Living in a time where we can get “infinite” amounts of information online, it is all the more important that we keep in mind the preciousness of time spent together.
At the LGM, we have some of the best specialist in our topics, both as attendees and fellow presenters, and we always hope that all of them contribute to the LGM with inspiring talks. This means that talks like “the last 10 years of the project I have been involved in and what we plan to do next” is useful info to share online, but such a focus rarely makes for an engaging talk. It’s not that the information is not interesting, but it’s not what most of us want to hear in a place where the best people are in a room, both in the audience and on stage.
So we would like to remind all presenters to keep a tight focus for your presentation, foregrounding aspects that will allow for lively engagement. Keep in mind that your audience is full of other specialists – including developers, designers, and educators -, many of whom have attended multiples LGMs and expect well-focused talks. Then there are always people new to LGM, interested in what the community is all about, and people from the general free software community. All of them benefit from lively, engaging presentations.
As you prepare, please check if your talk / presentation focuses on a specific topic. Many of us know about the many conflicts and controversies across open source and free software networks, so talks do well to point us toward collaborative futures rather than telling us what many of us probably already know.