A note to (all) Tech4Africa speakers

Just written an email about how speakers should conduct themselves…

Published here for reference:

Don’t make the assumption the audience is dumb. Ever.
Do present compelling content.
Do make the time spent worthwhile.
The best content is a story, a case study or a learning.
The best speakers speak from the heart and through experience, not from a practiced powerpoint.
The best content is 20 to 30 mins long, is uncomplicated, has 3 core messages, and has slides with one single point on each, and no more than 10 slides.
The best speakers have the audience on the edge of their seat, or in the palm of their hands, in the first 5 mins.
Do respect the audience, do respect the time they give to listen.
Do remember that everyone is ahead of someone else, and behind someone else. We are all learning every day. No-one has it all figured out. Well, maybe Elon Musk has a little 😉

Be honest, be open, be curious, be humble and most of all make sure the audience walk away just a little richer for the time they gave you.

Don’t do corporate bullsh!t. People see through it immediately.
Don’t do sales pitches. Everyone has heard them, they are boring. The audience is there to learn something, not pay R500 to get sold to.
Don’t do Death by Powerpoint.
Don’t have a speaker who can’t answer questions.
People see right through suits & ties at an event where people are learning. A tie doesn’t infer seniority. Hopefully you’re not wearing a tie right now.

These are all simple things, but believe me I’ve seen an audience of 6k people turn on Mark Zuckerberg in 15 mins when being interviewed by Sarah Lacy (http://www.wired.com/2008/03/sxsw-mark-zucke/) and it was a train wreck.
Put a big brand on the stage with poor content, and the audience will turn and tweet about it mercilessly.
Put a big brand on stage, and give the audience something they can chew on, and they will sing their praises all day.

PayPal did it well last year.
XXXXX sent in a sales guy, and the auditorium emptied in 20 mins because he pulled out a powerpoint and told an audience full of tech people that XXXXXXXXXXX….
^^ above to protect the reputations of people who should know better.

Comments welcome.

2013 Tech4Africa Speaker Entries Deadline is July 31


Greetings from Tech4Africa, we hope your winter is going splendidly! 😉

I just wanted to remind you that the 2013 speaker submissions for Tech4Africa (http://tech4africa.com/speak-at-tech4africa/) is now open and accepting speaking proposals. You, as the community, play a large role in telling us what you would like to see more (or less of) at Tech4Africa by submitting and voting on entries, and we hope that you’ll submit an idea this year. With the deadline for submissions quickly approaching, we urge you to visit http://tech4africa.com/speak-at-tech4africa/ and submit sooner than later. Be sure to make note of the following important dates in the 2013 Tech4Africa process because October will be here before you know it!

* July 15 – 2013 Speaker voting process begins
* July 31 – 2013 Speaker entry process closes
* August 31 – 2013 Voting process ends
* Mid-September – First speaker announcements for 2013

Got questions regarding what it takes to make the cut, or just want to get some helpful tricks of the trade? Then please be sure to get in touch.
As a freebie, we will say that for 2013 we will continue our trend of increasing the number of solo, dual and instructional workshop programming that we accept, in lieu of panel sessions.

We look forward to reading through all of your super awesome ideas. Remember that Tech4Africa is positioned at the forefront of technology, so get creative with it. The more innovative your speaking proposal, the better!

Your friendly Tech4Africa team

Howzit! Nairobi, win R35k, awesome speakers and what the tech community is thinking about

Hi All,

Just a quick update to inform you of progress, invite you to participate, and to give you something to look forward to 😉

Tech4Africa kicks off in Nairobi

Next week we’re kicking off the year in Nairobi, with a day focussed on mobile product development, learning and networking. It’s the realisation of our dream to do more in Africa, and so we can’t wait to get things started!

Please forward to your Kenyan colleagues, or anyone in your networks who is interested in mobile.


Win R35k at our DevDays!

We’ve had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to our DevDays this year.

They are tech agnostic, and aimed at getting folks talking to each other, collaborating and exploring new technology, all in a fun environment. It is open to all, and you can join us after work!

The Developer Days ‘DevDays’ are in Johannesburg and Cape Town on July 19 and July 26 respectively and our objective is to solve a unique and complex business challenge within 24 hours. This will manifest in a challenge that will see the winning contender walking away with R35,000 in cash compliments of Nedbank.

IBM has kindly offered to provide free education on their Worklight platform (Worklight supports all mobile platforms from one code base – you can learn more here in advance, or of course attend workshops on the day).

Get your tickets: Johannesburg | Cape Town


It’s all about the content

From Day 1, we’ve made a conscious decision to create an event which is not a conference; where there are no suits and ties, where delegates are on the edge of their seats (remember Herman Chinery-Hesse’s talk?), and where the content is king. We still believe that now more than ever, down with Death By PowerPoint!

This year we’re getting more traction with our gender diversity agenda, we’re finding more African speakers, and we’re learning from last year and really focussing on short, sharp, interesting content which attendees will find stimulating and thought provoking.

We’ve been working on a fantastic lineup of speakers for this year, and we’re proud to start trickling the through as we confirm and finalise with the speakers.

Without further ado, welcome to…

Amolo Ng’weno
Digital Divide (Kenya)
Ahmed Fathalla
GyroLabs (Egypt)
Kaitlin Thaney
Mozilla Science Lab (UK)
Alistair Hill
OnDevice Research (UK)
Petra Cross
Google (San Francisco)


Submit your talk

This year we opened up speaking submissions to the general public, and again the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Below are some of the talks submitted so far, and we’re really looking forward to including as much content as we possibly can into our schedule this year 😉

  • e-Commerce: Obstacle or Opportunity?
  • Africa is growing: but how, why and so what?
  • Bootstrap your startup with online freelancers
  • Building a RESTful API using WordPress
  • Building an Open Source TV Station
  • Cloud Based Software – Is it really the future?
  • Creating globally software companies in Africa
  • Creating HTML games for Windows 8 using Construct
  • Cross-platform apps in Html5: Our case study
  • Defying gender stereotypes in the tech world.
  • Doing something new in an old company
  • Enable and Accelerate ecommerce in Africa
  • From the field: Helping teams become lean & agile
  • Geolocation with MongoDB in 3 easy steps
  • Growth Hacking on App Stores
  • How customers want to interact with businesses & tech
  • How localisation can help you speak African
  • How pet projects can enhance your career
  • How to Contribute to Mozilla Localization
  • Is PHP the slums of the programming world?
  • Location Services – maps, routes, traffic, search
  • Mobile handset detection, mobile analytics
  • Open platform the key to mobile transacting & mark
  • Open Source Startup
  • Paywalls: good for readers, advertisers, editors.
  • Rethinking Education
  • Strategies for building successful products
  • Survival through innovation:Powertime to PayGenius
  • The long hard road to Product-Market Fit
  • The Rise of e-commerce in East Africa
  • The Rise of Real-time Global Hybrid Cloud Systems
  • Threats and Opportunities in Future TV
  • TOP12WINES, the first 360¬∞ Wine experience
  • Unlocking the long tail of mHealth
  • Using Data to Drive Meaingful Insight & Analysis
  • WEBRTC – Open a hailing channel Mr Sulu
  • What is a graph database and how can it help me?
  • Why improving accessibility can drive revenue

Speak at Tech4Africa

Submissions are open to anyone. All you need to do is fill in the form!