Why Speak at a WordCamp? Definitive Guide for Beginners

Why Speak at WordCamps? + Where & How to Apply to Be a Speaker?

Are you thinking about speaking at a WordCamp? Or wondering where and how to apply to become a WordCamp speaker?

Every first time takes time. Hence, it’s okay if you’ve got a snail’s pace in deciding on your first WordCamp talk.

Well, I’ve been through the dilemma already. And yes, eventually, I got over that, applied, got selected, and became a speaker!

So, should you apply too?  Definitely yes!

I’ll explain ‘why’ in 5 points below, based on my own experience.

Plus, I’ll share some key insights on how to get yourself selected as a speaker in any upcoming WordCamp.

Let’s begin!

What is WordCamp? What is Becoming a Speaker Like?    

“WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress.”

WordCamp Central

It’s the official definition of WordCamp by WordCamp Central.

Well, that says it all! Simply, it’s a WordPress conference. Like any other conference, there’ll be a bunch of people as speakers who share their WordPress knowledge or experience.

There’ll be attendees who participate by joining different presentations and workshops. And, also the organizers who are all volunteers organizing the event just out of their love for WordPress!

Primarily, there will be presentations, sessions, workshops, informal networking points, and also some fun activities like games, food, and drinks. Hence, WordCamps are also the celebrations!

WordCamp Kathmandu 2019 - Happy Faces after the Successful Event
WordCamp Kathmandu 2019 – Happy Faces after the Successful Event

In a nutshell, WordCamps are community-organized events where WordPress people of all types (developers, designers, marketers, leaders, users, etc.) come together, share ideas, connect with one another, and celebrate the WordPress wonders.

So, what’s becoming a WordCamp speaker like? What role does a speaker play in the event?

Speakers are the main attractions of any WordCamp. What topics you (as a speaker) choose and how well you present them determines the overall success of the event.

And therefore, the WordCamps talks are well-planned – selected among many applications, reviewed and edited, and recorded for everyone to watch later. Yes, all the presentations are archived in WordPress.tv.

Hence, as a speaker, you’re responsible for making a glorious event!

But with responsibility comes power! I’ll share 5 top powers I got after speaking at a WordCamp!

Why Speak at WordCamps? 5 Top Benefits

If you’re working with WordPress and want to continue your career seriously with it, then you should definitely talk at WordCamp. It has many benefits. I’ve enlisted the top 5 of them below.

But it doesn’t mean only WordPress professionals should talk. You can speak, even if you’re a lay user who’s using WordPress for just a blog or website. Using the WordCamp stage, you can share your personal reflections, and stories, and inspire more people like you.

And, you’ll definitely get your share of benefits from becoming a speaker. I guarantee that.

So, are you excited to know what I got? Let’s start!

1.  Establish Yourself as an Expert in a Particular Field.

When you’re working in a team, the people in your team know about your expertise. Your employer and colleagues know it. Or some other people in the same niche may know it. But it won’t go farther than that!

But speaking at WordCamps gives you exposure to a lot more people from other companies who are in your niche as well as those in other niches. Once your presentation goes well, those people will refer to you as an expert in that particular field.

Moreover, the influence of WordCamp talks isn’t just limited to the attendees only. They’re put on WordPress.tv for everyone to watch anytime. That means you’ll get global exposure.

So, what better way than talking at a WordCamp to establish yourself as an expert?

2. You’ll get New Opportunities.

I literally got 3 new job offers and more than 10 new reach-outs after my WordCamp talk.

Hadn’t I presented in the WordCamp, I wouldn’t have gotten exposure to those new opportunities. I must say, it helped me a lot in my WordPress content writing journey.

Not just the job offers, you’ll get many other opportunities. For example, you can find investors who’ll finance your ideas. Or, you can find partners for your new business.  

3. Personal Growth.

It goes without saying, public speaking helps to grow your personality. It enhances the way you communicate with others.

That’s the case with becoming a WordCamp speaker too. You get a grand stage with an intelligent audience. Presenting a topic to such an audience is a blessing. You’ll learn a lot when presenting.

In fact, learning starts even before that! You’ll do rigorous research to present your topic. In the process, you’ll discover many things that you didn’t know. Next, the selection and preparation process which involves interaction with speaker wranglers also offers many learning opportunities.

