[kwlug-disc] Presentation topics and descriptions

Richard Weait richard at weait.com
Sat Dec 26 00:02:14 EST 2009

We have most of 2010 scheduled and posted on the web site.  Many would
say, "That's great" and they would be right.  Many would continue and
say, "That's enough" and I say "nonsense."

We've been batting around a couple of ideas regarding who is KWLUG and
who is the audience for KWLUG.

I suggest that the web site kwlug.org is the most-public face of KWLUG
and that the Upcoming Meetings page is the main point of interest on
the web site.  I suggest that the next meeting agenda and topic "Is
KWLUG" in the eyes of anybody who is new to KWLUG.  I'm simplifying
and missing edge cases.  Sue me.

So, when I look at the schedule as a KWLUG regular, I say, "Awesome
line-up.  2010 is going to be great."  But it can be argued that I, as
a KWLUG Regular, am not the intended audience for the web site.

Hunh?  What are you on about, Richard?

If I look at the schedule now, and ask, "Who cares?" the answer is a
little narrow.  The only people who care about our current
presentation topic abstracts[1] are people who already know what
$PROGRAM is, and what $PROGRAM does.

I think that our talented speakers, who generously offer their time
and expertise, are worth more attention than the narrow audience I've
imagined can provide.  And I think that a better abstract is a great
way to reach out to the rest of the World and say, "Hey, this KWLUG
thing tonight sounds interesting."

Compare and consider the following:

$SPEAKER will provide an overview of the $PROGRAM


Have you ever $PROBLEM ?  $SPEAKER had enough of $PROBLEM and is going
to tell us how to fix it.  Prepare to be delighted and amazed as you
learn the Top Ten ways that $PROGRAM can reduce $HARD_STUFF, eliminate
$BORING_STUFF, and $SAVE_YOU_MONEY.  The presentation will cover
$SUB_TOPIC_1, ... $SUB_TOPIC_n and is suitable for

The second sounds a lot more "salesy" and I apologize.  You don't need
to sound salesy.  Use your own "voice."

Try to answer some of the following questions with your abstract:

Who / What / When / Where / Why / How
Who is the presentation for?
What is the problem?
Why is this important?
When should I consider this?
Where is the solution?
( How might just be the body of your presentation.  )

You might even consider answering these same questions in more detail
for your presentation.  You know the answers.  You have to consider
them as you prepare your talk.  But ask yourself these questions
aloud, and add some of the answers to your abstract.  Your abstract
might be the one that intrigues the super-cool person to attend KWLUG
for the first time.

If you are having trouble drafting an abstract, try answering the
questions above and ask the list, or somebody on the list, to help you
edit it.

[1] I'm being a little unfair. Some of the current abstracts do offer
more than just the name of $PROGRAM.

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