You’ve considered speaking at a meetup and decided to go for it. Great! Now what? Here’s the process we often use for WordPress Pittsburgh — from idea to event.
Set the Meetup Topic
The first step is usually a discussion (via email) about what topic(s) you (the presenter) are interested in speaking about. A good topic:
- Is something you are knowledgeable or passionate about
- Is about WordPress or related to websites in some way (marketing, analytics, etc.)
- Can be for any audience (beginner, intermediate or advanced)
Set the Meetup Details
Once a topic is decided, the next step is to set the details.
- What is the official title and description of the meetup?
- A good title is descriptive, not too long and entices people to want to check it out
- A good description states what will be covered in the meetup, who the meetup is for, what (if any) requirements there are for the meetup (prior knowledge, specific software or tools, etc.) and a bit about the speaker
- How long will the meetup be? Meets are normally 45 minutes + 15 minutes for Q&A (1 hour total) to 1.5 hours with 30 minutes for Q&A (2 hours total)
- What’s a good date and time? Our group generally meets in the evenings but can also accommodate weekend meetups
- Where will the meetup be held? At this point we’re still meeting online, so this question is easy. But when meetups return in person, the organizer will arrange a convenient venue
Post and Promote the Meetup
After the details are ironed out, the organizer will post to meetup.com (about a month in advance). They will also announce the meetup to the group — this sends an email out to all group members. RSVP to the meetup and keep an eye out to see if anyone posts questions on the event that you can answer.
Depending on the number of other meetups in the same area around the same time, the meetup may show under WordPress Events and News in the dashboard.
The meetup organizer may promote the meetup on the group’s social media platforms (Twitter, etc.) and we encourage you to promote the meetup on your channels as well (social, email, etc.). If you have the first slide of your presentation ready, send that over as an image and we can use that as the social media graphic.
The organizer will check in with you a few days before the event to see if you have any questions or concerns. If you have your slides ready then, send the PDF over — otherwise you can send them the day of the meetup.
Prepare Your Talk
This post isn’t so much about how to prepare your presentation as it is how speaking at a WordPress meetup works, but here are a few quick guidelines:
- Create an outline of what you want to cover so you can plan your presentation effectively
- Don’t put too much on each slide; people will end up reading and not paying attention
- Show examples! Showing the group how to do something is more effective than just telling them how to do it
- Be prepared. If you’re doing a live demo, test it out ahead of time and have a backup plan
- Give something. People love slides and recordings (especially if they can’t make the meetup or want to watch it again after). If you have any additional resources, include those too
- Let people know how to contact you 1) if they have questions later and 2) if they want to connect with you on social media or otherwise
On the day of the meetup, the organizer will be ready at least 15 minutes prior to the event. If it’s an in-person event, they’ll hang signs, make sure doors are open and prepare the space as needed. For an online event, they’ll start the Zoom call about 15 minutes early.
Our group often records meetings. If yours will be recorded, the organizer will start recording when the meeting starts. At the beginning, the organizer will give a bit of an introduction before it’s your turn to speak. We welcome people, talk a bit about the group, direct people to our website and YouTube channel for past recordings and slides and let people know that anyone is welcome to speak at a future meetup!
After that, share your screen, show your slides and present!
If you want to take questions during the event, let people know and the organizer can help get you those questions (often from the chat). Otherwise, you can ask people to hold questions until the end during the dedicated Q&A section.
At the end, thank everyone who attended and then go relax!
Recap the Meetup
If your meetup was recorded, we will download the recording and upload it to YouTube. We create a post on wppittsburgh.com with the slides and recording, then post the link to the comments of the meetup.com event as well as social media. You’re free to share the recording and details to your social and other channels as well.
Now you know what to expect when speaking at a WordPress meetup. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!