Speaking

Speaking

I am an international keynote speaker. I have spoken on community building, data science, machine learning, MLOPs, open-source, reproducible research, and diversity and inclusion with a strong call for ethical and open practices. I am also experienced and comfortable with workshops and tutorials for all ranges of abilities.

I am always happy to attend and speak at conferences, and I love sharing my knowledge with folks from all backgrounds. I am grateful to all the conference organisers who have brilliantly hosted me. I would like to continue to exercise this privilege to speak at conferences, and use this privilege to make the landscape more accessible and beneficial to tech’s most marginalised and suppressed communities.

Before I agree to a speaking event, I try to do as much research as possible around the event to ensure it aligns with my ethos. Before asking me to speak at your next event, please read my requirements below. Most thoughtful conferences I’ve attended check most of these boxes intrinsically, mainly when conference runners are experienced speakers.

To contact me for speaking opportunities you can email trallard@bitsandchips.me.

Non-negotiable requirements for events (e.g. conferences, meetups, workshops)
  • You must have a dedication to protecting the most marginalised and minoritised individuals in this industry.
  • Make a best effort to have diverse participants.
  • No all white/white-male panels, speaker line-up: in general, I would hope that you can diversify your participation across race, gender identity, expression, and orientation, physical and mental ability, etc., and also recognise panels are usually only a few folks.
  • Have an enforceable Code of Conduct (CoC). You must have clearly defined methods for dealing with conflicts when they arise with trained staff to address conflicts and be prepared to handle complaints appropriately. CoCs are only as good as their enforcement.
  • All areas that are part of the conference should be accessible (attendee seating, stage, social events). Even if you think this might not be necessary - remember folks decide to not self-identify.

Conference logistics

These are nice to have at your event, and I really encourage you to consider them during planning:

  • Live captioning: it helps people like me who have focus issues and process written info better, it helps non-native speakers, it helps people who got distracted for two seconds.
  • Allow participants to share their pronouns (stickers, pins, space for nametags) - this should be an option. Make sure to include "he, she, they" at a bare minimum.
  • If you have a scholarship program, don't call it "Diversity Scholarship." It reinforces the notion that "diverse" (which is often falsely conflated with only racial diversity) candidates all need charity. Especially when you then photograph them and use them to virtue signal your good. A good alternative is to call them "Scholarships" period.
  • If you are providing scholarships, ensure you cover travel. Otherwise, you are intrinsically limiting to local folks, which isn't exactly providing equitable access to folks who don't live in cities where conferences are typically held. If this is not possible, make it clear on your scholarship call.
  • Wireless microphone: ensure all the stages have a microphone, this allows everyone to be part of the talk.
  • If you are strict about timing, ensure that a timer if viewable from the stage. Make sure this is equitable.
  • For conferences providing speakers honorarium: all speakers must be paid equally.
  • Speaker/attendee safety must be ensured - no data/information should be sold or used without the individual's consent.

Intellectual property
  • Retain intellectual property and ownership of my content. I always start my talk by indicating the license and allowed usage for the materials which also ensures I am correctly attributed and acknowledged for my work and effort.
  • No censorship of my content, written, verbal, visual - if dealing with sensitive content I will check in first with the organisers.
  • I will allow video recordings/live streams so long as they are accessible (captioned) and free (no paywalls!).
  • It is super difficult to get your set up right to do dope code demos. I sometimes use my own infrastructure, have special fonts, or have complex environments for demos. I love having the option to use my own computer for presentations.

🙏🏼 These guidelines were deeply inspired by the awesome Tatiana Mac and her speaker rider.