FMS 2020 Keynote Speaker FAQ

This is our 15th anniversary, and we are proud that FMS has become the largest flash storage industry conference in the world, attracting the leading memory professionals and companies. We are pleased to welcome you and your company to the Keynote Program at Flash Memory Summit 2020 (FMS).

The Keynote talks continually receive the #1 ratings as the most valuable part of the conference – and we know that it is the commitment and quality that company teams like yours bring to this process that result in the success of the event.

This document will answer key questions in planning for your Keynote Presentation, and it will provide a timeline and outline of what we need and when we need it in order to make this a winning event for you. Below is information on how to contact us. Our Keynote Team is available at any time to help support your specific needs in preparation for FMS 2020.

Lance Leventhal, Ph.D., Program Chairperson
Responsible for review and final approval of speakers and topics
858-756-3327 Office
858-663-4822 Cell

Jay Kramer, Master of Ceremonies
Liaison to speakers and their staff in the development of quality
presentations and support materials, including review of Abstracts and Speaker Bios
949-497-5244 Office
949-697-8975 Cell

Roberta Ryan, Director of Keynote Program
Point person for managing pre-, post-, and on-site conference Keynote Speaker logistics
707-823-4130 Office
707-592-4952 Cell

Tedra Nikolai, Keynote Administrator
Administrative support to the Keynote Team pre- and post-conference, including collecting Keynote materials
408-206-3606 Cell

What are the timelines?

We have three interlinking timelines: 

  • Keynote Address Details
    • Includes identifying your speaker, and providing their bio and photo, plus completion of the presentation title and abstract.
  • Keynote PowerPoint Presentation
    • Involves subject matter experts to assist your team in creating and reviewing your presentation to achieve high ratings.
  • Keynote Administrative Logistics
    • Involves obtaining all your Keynote content, scheduling meetings with our Keynote Team, and keeping you abreast of FMS update information.

Keynote Address Details

  • Initial Onboarding Call
    • Video conference with your company Keynote Team, including your Keynote Speaker (or individual who is designing presentation), your Keynote Marketing Team, and the FMS Keynote Team. This onboarding call will be scheduled promptly, typically two weeks after signing the FMS contract.
  • Submission of Speaker, Title, Bio, and Abstract
    • This must be submitted by your Keynote Team within two weeks of initial video conference.
    • Once submitted items are approved by the FMS Keynote Team, the information about the Presentation will be posted on the FMS website, and we will promote your Keynote through our FMS PR campaigns starting on May 1, 2020.
    • Finalized material should be completed by May 1, 2020 in order to take advantage of the FMS PR campaigns.
    • FMS PR campaigns start in April, so your timely submission of the information about your keynote will assure your company receives maximum branding and promotional opportunities from the FMS Keynote Program.
    • The review and approval process of submitted content can take up to 30 days to finalize.

Keynote PowerPoint Presentation

To assist you in creating an exceptional presentation, during the initial video call we will provide you with subject matter expertise, guidelines, and best practices. To support your Keynote Team, we will also provide a subject matter expert to review your presentation draft. To receive this valuable service that will enhance the quality of your Keynote Presentation, adherence to the submission dates (below) are required.

  • Submission Dates:
    • Initial draft – June 1, 2020
      • Once received, a second video call with be scheduled to review the presentation.
    • Second draft – July 1, 2020
      • Once received, a second video call with be scheduled to review the presentation.
    • Final presentation – August 1, 2020
      • Once submitted, the presentation and associated video will be prepared for review and testing by our FMS A/V Team.

    Please upload your Keynote Presentation PowerPoint (and any associated video) to Presentation Uploads

  • Keynote Administrative Logistics
    • April 1 – Begin scheduling and conducting initial video conferences with your Keynote Team.
    • May 1 – Confirm interest in having your Keynote Presenter work with our coaches.
    • July 1 – Begin coordinating final logistics, including completion of legal release documents, scheduling rehearsal, and securing VIP seating.

What are the elements of a quality Keynote?

  • Our audiences appreciate learning information that is immediately useful in their work. They respond well to a knowledge base addressing the current state of the flash industry and future directions.
  • In addition, they welcome a speaker who is an accomplished presenter, has easy-to-understand slides, and provides insights about flash technology, the competitive landscape, and the best practices for IT data center customer environments.
  • Also, it is important that the talk is not overtly commercialistic or one that articulates a standard product pitch. The presentations that achieve the highest audience scores are visionary about the flash industry, strategic about trends in the marketplace, and incorporate a real live customer on stage.

