PyCon X


2nd - 5th May 2019

Write your PyCon IT proposal

DISCLAIMER: We collected a series of suggestions to support aspiring wannabe-speakers to the next PyConX. We hope this could help you to increase the acceptance rate of your proposals.

TL;DR; Writing abstracts is hard. Writing good abstracts is even more challenging. So write your abstract as if the person reading it will make a decision on the basis of a very quick reading. Stay focused on your topic and make clear from the very beginning what is your goal and what are your intentions of your talk. Last but not least, make your proposal appealing and unique.

Remember: Once accepted, your talk abstract will be likely published in the conference program. So don't make your presentation very different from what you included in the abstract so that expectations of attendees could be met.

Below some common pitfalls and suggestions on how to face the CFP writing.

Common pitfalls

  • Poorly formatted abstract.
    • Difficult to read means that people will get frustrated. This might bias any decision for your talk.
  • No learning objective
    • If it is unclear on what the person seeing your session will learn, then it makes it difficult to decide if it should be included in the conference
  • Incomplete proposal
    • The proposal should clearly state the talk outline, goals and learning objectives. Avoid vague assertions, boring cliches and hand-waving.
  • Abstract is overly long
    • People just give up reading after a while. It is that simple.
  • Static abstract
    • Get ready to review the frame of your proposal. Try to change sentences, change and rewrite words until deadline closes, naturally do not change the whole sense of your talk.


  1. Target audience: Write a short note describing your target audience. Pick a target audience and think at their job role and experience.
  2. Outline: Write a brief outline of the topics: What concepts will you teach the audience you described? Look at it critically and make sure you haven’t bitten off more than you can chew.
  3. What You’ll Learn: Write a couple of sentences about what people will learn. This will end up being the heart of your abstract, and it’s what people really want to know. Target your sentences to the audience you described, and plug in the concepts from your outline.
  4. Enticing Title: A catchy title will help. Be sure the abstract is in line with the title: you don't want to delude your audience!
  5. Review it Yourself: Check your abstract for length. Possibly add a “call to action” closing sentence like, “If you’re a developer with _ years of experience, this session is for you.” But if your abstract has already called clearly to your audience, you may not need this.
  6. Get Feedback: Ask a few folks to review title and abstract for you, and tweak based on their feedback.

Step 6 is incredibly valuable, no matter where you are in the process. Try to get feedback from a variety of people, including some who have spoken at the conference(s) you’re planning to submit to. They can help guide you about style and advice specific to those events. If you need, we can also give you feedback, write us at Be ready to review the content of your proposal.

Talk template (example)

Talk title
The title of your talk. Try to find something catchy that gets people interested. Shorter is better. (Aim for 15 words more or less)

Audience Level
Who the intended audience for your talk is and what kind of skill levels they should have e.g "Intermediate to advanced Python devs" or "Beginning Django Web Developers". Just a quick description of your audience that shows you're thinking about their needs.

Brief Description
A short teaser: ~400 characters

Abstract / Summary
Not a high level teaser but a brief TL;DR – What's going to be the intro, progression, and payoff. What question will this talk answer? Why is this important information? (Aim for 100-200 words here.)

Sample Training template (4hrs)

  • Objectives: at the end of the training, you will be able to ...( eg: create a python module with proper tests, )
  • Pre-requisites: no knowledge, basic C knowledge, deep understanding of JIT internals...
  • strategy: the training will be done with jupyter notebook, students will work in groups to cooperate, ...
  • agenda
    • intro & setup environment: 40m
    • decide 2 features: 40m
    • break: 10m
    • writing tests: 40m
    • writing code: 30m
    • break: 10m
    • improve performance of ...: 40m
    • peer-review: 30m


Here 3 successful and 3 failed proposal in different PyCon (US) editions. Just to give you an idea ...