Open Source Strategy Forum

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Speaker Guide

Welcome & “Day-of” Details

We are excited to welcome you as a speaker for Open Source Strategy Forum 2020, which will all take place virtually November 12-13, on Eastern Standard Time (EST/UTC-5).

You will receive an invite to the platform from Pathable, which will bring you to your profile and you can find your session listed under “My Agenda”. We will also send you a calendar invite to serve as a reminder. If you do not receive these by Wednesday, November 11, please let us know. On the day of your talk, please log-into your session 10 minutes early, where a Linux Foundation moderator will be waiting for you and will walk you through the next steps. Your session will play at the scheduled time and when it begins, type a message in the chat box on the platform letting attendees know you are there and you will be able to begin answering questions from attendees immediately. We suggest watching the Demo Video, which will familiarize you with the process, which is also below:

  • After receiving the unique authorization link from Pathable, log-in and set-up your profile
  • Before your session, ensure you can access the platform and we recommend setting up a split-screen so you can see both your session window and the platform chat (you can see how to do this in the demo video)
  • Hover over “Schedule” and select “My Agenda” to see your session. You can access it directly from that listing.
  • Join the session 10 minutes before your talk, where you will meet an LF moderator who will walk you through the next steps
  • Your session will play at the pre-determined time, and you will be able to begin answering questions immediately
  • UPDATE: If there is time left at the end of your session, and your camera is enabled and there are no connection issues, the LF moderator will bring you back into the session to answer any other questions live.

Also, be sure to share your slides! You can either add them to this folder and we will upload them, or, add them directly to Schedand here’s how:

  • Log into your OSSF 2020 speaker profile through
  • Go to Click on “You’re speaking at this event! Manage & promote your session” at the top of the schedule.
  • Click “Add Presentation”.
  • Click the “Select a File” box and add the pdf document (note: there is a 50MB size limit).
  • Click “Upload” and your slides will automatically be saved.

If you have any questions, please reach out to

Please click through the tabs on this page to access information.

Important Dates + Deadlines

  • Speaker Registration Deadline: All speakers should already be registered. If you are not registered yet and you need this information or need us to resend your confirmation, please email
  • Pre-Recording Appointments: Available from Wednesday, October 21 – Wednesday, November 4. You can book your appointment here and all times are shown in the United States/Eastern Timezone – please note on November 1, we switch from Eastern Daylight Savings Time (UTC-4) to Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5). Appointments are first-come, first-served.
  • Presentation Details: You may utilize Google Slides, PDF, Powerpoint and OpenOffice – whichever you prefer. Slides should be in 16:9 format and you may embed videos in your presentation.
  • Self-Recorded Video Due Date:  This must be received by 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Wednesday, November 4. Pathable accepts MP4 or MOV (under 5gb), dimensions: 1280 x 720 (720p), 1920 x 1080 (1080p).
  • Open Source Strategy Forum Event Dates: Thursday, November 12 – Friday, November 13, 2020  


All speakers should already be registered. If you are not registered yet and you need this information, or need us to resend your confirmation, please email

Schedule + Uploading a Bio/Photo

The schedule has been posted on our website using You should have received an email directly from asking you to create your account; please make sure to upload your bio and photo.

If you would like to make updates to your speaker profile on (biography, headshot, titles), send updates directly to, so they can be integrated with the virtual platform. 

Please confirm your timing on the schedule and notify us immediately if you believe you will not be able to participate for Q&A at the time your session is scheduled for.

Platform & Specifications

We are using a virtual event platform called Pathable that will allow speakers to deliver content via pre-recorded talks and join for Q&A text chat with attendees. The platform is web-based with HTML5 and will be easy for everyone to access and use. After the event, all talks will be available on YouTube so anyone, anywhere, can view them as well.

The Pathable platform is allowing us to create an immersive experience for attendees with educational sessions that offer speaker and attendee Q&A and interaction, attendee collaboration & networking through a social activity stream, 1:1 and group chats over chat and video, gamification to keep attendees engaged throughout the event, and a sponsor and tech showcase that offers booths where attendees can view demos, download resources, check out job openings, and speak directly with booth reps.

Technical Requirements

  • Pre-Recording Appointments: Available from Wednesday, October 21 –Tuesday, November 3. You can book your appointment here and all times are in Eastern Timezone. Appointments are first-come, first-served.
  • Presentation Details: You may utilize Google Slides, PDF, Powerpoint and OpenOffice – whichever you prefer. Slides should be in 16:9 format and you may embed videos in your presentation.
  • Self-Recorded Video Due Date:  This must be received by 11:59 pm eastern standard time (EST) on Wednesday, November 4. Pathable accepts MP4 or MOV (under 5gb), dimensions: 1280 x 720 (720p), 1920 x 1080 (1080p).

Use the recommended browser (Chrome);Make sure that your browser is up to date.


Please book a time to record your session with our production team, AV Strategies. Please note the following:

  • Time slots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and all time slots are shown in Eastern Time.
  • You may utilize Google Slides, PDF, Powerpoint and OpenOffice – whichever you prefer. Slides should be in 16:9 format and you may embed videos in your presentation.
  • Please review this guide for presentation best practices and tips.
  • You may use the branded slide template for your presentation, but it is not required.
  • Ensure you have stable internet access.  Hardwired connection is preferable for your recording.  If a hardwired connection is not available, turn devices off that will affect your connectivity during your presentation, and make sure that anyone in the house is not on devices and/or consuming bandwidth.

If you would like to record your session on your own, we can accept MP4 or MOV (under 5gb), dimensions: 1280 x 720 (720p), 1920 x 1080 (1080p)

If you plan on sending us your own recording, please let us know by Monday, October 26, and you must have your recording into us by 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, November 4.