What should the technical level of the talk be?

  • FMS audiences are looking for strategic talks targeting people steeped in storage both from a technology and a business perspective. The typical audience makeup is 40% engineers, 20% senior-level managers, 20% marketing/sales professionals, and 20% media/analysts. So, the talk needs to address a wide audience with varied backgrounds and expectations.

How much time do we have?

  • Your Keynote has a 30-minute time slot. This includes ~ 27 minutes for your presentation. The remaining time includes the logistics of getting on and off the stage, time for us to introduce you, and optional Q&A.
  • If you will be doing Q&A, let us know by August 1 when the final presentation is due and provide us with pre-planned questions that underscore the theme of your talk. Time permitting, your Keynote introducer will ask the questions at the end of your presentation.

As an element of our commitment to professionalism, we strictly enforce the 30-minute time frame of the presentation time slot.

Do you provide any professional coaching for Keynote Speakers?

  • Yes, to support your speaker in providing the best quality presentation, we provide two types of individual coaching at no cost:
  • Accent Reduction Coach
    Karen van Hook, PhD, Chosen Voice
    • Whether you speak English as a foreign language or as your native language, you can benefit from voice and speech coaching. Dr. Karen Van Hook has a PhD in Linguistics and over 15 years’ experience coaching both native and non-native speakers. She brings together techniques from the worlds of linguistics, voice coaching, accent reduction, and acting. [...Read More]
  • Presentation Coach
    Karen Williams, BoldEcho
    • Ms. Williams of BoldEcho Communication Solutions will get you “audience ready” by helping you become a more authentic, engaging speaker. She will provide you with the skills to develop a clear and compelling story, connect with your audience, and confidently deliver your presentation with impact.
    • We have only three spots available for Presentation Coaching, so please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested in this opportunity. [...Read More]

How do you create a strong Abstract Title?

Keynote title should be short (maximum 80 characters including spaces), describe what the talk will cover, and sound interesting and relevant.

How do you write an excellent Keynote Presenter Bio?

Biographies should be six sentences or fewer and include the following:

  • Title and Responsibilities
    • List the speaker’s current position and duties.
  • Career Achievements
    • Highlight the major career accomplishments.
  • Special Recognition
    • List the awards, patents, prizes, successful products, publications, or conference presentations.
  • Education
    • List relevant degrees and certifications.

The Keynote Speaker needs to have an Executive Management background. If selecting a Marketing Exec Speaker, we recommend that you either have a Technology Exec Co-Presenter or a Customer.

Keynote Abstract Title

Keynote title should be short (maximum 80 characters including spaces), describe what the talk will cover, and sound interesting and relevant.

Keynote Presenter Biography

Biographies should be six sentences or fewer and include the following:

  • Title and Responsibilities:
    • List the speaker’s current position and duties.
  • Career Achievements:
    • Highlight the major career accomplishments.
  • Special Recognition:
    • List the awards, patents, prizes, successful products, publications, or conference presentations.
  • Education:
    • List relevant degrees and certifications.

The Keynote Speaker needs to have an Executive Management background. If selecting a Marketing Exec Speaker, we recommend that you either have a Technology Exec Co-Presenter or a Customer.

How do you write an interesting Abstract?

Abstracts should be four or five sentences and include the following:

  • Key Points:
    • Explanation of the talk’s major points and what is special or unique in the talk that will be a draw audience attendance.
  • Takeaways:
    • Address why it is relevant to overall memory or storage technology, what the audience will learn from it and the specific knowledge that will add value to the audience’s own job responsibilities.
  • Content:
    • No overt commercialism, sales pitch, or coverage of specific products as a Keynote Address needs to be visionary and the abstract needs to convey a higher level of educational content.

How will registration and badges be handled?

  • Keynote speakers are registered automatically, and their badges can be picked up in the registration area.
  • website at:
  • Last-minute additions should provide identification (such as a business card) at the registration desk to get a badge.

We have some VIPs coming. Can you reserve seats for them?

  • • Yes, let Roberta, our Director of Keynotes, know at least a week ahead of time how many seats you want reserved and we will put “RESERVED” signs with your company name on the seats.