Throughout, you’ll surely grow! Out of delight, I’ve written about my learnings and whole experience after my first WordCamp talk.

4. You Become a Celebrity!

Yes, that’s right! You become a celebrity. Although what one feels is totally personal, you’ll meet several incidents when you feel like you’ve become a celebrity!

It starts with speaker announcements on WordCamp’s official website. A page dedicated to introducing yourself and your topic is a glorious thing, isn’t it?

Next, lots of people recognize you after your presentation. Some of them may love it so much that they’ll try to reach out to you, take a selfie, and ask for your contacts.

Apes Taking a Selfie (Or a WordCamp Speaker and Fan)
Apes Taking a Selfie (Or a WordCamp Speaker and Fan)

It just doesn’t end here! There’ll be media partners of the WordCamp who will publish your interview on their platform. Isn’t it like becoming a celebrity?

Simply put, if WordCamp is a celebration, the WordCamp speakers are celebrities.

5. You Contribute to Democratizing Publishing.

The core mission of WordPress is to ‘democratize publishing’ by providing everyone with a tool to share stories, ideas, and services online freely. The software is open source which means the code is available free for everyone to use, modify, and even redistribute.

One of the top reasons why I love WordPress is this philosophy! So are a lot of people! Maybe you too.

But it also means that WordPress is a community project. It’s supported and maintained fully by volunteers across the globe and it’ll go only as far as the community takes it. Hence, it’s our responsibility to contribute to WordPress for its larger goal.

One of the best ways you can contribute to the project is by actively participating in its community events like WordCamps. And, what better way than speaking on a WordCamp?

By contributing a little, we all can make the difference we want to see!

Where & How to Apply for your First WordCamp Talk?

Now that you know the advantages of becoming a WordCamp speaker, you must be wondering where and how to apply. Find your answer below:

  • Step 1: First of all, you should find out where upcoming WordCamps are taking place. The best way to find that out is by checking the schedule on the official WordCamp Central website.
  • Step 2: Next, choose a WordCamp of your interest. You can find the links to official WordCamp sites on the schedule, visit them, and pick one. For your first talk, it’s better to try a local WordCamp happening in your town or another town in your country.
  • Step 3: Apply from WordCamp’s official website. On the website, you may find a post with the title ‘call for speakers’ or something similar. From there, you can learn everything about applying. Do some research and apply.

Check the next section below to learn how to get your talk selected.

Once the application is submitted, you have to wait sometime until you hear from the organizers, especially the speaker wranglers.

Note: The speaker wranglers are those who handle the entire speaker selection procedure and coordinate all presentations.

How to Increase your Chances of a WordCamp talk?

Here, I just want to summarize key points from WordCamp Organizer Handbook.

Please consider these points when applying to speak at any WordCamp.

  • Choose a unique topic for your presentation. Aim not to make a duplicate copy of some other presentation, but to make a useful addition to WordPress.tv’s archives.
  • Try to speak about a new feature, functionality, or technology. It increases your chance of finding a unique topic. And, at the same time, your contribution will prove really meaningful.
  • Do rigorous research and send a serious presentation outline when applying. WordCamps are prestigious official events, so we need real serious talks.
  • Aim to inspire people. WordPress is used by over 40% of all websites on the internet and it’s changed millions of lives. It may have changed yours too. So, it’s your turn to share this amazing platform with others. That’s how we contribute to its mission of ‘democratizing publishing’ and ‘open source’ philosophy.

 For more ideas, please check the ‘call for speakers’ post on WordCamp’s official website.

Upcoming WordCamps you Can Apply as a Speaker

Well, then let’s check out some big upcoming WordCamps inviting speaker applications.

1) WordCamp Asia 2023 – Asia’s First Flagship WordCamp

WordCamp Asia 2023- Apply to Become a Speaker
WordCamp Asia 2023- Apply to Become a Speaker

WordCamp Asia 2023 is the largest and the first flagship WordCamp in Asia, happening from 17th to 19th February 2023. Planned to take place in Thailand’s capital city Bangkok, it’s expecting more than 1300+ attendees from around the globe.

