Thank you for considering me for your event
Before I agree to speak at any conference, meetup, or event, I like to do my research to ensure it aligns with my goals of promoting inclusion and diversity in the tech community.
I love speaking at events, and am so grateful to organizers who ask me
to participate! I feel so privileged to be considered, and want to use
that privilege to help the tech community be as inclusive as possible,
where everyone can feel represented.
If I say no to your event (even if you do all of the below), please don't
take it personally - it's likely because I have a conflict, and am usually
able to partipate in a future event you host.
- I ask that travel to and from the event is provided (assuming it is not local,
I'm currently based in Los angeles)
- I am a member of a bunch of airlines and hotel rewards programs. If
organizers of an event are booking on my behalf, I ask that you use one of
those if possible!
- If I'm booking my own travel/lodging, please reimburse within 30 days of
purchase. I've had poor experiences with this in the past, and prompt
reimbursement ensures I we can spend more time crafting a great
experience for your audience.
- Unless the event is local, please provide lodging for the length of the
- For events outside of the US (or just far away from Los angeles), I ask for
at least one full day of lodging before the event since I'll likely be flying in
a day or two before.
- Same blurb as above, if I'm booking my own lodging!
- I ask for a speaker fee because I value my time (and hope you do too),
and because I want to normalize people getting paid for their work
(especially underrepresented groups).
- For non-profit events, I may choose to waive this based on ticket pricing,
scholarship programs, etc. If in doubt, please reach out - I'm sure we can
work something out
- I ask for a ticket to the full conference with "speaker access" or higher. I
believe audiences have the best experience when speakers are available
after the talk to participate in the conference, engage with other
attendees, and attending talks.
Code of Conduct
- Long story short, you have to have one. It should clearly detail your a
set of rules to ensure the safety and inclusion of all attendees, clear
guidances on where/who to go for help, and it should be enforced for
all. And no, "don't be a jerk," isn't enough.
- If you don't have one, here are a few great examples to inspire you:
JSConfEu and Rust Community
The more diverse the line-up the better
- No tokenism - I shouldn't be the token person of color at an event-
the more diverse your lineup, the better event for all attendees.
- Diverse pespectives * authentic diversity. You lineup needs to feature
people across races, genders, abilities, and more.
- Also, underrepresented minorities shouldn't be exclusively invited to speak about their experiences as a minority in tech.
- I'm cool with being recorded, just let me know ahead of time and send
over the appropriate waiver. If you do not have one, you can download
and use my default waiver. (PDF)
- Although everything I say will be "Safe for Work", I can't guarantee.
that everything I say will be "PG". I believe in being real, and although I will always be respectful, my goal.is to challenge your audience to
think differently and sometimes that means being willing to ruffle a few.
- I typically use keynote if I am using slides. I regularly post my slides on
my speaker page, YouTube, and other social platforms. I can provide a
PDF of my slides for your records and to distribute with attendees
under a creative commons license (specifically C BY-NC-SA 4.0) which
enables anyone to remix and share my work as long as they give
visible credit to me and do not use it for commercial uses without my
Bonus points I would love to see
- Live captioning is incredibly beneficial to those who are hard of hearing,
struggle with focus, or prefer to process written information.
- Gender pronoun identification provided by some method for attendees to
self-identify if they so choose is awesome.
- A scholarship program for those who can't otherwise afford to attend is
huge! Also, to note, be careful about your wording of the scholarship
program. I've seen some rough ones where the conferences strongly imply
that "diverse candidates need charity," which is not a good stereotype to
push out there.
- The ability to use my own computer/setup is preferred as it ensures a
more fluid presentation, however, I'm happy to work with your systems if
they have the relevant software and we have time to rehearse on stage
Thank you so much for reading through all of this! I hope none of
it is particularly surprising, and that it's reasonable for you. I want
to speak at events that are inclusive, diverse, and accessible to
everyone, and hope to contribute to the community surrounding
them. If you disagree with parts of this, or want to discuss terms
more, I would love to speak further.