Brendan Dawes
Analogue + Digital

My Conference Code of Conduct

Many conferences now have a codes of conduct. So in this same spirit I thought I would write the code of conduct for ME that I can pass to conferences so it can not only be a two-way thing, but will better manage expectations of what they can expect in a talk from me.

My talks try to exude optimism. I try to inspire the audience by talking about what went into the work I create and why I make it. I won't say things like "do what you love", or "failure is good" or any other overused easily said soundbites.

I might occasionally swear. It'll be used to emphasise a point or hammer something home. This doesn't mean I have a limited use of the English language, rather that I believe they are part of the English language. These words may include, but aren't limited to fuck, arse, wanker, dick-wad, chubb-nuts, twat, bum, bullshit, dickhead. I'm bringing me to the stage, not an imposter.

I may tell stories of people I've met, to illustrate a point. These may be people that some would deem "strange". I prefer the term "interesting". As above, they may be on the edges of societal norms. These people and situations exist and I see no reason to deny their existence just in case someone may be offended.

I'll include the audience in how I talk about things. I much prefer using "we" to "me". We're all in this together and just because I'm the one on stage doesn't mean I should act like I am.

I'll say hello to the AV crew. I'll ask their names. I'll respect the work they do. I've seen speakers treat AV people not much better than slaves. These people are pros with a job to do.

I'll chat to the attendees — I'll ask about them rather than talk about myself. I'm more interested in listening than talking.

I won't simply stand on stage and press a button to show a three minute show-reel fuelled by ego. Nobody wants to see that shit.

Equally I won't stand on stage and do a thirty minute ad for my agency — not that I have one anyway, but you get the idea.

I'll turn up on time. I'll bring all the dongles I might need. I'll have a back-up of my presentation. I'll even bring my own self-built remote.

I'll try and be as efficient as possible when answering emails from the conference team. Putting on a conference is hard and so anything I can do to ease that pain is probably a good thing.

Finally, being asked to speak at any event is an honour and one I do not take lightly or get complacent about.