A Field Guide for Presenting at Pause

Welcome! You are probably here because you're wondering if you should attend or host a session at PauseOnError.


Rest assured, you are in the right place. First, if you are on the fence, we encourage you to jump in. This is a great opportunity to take some risks and be part of a special shared experience.

Here are a few things you should know to get started.


PauseOnError isn't like any other FileMaker conference or user group meeting. It began as a way for a group of FileMaker developers and consultants to take a break from our normal routine, hang out and share our work, ideas, problems and projects with each other.


It has traditionally been free of mass marketing because we feel it is more important that people discover PauseOnError for themselves and in the process, make a personal, informed decision to participate.


We hope you choose to participate in Pause because you feel invested in its philosophy, spirit and ideals. Commonly asked questions (with answers below) are:

  • What kinds of sessions can I present/host?

  • Do I have to put my session on the schedule?

  • When can I start putting my session on the schedule?

  • Where should I do my presentation?

  • How long is each presentation slot?

  • Can I stream/broadcast my presentation?

  • How do I get help on my presentation?

  • Any tips?


1. What kinds of session can I present/host?

Sessions can be about any topic or format you desire. The are no set rules. Formats that have worked well in the past include: discussions, loosely scripted presentations, code reviews, brainstorms, or creative 'lectures'.


Not ready to present on your own? Or is someone else presenting something similar to what you want to present? Consider this a good chance to partner up and present together. If you need help syncing up with someone, send us an email and we’ll do our best to help.


2. Where is the session schedule?

It's a work in progress, but we'll keep you updated.

3. Where should I do my session?

We have a lot of space this year for presenting and sharing. In the past, sessions have been hosted in people's rooms, public parks, bars, or in the hotel lobby as an impromptu gathering around a laptop. So don’t be afraid to get creative.


4. How long is each session?

Experience suggests that sessions are best held under an hour (single slot) for most formats. Leave time for questions: some sessions are all questions. And sometimes the questions are mostly being asked by the presenter.

As this is an 'un-conference', you are welcome to be creative with time or place, but bear in mind that whatever structure is in place exists to help things go as smoothly as possible.

5. How do I suggest my session?

Email Martha Zink with your idea!

6. How do I get help on my session?

PauseOnError is an 'un-conference'. That means, to the extent possible, this is a self-organizing effort. While the friendly folks on the steering committee are here to support you and provide gentle guidance, you (and your session guests) are ultimately responsible for the success of your own sessions.


7. Any tips? Yes!
  • "Show" rather than "tell"

  • Push yourself – we all want to see you succeed, so try something bold

  • Leave PowerPoint behind if possible. It's fine for an intro to the discussion, but not ideal for the whole thing

  • Invite people to think about a problem with you. Listen to feedback and questions carefully and slowly

  • Generally avoid stuff you would do/have done for DevCon

  • Don’t wing it

  • If there is something you want to talk about / work on etc., spend some time thinking about it and be prepared to speak about it

  • Have some demo files, samples, talking points, or something to help guide the discussion if you can

  • Enjoy yourself