Last updated 2023-01-23


I’m very happy that you’re interested in having me speak at your event.

I’m always excited for an opportunity to share my knowledge and views with others. That said, I do have some requirements and standards for accepting an offered speaking slot, submitting to an open CFP, or promoting an event I’m part of.


The scope of this speaker rider applies to any and all non-$JOB speaking engagements. I will push back on the points below with my employer(s) privately to create a more just and equitable world.

Code of Conduct

Your event must have a crystal clear, no-nonsense, and most importantly, enforced Code of Conduct linked publicly to from ALL the event’s landing pages, social platforms, and other affiliated materials.

Your Code of Conduct should include a clear, readable description of what behavior is and is not acceptable. It must also include a mechanism for someone to report a violation and another mechanism to handle Code of Conduct violations in a very efficient manner.

I also expect your Code of Conduct to protect those taking extra precautions against COVID-19.

Basically, I’ve been witness or directly impacted by some of the most egregious cases of Code of Conduct violations in tech across a 20+ year career (started in 1995). I don’t need anymore of that, but I am ready to help folks at a moments notice (and have).

Diversity and Inclusion

The event must include a very diverse set of speakers across all walks of life. This is imperative in increasing understanding and eliminating biases in our industries. In the US, these are considered, “protected classes,” in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I will list them all here and include additional demograhics that should be protected but aren’t yet. If you can’t achieve 25% speaker diversity I am much less inclined to participate:

  • Race
  • Religious belief
  • National origin
  • Age (40 years and up)
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender
  • Pregnancy
  • Citizenship
  • Familial status
  • Disability status
  • Veteran status (especially veterans given I’m a disabled veteran fighting lots of stigmas)

All these groups deserve to have friends at the event as well so singular representation is simply not good enough.

For panels, Birds of a Feather, or any other speaking arrangement consisting of three or more people speaking at a time, there must be at least one speaker who is not a straight, white male. All male or all white speaking groups are not acceptable. No execeptions. I will not be seen or heard on an all male or all white panels even if a member had to drop the day of the event.

“Chris, our panel will fall apart if you drop out now that X isn’t able to make it.” That’s on you. Best advice I can give you is aside from a moderator, I should be the only white male on the panel.


Please make sure your event is accessible to all. Be it the event space, after parties, or any other event affiliated activies, they must be accessible to those who require assistive devices. This includes captioning.

Speaking Fees

I typically do not charge a speaking fee. However, if your event is a for profit event or ends up costing me money to participate in, I expect those expenses to be reimbursable or covered by the event itself. If it’s a for-profit event, I would expect to receive some form of compensation. If speakers are compensated, I expect all speakers to be compensated equitably.

Intellectual Property

“Give credit where credit is due”

All my CFPs are public. Almost all of my works are licensed CC-BY-SA 4.0 meaning, you must publish them openly and attribute credit to me as the intellectual property owner. If you want me to speak at an internal or invite only event, you are more than welcome to keep that talk private to that group, but please attribute everything to me, Chris Short, via a link to


Cancelling a speaking engagement is something I try very, very hard to avoid. I try very hard not to submit CFPs to events I know I’ll have trouble attending. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had to cancel a talk (and I’ve had some pretty wild circumstances leading to those). I always suggest someone to replace me if I do have to cancel to discuss a topic in a similar vein. If you want me specifically and something has come up preventing my travel or ability to participate live, I will, at your request, pre-record talks. However, I prefer to give them live whenever possible.

The COVID-19 pandemic is also not over globally. I maintain the right to cancel at least a week in advance due to pandemic concerns. Trust me, I have enough health concerns without COVID.


Views expressed in my talks do not reflect the opinions or views of:

  • Amazon
  • AWS
  • Kubernetes community

Nor those of any group Chris Short is or has been affiliated with or employed by.

My talks are well researched, data backed, experiential based, and hopefully entertaining.

Contacting Me

Want to have me speak? Cool! Reach out to me via email with your event info and a general idea of the topic you want me to talk about.

Thanks for reading!

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