This page contains notes and tips for our speakers on preparing their talks and presentations. Please read through the list and consider it while preparing your talk. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions please feel free to write to one of the organizers directly (e.g., or write to one our organizational mailing lists: the public list, or the private list, depending on the nature of the matter you would like to discuss.

Note: being part of a wiki, this page is subject to change (including by you!); so please check back every now and again for any changes and updates.

Guidelines for conduct

First and foremost, we ask that you review our guidelines for conduct when preparing your talk, to make sure we're all on the same page and strive to make the event a great experience for all. We would be happy to chat with you if you are unsure whether your talk or presentation style meets the guidelines laid out in the guidelines for conduct. You can email Sacha Chua at to chat more about this.

Before the conference

Prerecording talks

For EmacsConf 2020, much like the last EmacsConf, we highly encourage and ask you to please consider prerecording your talk(s), especially for lightning talks, where the allotted time is quite limited and any potential technical issues that cannot be resolved quickly will greatly detract from the presentation.

Please send us your prerecording(s) preferably by November 14 (two weeks before the conference), or by November 21 (one week before the conference) the latest, to allow us enough time to do any needed processing (e.g. format or codec conversion) in preparation for the event.

Please send your prerecording(s) via email to, either in form of attachments (if reasonably small), or direct link(s) to download from elsewhere. If you need assistance with this, please write to about it.

To make prerecordings, you could use any of the following pieces of free software, depending on your needs:

You might find the following free software programs useful for editing your video recordings:

You can see more related tips from last year's tips page.

Per GNU Project's Guide to Formats, we prefer to receive prerecorded videos in formats unencumbered by software patents, such as video/webm (WebM-encoded video files, with .webm file extension) and video/ogg (video files encoded with the Theora video codec, encapsulated in an Ogg transport layer, with .ogg or .ogv file extension). However, if for one reason or another you are unable to send us your prerecorded video in one of the above formats, you may submit them in other common formats, like MPEG-4 (.mp4), and we will try to convert them to our preferred formats on your behalf.

Prepare recorded video in 720p; WebM formatted if possible.

The conference broadcast will be in 720p (1280px x 720px, progressive) using the Webm video format. The closer to this format submitted video files arrives in, the less work for volunteers.

Office hours for video call tech-checks

For EmacsConf 2020 live talks/sessions, we have been evaluating a number of free software video-calling/conferencing tools, namely BigBlueButton, Jitsi Meet, and GNU Jami for the video calls with speakers delivering live presentations. At this point, BigBlueButton seems to be our most likely choice for this year, and we would like to do tech-checks with speakers to make sure they are able to use it to deliver their live presentation(s) and/or live Q&A.

We ask that speakers who plan to participate in Q&A sessions and/or plan to present live schedule a short tech-check with us in the weeks leading to the conference, in order to quickly check their ability for joining video calls and performing common tasks such as sharing their screen. The office hours will likely be on Saturdays or Sundays, but we would be happy to try and work out another time if that doesn’t work for a speaker.

To schedule a short tech-check, email one of the people listed below or visit with us on #emacsconf-org on Freenode IRC.

Volunteer Email IRC Nick Timezone
Corwin Brust <> mplsCorwin US/Central (UTC-6)
Leo Vivier <> zaeph CET (UTC+1)
Bhavin Gandhi <> bhavin192 Asia/Kolkata (UTC+05:30)
Karl Voit <> publicvoit CET (UTC+1)
Your Name <your@email>    
David O'Toole <> dto US/Eastern (UTC-5)
Amin Bandali <> bandali US/Eastern (UTC-5)

If you'd like to help out with the tech-checks, feel free to add your name and email to the above list and email to plan the logistics.

Tech checklist

  • Can you speak and be heard? Is there echo?
  • Can you hear the organizer?
  • Can you share your screen? Is the screen readable?
  • If you plan to show your keystrokes, is that display visible?
  • If you want to share your webcam (optional), can you enable it? Is it visible? Will there likely be distractions in the background?
  • Can you view the collaborative pad? Will you be comfortable reviewing questions on your own (perhaps by keeping it open beside your shared window), or will you need a volunteer to relay questions to you?
  • Can you share contact information (ex: phone number) so that we can get in touch with you in case of technical issues or scheduling changes?
  • Do you need help finding your way around IRC so that you can check into #emacsconf-org? What is your IRC nickname?