Guidelines for Presenters of Tutorials

The Education (EDU) Team ( manages the internal educational activities of the IETF with the goal of improving the effectiveness of IETF operations. We strive to improve the effectiveness of IETF leaders and participants by offering training sessions and educational materials that clarify their roles and responsibilities and prepare them to be more effective in their roles.

According to RFC 3935, “the mission of the IETF is to produce high quality, relevant technical and engineering documents that influence the way people design, use, and manage the Internet in such a way as to make the Internet work better.” Therefore, EDU activities are aimed at educating participants either on technical topics that affect current or planned IETF efforts, or on procedural topics that affect any aspect of participation and document development. Traditionally, these tutorials are held on the Sunday afternoon of an IETF meeting.

So, you're presenting! Please do the following:

  • Send a one-paragraph summary to the EDU team. This will be linked to from the IETF meeting agenda.
  • Find a partner to present with you. Or, designate a backup presenter in case you are not able to present.
  • Number your slides; use a simple template; see Tips for Presenters at IETF for more basics.
  • Two weeks before: Send your slides to the EDU team and any other relevant parties for review.
  • One week before: Send mail to relevant mailing lists to spread the word about the tutorial. (That is, specific WG mailing lists should be notified about tutorials on related technical topics.)

For Technical Topics

Those who volunteer to present on technical topics are asked to consider the following points and questions in preparing for their session:

  • Members of the audience will be experts in some areas of IETF work, but not in others.
  • They are probably attending a tutorial in an area where they are not expert.
  • Their goal is to learn the essentials of your topic as it affects their own area of interest.
  • How will each aspect that you discuss affect other areas of IETF work? (Not how will it affect your own area of interest!)
  • Give an overview, show the trade-offs and the relations to other areas or protocols, rather than drilling down into one particular solution (unless, of course, that solution is the whole point of the tutorial).
  • This is not general education in computer networking; it’s OK to be selective in the choice of topics. It’s more important to cover topics that affect IETF work thoroughly than to cover everything superficially.
  • This is not a research presentation, except if confirmed research results are directly applicable in the IETF right now.
  • As always in the IETF, many people (often including the presenter) are not of English mother tongue, so please use good diagrams and simple language, and speak carefully.
  • The audience is far from ignorant. Be prepared for hard questions.
  • Q&A may be the most important part of the session, so allow ample time for it.
  • The presentation will be streamed for remote participants and recorded on video. Also, people at the back of the room may have difficulty seeing the screen. Therefore, please
    • Supply slides well in advance, so that they can be made available online (with an announced URL);
    • If demonstrating a feature, describe and explain what is on the screen;
    • Repeat questions that are not asked at a microphone.
  • Example: QUIC Tutorial slides and recording (2017)

For Area Overviews

  • Start with basics ("What is this area?"), then details (one slide for each current WG).
  • Include the hot topics (popular) and topics that need more participants (not yet popular).
  • Send the slides to the current Area Directors for review.
  • Example: OPS Area Overview (2016)

For Procedural Topics

Those who volunteer to present on procedural topics (standards process, working group procedures, document production, tools, etc.) can apply several of the same guidelines, and should remember that most IETF participants see procedure mainly as an obstacle to their work. They are mainly interested in the question “What must I do next to make progress with my draft?”

Other Resources

Last modified 16 months ago Last modified on Apr 18, 2018, 12:03:39 PM