Frequently Asked Questions about Speaking

If you’ve never spoken at a WordCamp, or just want confirmation that you are awesome and eligible to submit a talk, here are the answers to all your questions!

Q: What are the qualifications to speak?

A: The only qualifications are that you follow the Code of Conduct and sign the WordCamp agreement (which says you follow the open source standards and only promote 100% GPL content) and A/V Release. We do not require previous speaking experience, so as long as your topic is relevant to WordPress in some way and you feel that you have new or important knowledge to impart on our attendees, you are more than qualified!

Q. Do I need to be a good programmer or designer to speak?

A. Nope! In fact, we love to see talks from people who don’t actually make their living creating WordPress. In the past years, we’ve had business law and finance professionals, mental health experts, and marketing gurus give amazing presentations that were the talk of the camp! If you have a topic that would benefit people who create things on the internet or run an internet-based business, we’d love to hear from you.

Q: Are speakers paid?

A: Because WordCamps are non-profit events and heavily driven by sponsorships, we cannot pay our speakers or offer travel accommodations. However, we do show our appreciation with social media shout-outs, a sweet VIP party, and special swag when the budget permits. Plus you get our love and adoration, and isn’t that compensation enough?

Q: Can I submit more than one talk?

A: Absolutely! We always end up with more speakers than we have time for, but some of the talks not picked are held as back-ups in the event of a last minute speaker cancellation. So we encourage you to submit multiple talks to increase your chance of being selected and also give us a good variety of topics.

Q. How long should I be prepared to speak?

A. Your talk should fit within 30-45 minutes, ideally 30 minutes with 15 minutes for questions. Our schedule is made up of 3 separate tracks with each session lasting an hour long. The last 15 minutes are made to clear the room and make way for attendees and speakers to get where they need to be before the next session.

Q: When will I know if I was picked to speak?

A: We hope to make the decisions by the end of August and get the schedule up in the first or second week of September, along with ticket sales (if you’re speaking, the ticket is on us!). If you can only make one day of the conference, let us know when you get your acceptance letter and we’ll try to schedule you accordingly.

Q: Can sponsors also speak?

A: Yes! However, speakers are chosen by the merit of their topic, not by sponsorship or affiliation with WCORL. Therefore, you are not guaranteed a spot to speak if you sponsor. To improve your chances, submit several talks on topics you think would be useful for a wide user base.

Q: Who will see my presentation?

A: More people than you think! All of our talks are recorded and posted to WordPress.tv where they are often subtitled in several different languages to reach more users. If you provide us with your slides, we can run them simultaneously with the video.

If you have a question we haven’t answered, e-mail orlando@wordcamp.org or tweet @WordCampOrlando and we’ll get back to you ASAP!