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It Works for Me

calDear Reader,

In 2015, I will speak at 11 PHP related events. One of the reasons I speak at so many is my reputation as a speaker. The fun part is that to build a reputation as a speaker, you have to speak at a lot of events. See the vicious circle? So how did I get where I am?

Part of it was just dumb luck. Zend needed someone to go speak and I was the one with the date open. A very small amount of it was skill. Over the years I have gotten better because of practice. Most of it however, is persistence. After my first speaking engagement for Zend it was probably a year before I got another one. Between the two engagements, I could have wallpapered a room with the rejection notices. Yet, I kept at it. I kept applying to CFPs, I kept emailing user group leaders and asking if I could come speak. I even pestered local non-technical groups to come let me talk to them. I would go anywhere I could afford and talk on any topic I knew something about. “No” was not in my vocabulary when it came to the question “Can you come speak to us?”. In the past 10 years, I can count on one hand the number of speaking engagements that I have turned down and I regret each one of them.

I get asked my advice for people trying to break into speaking. So I have put some thought into how *I* got into speaking, what I do, how I prepare, and everything I can think of to share with speakers, new and old alike. I am going to share it with those who want to know in a new project I call “It Worked for Me”.

“It Worked for Me” is a one hour on-line meeting where I will explain what I have learned, and then answer any questions that may arise.

In this session I plan on covering:

  • Why do you want to speak?
  • Titling Your Talk
  • Crafting an Abstract That Gets Noticed
  • Ok, You Got Picked, Now What?
  • My Process
    • The Idea
    • Crafting the Code
    • Creating the Slides
  • “Day of” Preparation
  • Post Talk Duties

When:  September 16th, 2:00 PM EST
Where: Online (

“It Worked for Me” is open to anyone, kinda. At the bottom of this page is a form to fill out. If you want to participate, fill out the form. I will review it. If you are selected I will send you an email with a link where you can purchase your ticket.

That is the other thing, it’s not free. “It Worked for Me” is $20 per person. The $20 is to make sure you attend. This won’t be recorded and I am only interested in those who actually want to attend the event live. To prove this isn’t about the money, those that do attend the event will be eligible for $20 discount on anything else I do. (DC4D, Nomad PHP, my books, etc)

Seats are limited. To keep this event small and intimate, I will only be accepting 20 applicants.

Those who pay but do not attend forfeit the $20. Period. Full Stop. If I do a second round, you will have to pay again if you want to attend.

A provision will be made for hardship cases. For most of us $20 means we skip coffee for a couple of days one month. However, it is a significant amount of money for some  people. No one will be turned down simply because they can’t afford to pay.

Will what worked for me work for you? I have no idea. However, I am willing to share what I have learned over the years in the hopes that something will speak to you and help you.

So, want to know what has worked for me? Fill out the form.

Until next time,
I <3 |<

  • Name? First Name? Handle? I don't really care what you put here but I WILL call you this for the entire meetings. Let's stick with names, ok? :)
  • This won't go on any mailing list. Feel free to use a spam catcher as long as you can check it, to retrieve the instruction on how to get your ticket.
  • Why do you want to attend "It Works for Me"?
    No one will be turned away because they can't afford the $20 entry feel. Check this box and if chosen, I will send you a link to participate for free. I will not ask why, this is based on the honor system. I assume that if you check the box, you are being honest about it.