Version 5 (modified by Ben Lippmeier, 11 years ago) (diff)


Programme setup

FP-Syd currently operates as a working group, with a rotating roster of core members that are responsible for organising talks each month. These talks form the heart of the programme and can be of any length, though somewhere between 15 and 50 minutes is a good guide.

If a rostered speaker cannot give a talk in their slot, then they are expected to swap with someone else or at least give a few weeks notice.

We also invite lightning talks of 5-15 minutes, which are scheduled on a month-to-month basis depending on availability. Speakers are always welcome to show up and give unrehearsed lighting talks on the night.

We're currently operating on a three-month roster. After each meeting, the speakers that presented that month are shifted to the end.

Talk Formats and the Jockey (Proposal)

Fp-Syd talks are often based on work in progress, or ideas and technologies the speaker is currently learning. For this reason, the talk formats based on university lectures and conference presentations usually aren't appropriate. Before giving a talk, first consider how "well baked" the presentation is, using the following as a guide:

  • Well Baked: the talk is about your own work, and it's something you've presented before to a different audience.
  • Half baked: the talk is about your own work, or something you understand well, but you haven't presented it before.
  • Unbaked: the talk is about someone else's work, a paper you've just read, or an idea you've just come up with or are working on.

All level of baked-ness are acceptable at FP-Syd, but the talk format needs to be adjusted to suit. As the level of baked-ness decreases, the audience participation must increase, otherwise the audience will be left behind without any clue as to what the speaker is talking about. The usual problem is that the speaker won't know how to present the material, or at what level to pitch it, and they can only determine this by trying to explain it the first time...

For this reason we have a designated "Talk Jockey" for each presentation, whose explicit role is to ask questions about anything they don't understand. The jockey also tries to judge how well the audience is following the presentation, and can instruct the speaker to slow down, provide more examples, or try to re-explain something they feel the audience has missed. At venues without a jockey, this process sometimes happens organically as the audience will ask their own questions, but at FP-Syd we designate a specific jockey to ensure it does happen. Research working groups such as WG2.8 also use this model.

The jockey also has a equally important dual role: they can instruct the speaker to speed up, or to skip over material if they feel the audience already understands it. FP-Syd talks have no fixed length, but they can't run forever. Having a jockey help guide the presentation ensures we make good use of the available time.