Wednesday-Saturday, August 12-15, 2020 online

Speaker FAQ


  • July 7: This FAQ published
  • July 29: Pre-recordings due
  • August 12-15: The conference! See the schedule for hours.

General Questions

Why the split schedule?

See the Why this split schedule? for more information.

How long is my talk?

In total, presentations should not exceed 40 minutes. Expect us to cut you off if you go over.

If you are taking moderated questions live, plan for 30 minutes for your talk and 10 minutes for Q&A.

If you’re not taking moderated questions live, then you can use up to 40 minutes.

What video conferencing software is Heartifacts using?

Zoom. See What platform will you be using for the interactive virtual conference? on the general FAQ for more information.

Do I need a paid Zoom account?

No. You just need to download the free client and you will connect to the conference (which is being hosted on Code & Supply’s paid account). We do recommend that you create a free Zoom account if you do not already have one. This will allow you to set your display name, set a profile photo, and generally streamline our administrative tasks during the conference.

How does Q&A work?

See our Live Q&A section.

How can I update my talk abstract or bio?

Head to C&S session management for Heartifacts 2020. From there, you can find your session (when logged in) and click Edit.

To update your bio, go to the event profile page. Click on your name, then click on Edit Profile.

How can I add content or trigger warnings to my talks?

For the session abstract, head to C&S session management for Heartifacts 2020. From there, you can find your session (when logged in) and click Edit.

We also ask that you announce any content or trigger warnings at the beginning of your presentation, whether pre-recorded or live.

General Presenting

Should I use square or widescreen slides?

Wide, please. 16:9 strongly preferred.

Should I pre-record or present live?

We prefer pre-recorded presentation content because it enables significantly higher production value for both video and audio, relieves most live performance anxiety for presenters, and mitigates risks to the viewer experience presented by connectivity, such as connection loss and connection fluctuations causing adaptive A/V quality changes during presentation.

If you choose to pre-record, you will still be able to take questions live following

If you prefer present live, you must follow our live presentation guidelines to ensure the highest quality content.

What are the recording technical requirements?

Audio recording
  • Recording quality minimum: 16-bit 44.1 kHz
  • Equipment
    • Prosumer- or professional-grade USB mic (Blue Yeti (~$120), Blue Snowball (~$80), Blue Snowflake (~$40), etc.)
    • High quality analog mic plugged into a professional-quality USB interface (e.g. Focusrite Scarlett products (~$150), etc.)
    • Minimum quality example is a Plantronics Call Center headset (~$35)
    • Monophonic is fine
    • Do not use a laptop’s built-in microphone or a cheap earbuds’ mic plugged in via an audio jack.
    • When in doubt, ask.
Video recording
  • 720p webcam minimum, 1080p preferred.
  • Zoom will choose resolution adaptively, but the higher base quality, the better you will look.
  • Use an external webcam if at all possible instead of one built into the bezel or keyboard of a laptop.
  • Slideshow quality
    • Presentations with code or walls of text must be HD
    • Presentations with code must be adequately zoomed in to be readable
  • Recording quality
    • 1920×1080 (Full HD or FHD) resolution minimum
  • Recording mechanism
    • Keynote recording through Movie export
    • PowerPoint recording
    • Google Slides, Reveal.js, etc. don’t have built-in export, so you’ll need to record your screen.
      • macOS, Windows, Linux: OBS is really easy to use
      • macOS: Quicktime Player recording for full desktop
      • Windows 10: Screen recorder built-in

Do I have to have my camera on when I present?

Yes. Like with in-person events, we want our attendees to see the presenters to promote the sense of trust and community that is the core of Heartifacts.

If you’re worried about focusing on your own video feed while you’re talking, Zoom allows you to simply hide it.

Are there ways to set up my space that appear better on camera?

Anything that’s behind you will be visible on camera. You may wish to make sure the area is clean and that everything a person would see is something you don’t mind being in camera range. This includes personal information like address, phone number, political affiliation, personal documents, etc.

For lighting, you’ll want to ensure there’s good lighting behind your computer. Lights above you or behind you will make you look like a scary silhouette. Lights in front of you will help illuminate your face and help people see you as you talk. Natural light is best but lamps or other light sources can work ok too.

