When you're thinking of attending a conference, probably the first thing you do is look at the schedule to see which speakers will be presenting and on which topics. Whether they are unknown speakers or well established names in the PHP community, at one point they all started to speak at conferences.
Which brings me on to my next point: unconferences, or uncons. These are add-on events that are part of a conference but separate from the main schedule, for example running after the main tracks or alongside them. The main difference is that the talks in the uncon are given by the community attending the conference rather then coming via the Call for Papers and being selected by the conference organising committee. These volunteers are people who would like to share their ideas and knowledge, present their open source project, or give their opinion on a topic related to PHP. Speaking at an uncon is great way to gain experience of speaking and indeed many of the current well-known speakers began at events like this.
If you're unsure about getting involved have a listen to Lorna Mitchell's story on how and why to speak, as Lorna offers a nice insight into the how and why of starting to speak. Looking very specifically at the Dutch PHP Conference. If you're attending Dutch PHP Conference (if you are not yet, you should), and you're interested in starting to speak, you will be able to grab your chance at the Dutch PHP Unconference. We're even setting aside the first session of each afternoon for short talks for anyone who doesn't need a full 45 minutes but does have something shorter to share.
So how does this work?
PHPBenelux will be running the uncon at DPC. The opening session will give you all this information but basically to get involved you will need to pay a visit to the uncon, check which slots are available and claim one for yourself and your topic. Slides are not required, and if you have something to share but don't know where to start then pay attention to the first slot of the day on Friday, when we'll be running a workshop telling you all you need to know about speaking and providing any help or support that you need. Registration for uncon slots will stay open until there are no slots left - so get in quick and we look forward to having you join in this fanastic event!