Speaking at PyOhio

Table of Contents

Video Recording Guidelines

Congratulations again on having your talk accepted for PyOhio 2020! We're truly thankful to have you as part of this unusual year of our conference.

This year, we are asking all speakers to deliver a prerecorded video of their talks. This doc will walk you through the essentials.

How long should my video be?

For PyOhio 2020, we are doing a collection of short talks. To help keep the event on track and running smoothly for all of our remote attendees, we have tighter time requirements than in live events:

  • Lightning Talks should be between 4 - 5 minutes in length.
  • Thunder Talks should be between 9 - 10 minutes in length.

Please, please, please do not go over the maximum time for your talk! If you go over time, we cannot guarantee that the entire talk will be presented on the stream.

What format should my video be?

Please deliver your video as an H264 MP4 at 1920x1080 resolution.

When does my video have to be delivered by?

We would like to receive all videos by 23:59:59 EDT on Sunday, July 19. This will give us enough time to pre-screen and process them.

If it looks like you will not be able to make that date, please contact us at program@pyohio.org as soon as possible to let us know! This will help keep the program chair's panic level under control. :-)

How should I deliver my video?

You have two choices for delivering your video:

  1. Upload your video to the private Dropbox folder that will be created for you (we'll contact everyone separately by email with the link to this folder);
  2. Upload your video to your own cloud sharing service and send a link to or share it with program@pyohio.org; we'll handle downloading it from there.

How should I record my presentation?

There are lots of ways you might choose to record your presentation. Here are some suggestions that we hope will be useful. Ultimately, whatever path you choose will be fine as long as you can deliver a video in the right format.

Recording with OBS Studio

OBS Studio is a free, open-source tool used for capturing audio and video; it runs on Mac OS, Windows, and Linux: https://obsproject.com

Here's a guide to capturing both your screen and webcam using OBS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL8BwstqiqE

Recording with Screenshot.app

Mac OS 10.15 can record videos of the screen with the Screenshot app. Here's a guide to recording your screen with a voiceover in Mac OS 10.15 / Catalina: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nn86t9955Y

Recording with Keynote

Apple's Keynote can create videos with voiceover narration. Here's a guide to creating a video with voiceover narration using just Keynote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6e2ZtHnimA

Here's a guide to creating a video with Keynote and combining it with a webcam recording in iMovie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRnANp2kS3c

Recording with PowerPoint

PowerPoint can also create videos of presentations, optionally including video from a webcam. Here's a guide to creating a video with PowerPoint: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHXRuJEsN7M

Other Tools

Other tools you might choose include Elgato and Camtasia. If you have recommendations to share with other presenters, let us know and we'll update this list.


This is going to be a new and different experience for many speakers. Thank you for your courage! Here are some thoughts we've had that might be helpful as you prepare your video.

Practice First

We strongly recommend that whatever path you take for recording, you should practice recording before doing your presentation "for real". This way you can get comfortable with your choice of tools.

Have a Script

Have solid notes or a script that you can read from as you record your presentation. It can be a lot harder to be impromptu or to ad lib for a recording than it is to do so in a live room. Having a script of some kind will help prevent you from stumbling or freezing up (things your program chair is prone to do whenever doing voiceover work).

Maybe Record in Segments

Delivering your presentation to a computer can feel quite different from speaking to a roomful of live attendees. You may find it valuable to record your presentation in shorter segments and assemble them using your favorite video editor.

Live Coding? Beware Keyboard Sounds!

If you are live coding, using your computer’s built-in microphone may pick up the sound of typing, which can be distracting for your audience. We recommend using an external microphone or headset, or using an external keyboard. Please review the audio of your recording before submitting it!

Call for Proposals (now closed)

PyOhio 2020, the annual Python programming conference for Ohio and the surrounding region, will take place Saturday & Sunday July 25th-26th, 2020 at The Ohio Union in Columbus, Ohio.

PyOhio invites all interested people to submit proposals for scheduled talks and tutorials. All topics of interest to the Python community will be considered. Standard presentation talk slots will be 30 minutes with select talks being given 45 minutes. Tutorial slots will be 120 minutes long.

Proposals accepted through May ?? Anywhere on Earth (08:00am ET 2020-05-??)

Ready to submit a talk? Create a speaker profile and submit proposal(s) via our CFP site: cfp.pyohio.org.


PyOhio is dedicated to featuring a diverse and inclusive speaker lineup.

All speakers will be expected to have read and adhere to the conference Code of Conduct. In particular for speakers: slide contents and spoken material should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate, and neither are language or imagery that denigrate or demean people based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, physical appearance, disability, or body size.

We will make every effort to provide accommodations for speakers and attendees of all abilities—all we ask is that you let us know so we can prepare accordingly.

PyOhio is a conference in support of the local programmer community. We aim to feature a mix of local and non-local speakers to offer a program with broad appeal.


This public speaking repository, maintained by VM Brasseur, has many useful resources to help you polish your proposals and talks.

You may review last years' talk listings for example abstracts:


To help us evaluate proposals and build our program, we would like as much detail as you can provide on your talk. At a minimum this should include: a brief description (~400 characters) suitable for inclusion in a schedule page; a brief prose abstract (intended as the content for a talk detail page on the program site); and, if you'd like, a rough outline of the structure including estimated timings for each section of your talk.

If you've given your talk before, links to video or slides would be excellent, or if you've blogged about this topic links to your blog posts would be of use as well.

Your speaker profile includes a space for you to describe your prior experience giving talks—this is your chance to talk yourself up and explain how you're qualified to share your ideas, so take advantage of it!

How to Write Your Proposal

If you have an idea and want to speak, here's a very rough process of what you should do next:

  • Brainstorm or mind map to expand upon your ideas or knowledge in search of a general topic
  • Write a paragraph or two, or some bullet points, to outline the core concepts you want to communicate and what people might learn from your talk
  • Get someone you trust to read your notes and tell you what they think they'd learn
  • Join us in Slack and discuss it in the #cfp channel: https://slack.pyohio.org/
  • Submit your proposal on cfp.pyohio.org
  • Practice!


Log into our Slack team and ask in the #cfp channel or email us at info@pyohio.org.

If you would like to be matched with a mentor to help with your proposal(s), request a mentor here.

If you are an experienced speaker and would like to volunteer to mentor, apply to be a mentor here.