Become a Speaker

Call for speakersA really great WordCamp needs to offer a wide variety of talks and discussions about and around WordPress. To make WordCamp Ottawa great we are looking for people excited about WordPress to show our attendees a good time and teach them stuff.

This page explains what is involved in being a WordCamp Ottawa speaker. If you would like to speak at the next WordCamp, please complete an application form on the Speaker Application page.

Application deadline: 6pm (EST), Friday March 8th, 2013.

Why speak?

Presenting at WordCamp takes some work but is very rewarding. You get to show off how smart you are, convince people you’re worth hiring and help make everyone smarter about WordPress, all at the same time.

Speaking at WordCamp takes time, effort and love that is worth much more than the cost of a ticket.  Speakers receive free attendance to WordCamp, but you will probably find that the satisfaction of participating and teaching others is more rewarding than the money you save on admission.

What we’re looking for:

The ideal speaker has a WordPress-related topic they are passionate and informed about that they can present with coherent slides and explanations.  You don’t need to be a professional speaker. But you do need to be comfortable presenting. You could have two hundred people hanging on your every word. So make sure you’re comfortable speaking to a crowd, and make sure you know your stuff.

Our goal with every session is to educate. Your topic should be something generally interesting about WordPress: how to do something, pitfalls involved in some element of WordPress, advice about WordPress etc. We know you want to show us what you’ve made with WordPress and we want to see it, so include it in your presentation as an example of what you’re talking about. Also make sure to explain how you did it, or what you learned in the process. Give us some code examples or 10 important lessons you learned with tips to avoid the problems you encountered. You can do this via a case study, a live or scripted example, or any number of ways. But this isn’t time to promote your business, your custom plugin, or the theme you’re about to release.

See the topic ideas section below for example topics and ideas if you’re not sure what to present.

We reserve the right to turn down talks we don’t think are appropriate, sorry. Hopefully we can work out a relevant presentation idea together if there are problems with your initial proposal.

Users, designers, and developers are all welcome!  We want as much diversity as possible in our talks, and are looking for all kinds of speakers. We’re hoping to avoid a code-saturated conference just as much as we dread 5 talks in a row about SEO. We are planning 2 tracks of presentations, “Content Creators” with a set of presentations that will help new users, bloggers & business owners, and “Code Creators” that will include presentations about site set-up, theme design, plugin development, best practices for development, and more.

The general fields we are hoping to cover include:

  • Using WordPress to create websites and blogs.
  • Using WordPress to design and build websites.
  • WordPress plugin and core development and systems administration.

See the topic ideas section below for specific example presentations.

So please, send us your ideas! Nothing is too hardcore, advanced, simple or beginner. We want the full range. If you are an advanced or intermediate user please also remember that even though you think something is obvious there are lots of WP fans out there who don’t even know about it! You should teach what you know, so pick something you think is easy and impress the noobs :).


WordCamp talks are usually 45 minutes long, with a few minutes for questions afterward. We are also open to shorter presentations if they sound good, so please let us know on your application if your talk would work better with a different length.

Slides help people understand you. We assume that all talks will be accompanied by visual slides to be projected behind the speaker, preferably in PowerPoint format for convenience sake.

Applying to speak

You can submit as many session proposals as you like but we reserve the right to select which topic(s) we’d like you to speak on.

We only accept speaking applications in the months leading up to WordCamp, so at any given moment there may not be a way to apply.

Note that the Ottawa WordPress Group meets on a regular basis, so if you want to speak soon contact the group through meetup or at

Topic ideas

Here’s a list of topics we’d love to see at any WordCamp. These are just examples! Tell us what you want to present about that isn’t on the list and we’ll love you, but if you’re stuck and can’t think of something why not tackle one of the talks below? If you want to use one of these ideas you can change/add/remove whatever you want to make it just right for you.

Content creator topics:

  • Finding the perfect themes for a WordPress site.
  • The best/most popular/must use plugins for a WordPress site.
  • Blogging for business websites.
  • New features in version 3.x
  • Attracting community and readers to your site.
  • Writing for the web and blogs.
  • Case studies of large projects with lessons learned.
  • Security
  • Typography
  • UX Principles & User Experience Design
  • SEO
  • Social media for your WordPress site

Code Creator topics:

  • Design advice for WordPress sites.
  • CSS tips for WordPress.
  • Editing themes and using template tags.
  • Creating themes or child themes (intro or in-depth).
  • Creating plugins (intro or in-depth).
  • GPL/Free Software and what it means for WordPress plugins and themes.
  • Intro to Apache/MySQL optimization.
  • Developer tools/setups.
  • Custom Post Types and Taxonomies
  • Security

If you would like to speak at the next WordCamp, please complete an application form on the Speaker Application page.


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