bank in the Midwest (7 a.m. our time!). Eventually, the bank hired me to do an ADA accessibility review of their website, which I just completed last week.
Not only did my presence as a speaker at WordCamp get me that job, it also got me help with that project. Because I took time during the conference to network, I knew that Mark Root-Wiley was a WordPress developer with experience in ADA accessibility. So I hired him to give me some technical backup – and confidence in my findings.
WCSEA: Any interesting lessons or advice you would offer?
KRISTIN: Speaking at a conference is not the time to wing it. I have been a Toastmaster (a speaking group), and practiced part of my presentation with them. I also did a run-through at the Seattle WordPress Meetup. WordCamp provided speaking tips and videos.
Think about conferences you’ve attended, and the speakers who were great, or not so great. Try to emulate the good ones, but also remember to be yourself. My first WordCamp, one of the best sessions was done without a PowerPoint by an unassuming guy who spoke from his notes. Really well-crafted notes. Some people are really theatrical or talented with graphics or like to move around the room. Know what works for you, and go with your strengths.
If that doesn’t get your raring to apply to be a speaker, I don’t know what will. So don’t delay…
Deadline for submissions is SATURDAY, AUGUST 5th.