Do not use a virtual background except when using a green screen. If you do use a virtual background, try to keep it to a still image and not too distracting.

Are there things I should or shouldn’t wear on camera?

Similar to checking over your background, don’t wear anything that you aren’t ok with people seeing. Wearing black or really dark colors will either make you hide or make your face stand out depending on lighting. We’d recommend wearing a neutral but lighter color (blue, light gray, white, etc.) or a pattern. You can wear a bright colored shirt if it’s not too over-powering. Do not wear any shirts with logos that you don’t want to be seen in.

Please wear pants, shorts, skirts, or other bottom garment, even if no one else will see it on camera.

What are the best ways to ensure reliable internet connections?

The best answer to this is to run an ethernet cable between your computer and your networking equipment (router, hub, etc.). This will be the best, uninterrupted and stable connection while at the conference.

If you don’t have the ability to set up a direct line, make sure all of your background tasks that might be using up extra bandwidth are shut down. Try to ensure you’re as close to your Wi-Fi router or access point as possible, and preferably be in the same room as it. If you share the connection with others in your household/location, please make sure they stop their high-bandwidth use while you’re presenting.

Finally, if you have antennas on your router or access point that can be angled or repositioned, try to make sure they are perpendicular to the direction of your presentation area as signals spread outward from the length (not the tip) of it. (So if you were to look from your computer to the router, you can see the full length of the antenna.) Check out this Lifehacker article for more information on antenna placement.

Pre-recording Talks

What is the deadline for submitting my recording?

We need to receive the final presentation by Wed, July 29 (two weeks before the event). This allows us time to make sure the video is of good quality and make sure there’s no parts missing, no issues with the video, or other problems that might have arisen. If there are issues, it gives you time to fix them or (worst case scenario) re-record it.

How will I upload my recording?

We are working out a reliable solution and will update you when we have that set up.

Will C&S help me record or edit this?

We can help provide some basic troubleshooting for recording. We won’t have the time or people to perform full edits on your video (though we can do basic trims at the beginning and end).

How should I layout the recording?

We prefer to have a small presenter camera view in the lower right or lower left corner of the presentation, depending on the content of your slides. Using OBS to record makes this relatively easy: use a display capture input and a camera input on a scene and place the camera in the corner appropriate for your content.

We’ll do our best to provide scene configuration and graphics, but a recording that is just a screen capture or slide recording produced by your presentation software will suffice.

Presenting Live

When will I need to be online?

We prefer speakers be online 45-60 minutes before the start of the day’s sessions. This allows for technical checks, coordination with the Hearifacts team, and encourages engagement with conference attendees even after the end of your formal Q&A. We would ask you to stay online for at least an hour after your talk, and preferably for the remainder of the day. If you cannot be online at least 45 minutes before start of your day’s first session, please contact the C&S team to discuss your specific constraints.

How will slide presenting work?

You will need to put your computer in live presentation mode first, which varies based on your presentation software (PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides, Reveal.js, etc.) From there, you can ALT+Tab (Windows/Linux) or CMD+Tab (Mac) to the Zoom window. On that window, you can click on the green Share Screen button. You can share either the presentation window (if that’s the only thing you’re showing) or the whole desktop or monitor (if you’ll be swapping windows).

If you are sharing sound, make sure you check the “Share Computer Sound” checkbox before you start sharing your screen.

If you wish to do a practice run with us before the conference, please contact us and we can work with you on that.

Live Q&A

Is live Q&A after my talk mandatory?

No, but we encourage it if it is applicable to your talk or to your presentation style.

Unlike in-person conferences, which makes it hard to moderate Q&A sessions, a virtual conference allows us to easily select constructive or helpful questions to pass to you. This allows us to avoid questions that make us cringe, are stories disguised as questions, or questions that are so oddly specific they don’t really apply to the majority of the audience. It also allows us to easily cut off questions when the alloted time has passed. Any remaining questions can always be discussed in the “hallway track” or other social times in between talks.

Other Important Things

When do I get paid?

You’ll submit a speaker payment request after the event. We’ll pay within 30 days once we have everything from you, including any expense reports and receipt images. Our speaker coordinator will be in touch!