Please upload your file into the Google Folder and make sure your file is named in this format: DateOfPresentation_TitleOfPresentation_YourName.mp4

Example: Oct 27_this is my title_Joe Smith and Sally Street.mp4

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please make sure your presentation is viewable by anyone. The team will need to be able to see your presentation in order to download and then upload to the platform. 

Live Q&A

As with physical events, interaction is essential to the success of virtual events and we are asking every presenter to be available during their session for live Q&A via text chat within the platform. This will provide added value to the audience and create more of an ‘event’ experience. Please ensure you have set aside 5–10 minutes within your allotted presentation time for questions that you will be able to answer within the system’s chat tool.

If you are concerned about your timezone and how that could impact the live Q&A portion of your session, we will do our best to reschedule your session slot to a time that is convenient for you. If you are not comfortable with the idea of a live Q&A, or cannot participate “live,” please contact us immediately.

Technical Tips for Virtual Presentations

  • Audio – as counterintuitive as it may sound, the single most important factor in a good video, is the audio quality. 
  • Eliminate ambient noise – close the doors and windows. You’d be surprised how much environmental noise gets picked up.
  • Lighting – Do not put lights overhead and don’t put any lights or windows behind you as they will alter the light levels in your videos and create shadows.
  • Background – don’t be afraid to show your natural environment – bookcases, plants, paintings – as long as they are not too distracting.
  • Framing – place yourself slightly off-center to the left or right rather than directly in the middle of the frame.
  • Camera Height – the lens should either be directly level or pointing ever so slightly downwards towards your face.
  • Stand – we recommend you stand during your presentation to help project your voice and improve your posture. However, if you’re more comfortable sitting, then please do.
  • Timer – Have a clock to keep track of the time you have remaining. 


Lighting, Webcam and Microphone Best Practices

Best Practices for Lighting

  • For best results, use natural light and supplement with additional light as needed.
  • Keep natural light in front of you to avoid shadows. A bright window behind you can make you appear as a dark silhouette. 
  • Interior rooms with no natural light source may require additional targeted lighting, such as a ring light, to brighten the speaker’s face.

Best Practices for Webcams

  • To ensure the speaker is looking directly at the audience, place the webcam at eye level.
  • Avoid distracting backgrounds by checking the surroundings behind you to make sure there are no distracting colors or movement.
  • Presenters should use chairs that are adjustable for height but do not swivel. Swiveling on camera creates a poor attendee experience and can be distracting.

Best Practices for Microphones

  • Use external microphones whenever available, as microphones built into computers and cameras often have lower quality. 
  • An external microphone allows the speaker to place it in the optimal location for sound.
  • Place the microphone close to the speaker’s mouth, but not in the camera view.
  • Test audio levels in advance.
  • Manage noise by turning off fans, phones, or speakers and keep ambient noise to a minimum. 
  • Do not touch the microphone while unmuted.

Dress Code

  • There is no dress code for presentations, and we encourage you to be comfortable. That said, you must be aware that the Code of Conduct applies to this space, both in terms of what you show on camera and what you say. We ask that you be tasteful and considerate in choosing your clothing and surroundings. Keep in mind that we are a global community. Please refrain from wearing shirts with global brand logos that are not your own. Solid colors (not white) also work best instead of prints. 

Tips to Keep Your Virtual Audience Engaged

  • Learn the Content: Familiarity with the content allows a speaker to focus on presenting, rather than trying to remember the points to make. To minimize worry about forgetting elements of the presentation, include notes in your presentation file and have a printout of your script or talking points.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Speakers should practice their content delivery in the environment in which they will deliver it, such as in front of a computer. Presenting alone to a computer can be awkward at first. To make speakers more comfortable, ask colleagues, roommates, or family to sit in front so they can present to familiar faces.
  • Understand the Tools: Speakers should understand and utilize the content options available to them, to maximize the effectiveness of the presentation technology. It’s important to know the basic functions of the software, e.g. how to advance slides, manage Q&A or chats, before the presentation. 
  • Speak Up: Check audio levels before presenting, but also make sure to breathe at regular intervals to speak audibly and clearly. Maintaining a clear, even tone throughout the presentation will allow the audience to hear it without adjusting their volume settings.
  • Look at Your Camera: If presenting via video, remember, the webcam is your link to your audience. Make eye contact with the camera so it appears to the audience that you are speaking directly to them.
  • Don’t Fear Mistakes: Humans make mistakes, even during presentations. Realize that flubs happen and they won’t derail your presentation – unless you let them. Just keep going in your planned presentation and remember, the audience is forgiving.
  • Be Prepared: During the presentation, have a glass of water nearby to sip as needed. Also, keep handy a printout of your slides or notes in case you need to refer to them.


Additional Resources

Promote Your Talk

We appreciate you spreading the word about #OSfinserv and your session – please find some sample tweets below to share on your social channels!

  • Proud to be chosen as a speaker for #OSfinserv– visit “link to your session” to add my talk to your schedule!
  • Thrilled to announce I’ll be presenting at #OSfinserv! Visit to see the full schedule 👍
  • Can’t wait to speak at #OSfinserv – visit to check out the full lineup!

Inclusive Speaker Orientation Online Course

The Linux Foundation, in collaboration with the National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT), has created an online course designed to teach the viewer about inclusion, diversity, and unconscious bias. We highly recommend all of our speakers watch the course to learn tips/tools to use when speaking to encourage inclusivity in presentations and messaging. 

Code of Conduct

Please read and abide by our code of conduct, which can be found here. We ask that speakers especially review this code of conduct and are inclusive in the words and images used during their presentation.

Contact Us

If you have a question that is not included here, please contact us to let us know. 

If you have any other speaker or schedule-related questions, please let us know.