And, the good news is that they’re currently taking applications for speakers. It’s open until 15th September 2022. Click the button below to find more information and apply.

Well, it’s quite a big event for a first-time applicant but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply.

If you believe you’ve got a wonderful idea or story to share with the WordCamp Asia audience, then you should definitely apply.

Worst case, you won’t be selected. But nothing to worry about. As I stated earlier, you’ll learn a lot in the application process itself. There are always perks of trying.

2) WordCamp Gresik 2022

WordCamp Gresik 2022 is scheduled for November 9-10, 2022 in Gresik Indonesia. And, they’re currently accepting speaker applications which will continue until 20th August 2022.

You can find more info and apply for a speaker on this link here: Call for Speakers – WordCamp Gresik

3) WordCamp Nepal 2022

WordCamp Nepal 2022 is scheduled for 5th to 6th November 2022 in Bharatpur Nepal. It’s in the planning phase, so speaker applications are not open yet. But it’ll open soon. So stay tuned.

4) WordCamp Kathmandu 2022 – Speaker Applications Closed*

WordCamp Kathmandu 2022 is happening on the 3rd and 4th of September 2022, at Alice Receptions, Kathmandu. It’s just around the corner, so the speaker applications are closed.

But still, you can join the event and meet an amazing line-up of selected speakers! We’re really excited to welcome you all to this grand event.

Why do I insist? Because I’ve joined the WordCamp Kathmandu Organizing team! Yay!

Although speaker applications are closed this year, you can definitely try next year. Just know that WordCamp Kathmandu is a great platform to talk to, with a legacy of 8 successful WordCamps since 2012.

Also, WordCamp Kathmandu offers Great Tourism Opportunities.

If you’re an international individual reading this, then I must tell you about some great tourism opportunities you’ll get when attending WordCamp Kathmandu 2022!

i) First of all, Kathmandu is a historical land and an attractive tourist destination in itself. It holds together diverse social and cultural treasures established by great civilizations of the past. Factually, it includes 7 UNESCO world heritage sites.

They are mainly the religious sites of Hindus and Buddhist followers and palaces of Royal families. Additionally, you’ll see many big and small cultural masterpieces throughout the city.

Apart from that, the city and the people of Kathmandu may amuse some of you because they represent the fusion of tradition and modernity in the best possible way!

ii) Second, drive just a few hours away from Kathmandu, then you’ll meet the truly natural landscapes and people living in old ways. On all sides of Kathmandu valley, there stand hill ranges with green forests, waterfalls, and old villages.

Simle Village in Nuwakot District, Nepal
Simle Village in Nuwakot District (2 Hours Drive from Kathmandu)

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, then these hill ranges offer the most magnificent experience. You can go on sightseeing, hiking, camping, and lots of other adventurous activities.

I’ve been hiking to some of these destinations regularly. Here are some photographs of places I went to and I love to recommend.

Photo credits: Hike For Nepal | Facebook (It’s the group with whom I’m hiking.)

iii) Third, fly to any other top tourist destinations easily. You can go to Pokhara, the city of lakes in less than an hour. Or to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, the Enlightened One.

If you plan to stay longer, there are even more amazing opportunities for you. You can explore the world’s most adventurous and most magnificent treks like Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, etc.

Or go to meditate for 10 or more days in one of the Vipassana centers in Nepal.

To conclude, your ticket to WordCamp Kathmandu 2022 can be the tourism opportunity of a lifetime!

Register here: Tickets now open – WordCamp Kathmandu 2022

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I get paid for becoming a speaker at WordCamp?

No. WordCamp is an entirely volunteer-organized event in which everyone works as part of the contribution to the WordPress community. It’s a non-profit event, solely aimed at building the community.
However, your ticket to the WordCamp will be covered if you’re speaking.

Wrapping Up

Like everything and anything, your experience of speaking at WordCamp may be different. But you won’t know what until and unless you send your speaker application, prepare your talk, and present.

So, I’m looking forward to you in action and later reading your version of the reflections.

If you’ve got any feedback or comments, please don’t forget to post them below.

Thank you so much for reading. Hope it helped. If you feel it might help others too, then please do share it on your social profiles.

It’s a wrap! See you all in a WordCamp soon!

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