Go speak - resources for potential speakers

Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much
-Helen Keller
mountie gopher

The Go programming language marked its ninth anniversary in 2018 since it was first publicly announced. Both the language and the community took off 🛫, with no signs of slowing down.

Check out Nine years of Go for a brief reflection. Incredible, right?!

Whether you’re a newcomer, part of the core team, or a long time enthusiast, there is a role we all play to foster a community that welcomes new ideas and people in this complex and crazy field.

GoCon Canada would like to do its part in helping all feel welcome and build a sense of community.

In this post..

  • discuss a few reasons potential speakers don’t submit proposals
  • provide some of our favorite resources from the web that relate to conference proposals and speaking

Not submitting a proposal because..

I’m not an expert

And guess what?! That’s exactly why you, yes you, should be submitting a proposal.

Some incredible talks have been given by folks who told a story of their pitfalls and their journey towards a potential solution. They were not experts, but storytellers.

These talks not only benefit others who face similar challenges, but additionally enable the greater community, language and package maintainers to get valuable feedback.

  • Did we make the API too complex? Are there not enough examples?
  • Should we add documentation, update the FAQ?
  • Should we follow up on the user report with a blog post or short video?

At GoCon Canada we’d like to encourage participation from non-experts, because for the Go community to be more than the sum of its parts, each part must make an effort to understand and teach the whole.

You do not need to be an expert to give a conference talk!

Your talk.

Your story.

Your experience.

It matters.

I’m not good at public speaking

It’s scary. It’s nerve-racking. Jitters and butterflies. You start talking, the only voice in the room is yours, mind starts racing and all the attention is on you.

Let’s stop there, and take a few steps back.

It is inevitable most of us will experience such emotions prior to public speaking. But the good news is that “feeling” of putting yourself out there can be mitigated to an extent.

At a recent TED talk the famous rock climber, Alex Honnold, describes how he mentally prepared for a 3,000-foot vertical ascent of El Capitan. What’s the big deal? He did it with no harness; just climbing shoes, a t-shirt and a chalk bag.

The take away from his success is the result of tremendous preparation ahead of time.

alex honnold chalk hands
alex honnold top of mountain

So what does this have to do with anything? You too can overcome that initial hurdle of public speaking by being well prepared.





Very few of us go up on stage and “wing it”. We practice in front of the mirror, co-workers, family, friends, etc. Over and over.

Knowing the topic and practicing ahead of time gives you the strength to overcome those initial butterflies and jitters. So when you do go up on stage there will be a sense of confidence and sheer excitement to share that which you are passionate about!

Just remember, you have a story to tell, an experience to share, and folks are genuinely interested in what you have to say.

Resources from the web

We collected a few relevant bits from the world wide web that may help you. There is a lot of great content out there and many, many really amazing people want to see you succeed.

A great place to start is the Resources for New Speakers wiki, which contains links to blog posts and videos with tips and helpful insights.

Again, there are folks within the Go community that want to help you, check out the Contact Us section on the golang wiki. Alternatively, reach out to us at speakers@gocon.ca and we’ll do our best to help. Why?

Carolyn Van Slyck wrote a great post on why you should submit a talk to GopherCon (and you totally should!). We highly recommend you check it out because it’s a great resource.

Aaron Schlesinger also had a great post for the upcoming GOPHERCON 2019 CFP OMG!. The general concepts are relevant for all.

We’ll leave you with this:

Why GoCon Canada?

We want to ensure new speakers, students of the language and veterans alike, aren’t discouraged from submitting proposals for any reason. Reach out at speakers@gocon.ca.

GoCon Canada is a registered nonprofit community group, run by a bunch of Go enthusiasts from 🇨🇦.