OpenPOWER Summit North America

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Virtual Speaker Guide


We are excited to welcome you as a speaker for OpenPOWER Summit NA 2020, happening virtually Tuesday, September 15. Sessions will take place during Central Daylight Time (CDT), UTC -5.

This is your official event speaker guide. Please bookmark this page for easy reference and continue to check back as the event gets closer as we will be adding additional speaker details. If you have any questions, please email us at

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


  • Speaker Registration Deadline: Friday, September 4. If you have not registered, please register and use code OPWSPK20
  • Session Polls Due: Wednesday, September 9
  • Pre-Recording File Submission Due Date: Wednesday, September 9
  • Slides Due: Wednesday, September 9
  • Event Dates: Tuesday, September 15
  • Timezone: Central Daylight Time (CDT), UTC-5

Schedule, Timing, and Speaker Profiles

The schedule will be posted the week of August 31 on our website using  Speakers are asked to arrive 15 minutes early to their session for an AV check.

All sessions are 30 minutes in total; please plan to leave time for Q&A.

If you would like to make updates to your speaker profile on (biography, headshot, titles), send updates directly to or log on to to edit your profile.

Platform & Specifications 

The event will be hosted on Zoom Webinar. Zoom Webinar will allow speakers to deliver content by a live stream or pre-recorded talk and interact with attendees via text chat during Q&A at the end of the session. The platform is web-based and HTML 5, but downloading the desktop application is recommended. While this won’t be able to replicate the value of a face-to-face event, we think it captures a lot of the opportunities and we look forward to having you join us as a speaker for this new experience.

Pre-recording Information & Tools

Speakers who choose to pre-record their talk, which will be played through the event platform will then join the video live for a short Q&A. Time for Q&A should be worked into the total time allotted for your presentation. 

Some suggested tools to use for recording are Quicktime, Google Hangouts, Zoom, a screen recorder, or something similar. The recording should show your slides/screen as well as you presenting using a picture in picture style format. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.

Pre-Recorded Videos need to be received no later than Wednesday, September 9

Live Session Information

Speakers who chose to go live will present their slides via screen share and then follow with a brief Q&A session – Q&A should be worked into the total time allotment of your presentation.

If you plan to play any videos or pre-recorded content, you will need to share your screen and play the video through your screen.  Zoom will be set up to pick-up your computer’s audio for any sound that comes with the recording.

Presentation Template

An optional PowerPoint template is available for your use but is not required. Slides will be due on Wednesday, September 9.

• You can submit your presentation slides to the Google Folder
• Share your PowerPoint files with

Uploading Instructions for Pre-recorded Sessions

We have multiple options for uploading your pre-recorded presentation:

  • Add your recording directly into the Google folder (please email to confirm we received your file)
  • Share your file with
  • Or let us know if you have an alternate method (DropBox, file sharing service, etc)

Videos Need to be received no later than Wednesday, September 9.

Live Q&A

Whether presenting live or via pre-recorded session, attendees will be able to interact with you via Q&A during your presentation. You can choose to answer questions throughout if pre-recording or save them for the end of your presentation if presenting live. Additionally, you can designate a moderator to monitor the chat and Q&A section throughout the presentation. Please email Jennifer Crowley,, with this person’s name and email address to be added with moderator access to the Zoom webinar.

Please allow time in your presentation for Q&A.

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 Jennifer Crowley immediately at

Session Polls

You can include multiple choice questions to poll the audience during your presentation.  If you would like to include, please send those questions to, no later than Wednesday, September 9.

Speaker Training

We will follow up shortly with additional information on speaker training and rehearsals.

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 OpenPOWER 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.


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.

Additional Resources

Contact Us

If you have any other platform, speaker, or schedule-related questions, please contact us at