What is the procedure for handling multiple speakers or demonstrations?

  • Let Roberta know as soon as possible if you will have more than one speaker or are planning something unique so she can plan accordingly.

What type of audio-visual system will be used?

  • The Flash Memory Summit uses a high-quality sound and visual system assembled and run by top professionals. The microphones are wireless lavalier. The room will be set with large screens behind the speaker and one to the right of the stage.

We want to bring our own videographer. How do we arrange for that?

  • David Schwaderer is our on-site videographer and will be recording the presentations. He would be pleased to coordinate with your crew to ensure a satisfactory outcome for your videographer. David can be contacted at either 408-828-2923 or

When will we receive the video you are recording, and will there be a cost?

  • There is no cost for the basic video. David Schwaderer, our videographer, will have it to you within two weeks of the conference. Once the video is ready, he will post it on a private YouTube channel for you to review and approve.
  • If you would like it sooner, let him know and he will do what he can to accommodate your request. David can be contacted at either 408-828-2923 or
  • If you would like custom features added to your video, connect with David and he will give you a quote of what the additional work will cost.

What format should the slide show be in?

  • We request that slide shows use PowerPoint 16:9 format.
  • We encourage you to use your own branded template.
  • Optionally, you may download and use our PowerPoint Template.

We will be embedding one or more videos into our presentation. What format do you recommend?

  • Please use a 1920x1080p ProRes 422 mov format.

Can the PowerPoint presentation include any special fonts or integrate any other applications?

  • If using special fonts or applications, the speaker has the option to use their own laptop for the presentation.

How do we get you the PowerPoint presentation for review and to upload for the Keynote Address?

  • Upload your PPT presentation and script files to the following link on the FMS website: FMS Keynote Uploads.

Are there facilities for showing a video?

  • The audio-visual equipment can handle a video within your slide presentation. This will be tested at your scheduled rehearsal on-site at FMS.

Will the slide presentation be posted online?

  • Yes, but only with your written permission. The posted presentations have a very high number of FMS attendees accessing them after the show. Slide presentations will be posted on the Proceedings page of our website. Previous years may be viewed at: .

Will we have time to practice the talk prior to the presentation

  • Practice times are available and can be scheduled with the Roberta, our Director or Keynotes.
    What dress code do you recommend?
    • We recommend business casual.
      • Women: Tailored pants or dresses.
      • Men: Suit or dress pants and jacket, tie optional.
  • Who will be introducing the speaker?
    • We have selected prominent members of our community to be our introducers. Your introducer will contact you before the talk to become more familiar with the speaker and topic.

    What kind of PR will you provide and how do we connect our people with your people?

  • How soon before the talk's start time should the speaker arrive backstage to get the microphone set up?
    • We request the speaker arrive 20 to 30 minutes prior to start time and check in with the Director of Keynotes.
  • How do we find the room at the Conference Center?
    • The Keynote Talks will be held in the Mission Ballroom. This link is to the PDF of the Conference Center floor plan.
  • What if there is an emergency and we need to contact someone on the day of the talk?
    • In case of any last-minute emergency, please call Roberta, our Director of Keynotes, on her cell phone: 707-592-4952. Do not use email or try to contact other people since they generally will be busy during the show and will be slow to respond.
  • What is the parking situation, and will you provide VIP parking?
    • We will not have reserved spaces, but the Santa Clara Hyatt Regency Hotel has valet parking, and the entrance is just a few hundred yards from the ballroom. (When you enter the hotel, turn right and keep walking straight ahead. You will see signs for FMS as you enter the Convention Center.)
    • The Convention Center also has a large parking structure, but if your speaker will be using it, we recommend you plan for an extra 30 minutes transit time because it can be very busy.
  • How many do you anticipate will attend the talk?
    • Attendance at Keynote Talks in recent years has ranged from 800 to 2,000 people. Within two weeks of the show we will send you a Final Arrangements Notice that will include the estimated number of attendees for your company’s talk.
  • Will there be any evaluation or scoring of the presentations?
    • Yes, within a few weeks of the conference we will send you a summary of the evaluations in a report. This report will provide a rating of the presentation and a graphic depicting how your presentation compared to the other Keynote presentations. Additionally, we will provide all the comments from attendees of your presentation.


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