[RFC] Ground rules for speakers at IndiaFOSS 2022

As for any serious conference, IndiaFOSS has to be on-topic and the events/talks in it has to help in advancing our goals.

This document serves as a set of guidelines for speakers to ensure that their presentation aligns with the above purpose, especially considering past experience. This document is not meant to be comprehensive. It does not intend to specify a code of conduct (which can/shall be a separate document) or a criteria for selection of speakers (which can/shall be a separate document).


  • Include every major topic that you’re going to speak about in the outline.
  • Give enough detail in the outline to ensure that a potential attendee will be able to expect exactly what you intend to deliver.
  • Consider including some of these details:
    • Are you giving a high-level overview of the topic, or does it go into nitty gritty?
    • Will you expect the audience to have some background knowledge about the topic? If so, what should they be knowing?
    • What are some of the points you will not be covering which the title of the talk doesn’t unambiguously address?
    • Whether you are planning to make any detours during the talk - be it in the preface, in the conclusion, or in the middle.
    • How exactly does your presentation connect with the vision of the conference?

For the actual presentation

  • Stick to the outline you submitted
  • Do not spend more than 1% of your allotted time introducing yourself or your organization unless that’s what the talk is all about
  • Do not go into unexpected detours. For example, if your outline says “I’m going to speak about the importance of cows”, then, “We tie cows to coconut tree” may just be on topic, but continuing on that with “Coconut tree gives us coconut oil. We can make coconut chutney for dosa”, etc is not appropriate at all.
  • Keep the conference goals in mind
  • Keep the tone friendly and inclusive. Strictly adhere to code of conduct.
  • Stick to the time you’re allotted. If ever in doubt, ask the organizers how much time you have (left).
  • If the organizer/time-keeper tells you you have n minutes left, prepare to end your talk in n minutes. Do not ask for +m minutes. If an organizer asks you to wrap up the talk immediately, please wrap up immediately (You can stay back in the venue to continue the point).
  • Your time starts when the previous speaker/event stops. Keep your presentations, etc ready during previous Q&A (if any) or previous break time (if any).
  • If you’re playing any videos/audios during your presentation, make sure you test them beforehand on the actual system at the venue.
  • If you’re doing a live demo, consider praying to demo Gods. But more importantly, check that your demo works at the venue.
  • The time you’re allotted is inclusive of Q&A (if any). If you want to allow more questions, end your presentation quickly.
  • The organizers might be forced to decrease the time allotted to you on the day of the event based on circumstances. Please be prepared to accommodate such unavoidable last minute changes.


  • While these are only guidelines, the organizers can apply their discretion to enforce them.

  • Enforcement might include, but is not limited to

    • Muting your microphone or AV
    • Getting you off the stage/podium and moving on to the next event/speech.
    • Getting you off the venue
  • Code of conduct violations may be dealt with differently. Refer to code of conduct for details of the same.

I’m unable to make this a wiki. Requesting a moderator to do so.

Encouraging those interested in directly making bold edits to the wiki above (once it becomes a wiki).