Ray Summit

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Virtual Speaker Guide


We are excited to welcome you as a speaker for Ray Summit. As a reminder, the event will take place virtually Wednesday, September 30 – Thursday, October 1 during Pacific Daylight Time (UTC -7). Please click through the tabs on this page to access information.

Please click through the menu on the left of this page to access information.


Speaker Registration Deadline: If you have not registered, please do so ASAP to confirm your registration. Click here to register and use the access code RAYSSPKR20

Pre-Production Company Recordings: If you chose to record with our production company, recordings will take place the week of August 24 (more information to follow).

Pre-Recording File Submission Due Date: If you chose to self-record, videos are due no later than 5pm PT on August 28th.

Slides Due: Friday, August 28.

Speaker Training: You will receive a pre-recorded training video prior to event-kickoff.

Platform Launched for Speakers: Monday, September 21

Event Dates: Wednesday, September 30 – Thursday, October 1.

Timezone: Pacific Daylight Time (UTC -7).

Schedule, Timing & Speaker Profiles

The schedule has been posted on our website using Sched.com.

All breakout sessions are (25) minutes long, followed by 5 minutes of live Q&A.  Please confirm your timing on the schedule. If you would like to make updates to your speaker profile on Sched.com (biography, headshot, titles), send updates directly to sjessee@linuxfoundation.org, so they can be integrated with the virtual platform.

Platform & Specifications

The event will be hosted on MeetingPlay, which allows speakers to deliver content via pre-recorded talks and join for interactive text chat with attendees during the recording, followed by live video Q&A. The platform is web-based and HTML 5, and will be easy for everyone to access and use. 

The MeetingPlay 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 and networking through topical chat rooms, and 1:1 and group chats; gamification to keep attendees engaged throughout the event; and a sponsor showcase where attendees can view demos, download resources, check out job openings, and speak directly with sponsor company reps. While this won’t be able to exactly 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

All breakout speakers will need to pre-record their talk, which will be played through the event platform. As the session ends, the speaker will then join video live for Q&A with attendees for an additional 5 minutes. If you’d like additional Q&A time, ensure your pre-recorded video is less than 25 minutes.

If you chose to record with our production company, Blaze, more information will be provided on setting up a recording time during the week of August 24th

For those that chose to self-record, some suggested tools to use for recording are Quicktime, a screen recorder, Google Hangouts, Zoom or something similar that records your slides/screen and you presenting picture-in-picture. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions. Videos need to be received no later than Friday, August 21. 

A Zoom background image is provided for your use.  To use in Zoom, start a meeting, find the arrow next to Start Video, select Choose Virtual Background, and use the plus size to add image.

All domestic speakers will receive a speaker kit with tools to assist with and improve video recording, including a ring light, microphone and webcam.  We will work with international speakers individually on speaker kit options.

Presentation Template

An optional PowerPoint template is available for your use but is not required. Slides will be due on August 28.

Uploading Instructions for Pre-recorded Sessions

If you chose to self-record, we have multiple options for uploading your pre-recorded presentation:

Videos need to be received no later than Friday, August 28.

Live Q&A

As with physical events, live interaction is essential to the success of virtual events. We are asking every presenter to be available during their session to live chat with attendees as well as participate in the live video Q&A after the presentation recording has ended, all of which will take place in the platform. 

This will provide added value to the audience and create more of an ‘event’ experience. As the session ends, the speaker will then join video live for Q&A with attendees for an additional 5 minutes.

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 at sjessee@linuxfoundation.org immediately.

Speaker Training

We will create a training video that will instruct speakers on how to access, navigate and use the platform. The video will also show speakers how to conduct Live Q&A. This video will be sent prior to event launch. 

Additionally, the platform will be available to speakers starting on Monday, September 21, to allow you time to test going live and ensure your audio and video all work correctly.  Additional instructions will be sent on Monday, September 21 with the best steps to complete this.

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. 

From: https://www.greatspeech.co/video-presentations/

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 The Linux Foundation 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.

From: https://www.inxpo.com/assets/pdfs/litepapers/How-To-Be-An-Engaging-Speaker.pdf

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. It is strongly encouraged by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation that all 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

Best Gear for Online Meetings Webcams, lights, mics, tripods and more

19 Video Presentation Tips to help you give a great presentation (even if you hate the way you look on camera)

9 Tips for Giving Engaging Virtual Presentations This article gives 9 tips and within each tip has folks from the tech world giving their advice in a fun/relatable way.

PACE Acronym for Virtual Presentations

Checklist for Speakers – this article provides checklists applicable for speakers that are live streaming.

Contact Us

If you have any other platform, speaker or schedule-related questions, please contact us at sjessee@linuxfoundation.org.




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