Speaking Tips

Speaking Tips

Giving a Presentation at Write the Docs

Are you giving a talk at this year’s in-person Portland Write the Docs? Great! Here are a few things that may help you plan for preparing and presenting your talk.


  • Your talk will be 30 minutes long. Your talk should cover the entire slot, or close to it.
  • There will be a moderated live Q&A, around 10 minutes long, immediately after your talk.
  • The more you practice your talk, the more comfortable you’ll be when giving it. In addition to practicing by yourself, we strongly recommend you run through it in front of at least one other human.
  • If you want to get some of that sweet internet buzz for your talk, we use the #writethedocs hashtag throughout the event.

Venue specs

The projector is 1920 x 1200 resolution at 60Hz via HDMI, DisplayPort or VGA

Presentation format

If you haven’t spoken before, your time will likely run a bit shorter than when you are practicing.

Here are a couple of great resources for new speakers:

There are a lot of different ways of thinking through making your slides. Idan Gazit, a previous speaker, has written up a great post on how his process works. Yours might not be the same, but it might be useful to think through the process.

For a ton of useful info and links about every step of this process, this article from the one and only Lena Reinhart, is jam-packed with of good advice.

Diversity and inclusivity

We strongly encourage all speakers to check and double-check their talks for any language that might be discriminatory or offensive. Remember that that includes needlessly gendered language (avoid ‘you guys’, for example), ageist language (please no ‘so easy my grandma could do it!’ anecdotes), and any other language that’s presumptive about or exclusive towards the variety of folks who will be in the audience.

Good resources on this include:

Also, we know there’s a ton of nuance and complexity here – just do your best to be aware of and sensitive about your language choices! If you have any doubts about any of your language, feel free to ask us in advance.

Slide display details

Here are a few other tidbits to remember:

  • Make sure that your slides are high contrast. This makes them easier for everyone to read.
  • Include your Twitter handle on your slides, so people can properly attribute your brilliance :)


Please let us know if you have any more questions. Your questions can help make this document better.