Chicago Camps

Speaker Camp

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Harrington College of Design – Chicago


Speaker Camp helps you get ready to present at conferences. Spend your Saturday with us and get prepared to get on stage and show your smarts!

You don’t need to picture people in their underwear to get up on stage and share what you know. You do, however, need to have a compelling idea along with a well-written abstract and a well-structured, well-prepared presentation in order to give the talk you–and your audience–deserve.

You’ve Got A Lot To Say. People Deserve to Hear It.

Show up with 5 minutes of a presentation and learn from seasoned professionals who have seen their fair share of stages. We’ll provide you with a safe, welcoming environment and help you by providing valuable and actionable feedback that will help you level-up your presentation game.

We can help with that. Come learn with us!

Staff & Mentors


Russ Unger

Russ Unger
User Experience Designer & Researcher, Author, & Speaker

Russ Unger is an Experience Design Director in Chicago where he leads teams and projects in design and research. He is co-author of the book “A Project Guide to UX Design,” “Designing the Conversation,” and the forthcoming Speaker Camp for Peachpit Press (Voices That Matter). Russ is also working on a book on guerrilla design and research methods that is due out well, sometime.

Russ is also co-founder of Chicago Camps, which hosts low-cost, high-value technology events in the Chicago area, and he is also on the Advisory Board for the Department of Web Design and Development at Harrington College of Design. Russ has 2 daughters who both draw better than he does and are currently beginning to surpass his limited abilities in coding.

For more, keep up with Russ at or on Twitter as @russu.

Samantha Starmer

Samantha Starmer
VP Customer Experience, Razorfish

Samantha Starmer is Vice President of Customer Experience for Razorfish’s national Commerce and Content practice, where she works on strategy and best practices for creating seamless experiences across all touchpoints of the customer shopping journey. Prior to Razorfish, Samantha was Director of Customer Experience at REI, a leading national outdoor retail co-op. There she was responsible for creating and incubating teams focused on customer experience, interaction design, information architecture, and omnichannel experience strategy.

Samantha has over 15 years of experience in leading large, customer-centered programs from strategy through design, execution and optimization at companies such as Microsoft and Amazon. She is passionate about creating holistic customer experiences that are seamless and provide delight across channels, time, and devices. Samantha has a Masters in Library and Information science from the University of Washington where she regularly teaches graduate level courses on information architecture and user experience. She is fortunate to have been invited to speak and teach globally on customer experience and designing for this omnichannel, convergent world.

For more, keep up with Samantha on Twitter as @samanthastarmer.

Special Guest

Jared Spool

Jared Spool
Founder, User Interface Engineering, & Co-founder, Centre Center

Jared Spool is the founder of User Interface Engineering (UIE), the largest usability research organization of its kind in the world. If you’ve ever seen Jared speak about usability, you know that he’s probably the most effective and knowledgeable communicator on the subject today. He’s been working in the field of usability and design since 1978, before the term “usability” was ever associated with computers.

For more, keep up with Jared at or on Twitter as @jmspool.


Schedule & Curriculum

We’ve pulled together a great schedule for Speaker Camp, which includes brainstorming your ideas, understanding abstract structure and format, crafting your abstract, and much, much more!

Registration & Morning Beverages
  • Brainstorming Your Big Idea
  • How to Write Your Bio
  • How to Write Your Proposal & Abstract
  • Critique Proposals & Abstracts
Presentation Tips & Techniques
Trial by Fire
Presentations & Critique


Harrington College of Design

Harrington College of Design

About Harrington College of Design

In the heart of Chicago’s Loop, great location with lots of local flavor. Hosted in a school for design, Prototype Camp Chicago offers a great setting for learning.

Check out Harrington College of Design.

Where to Park?

There are several easy-access parking garages available in the surrounding blocks.

Where to Stay?

Coming from out of town? There are a lot of hotels in the surrounding area that may work well for you and we have already done the searching for you!

Chicago Sponsors Camps

  • Rosenfeld Media
  • Simplecast
  • Lead Honestly
  • Columbia College Chciago

Code of Conduct

All delegates, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at any Chicago Camps, LLC event are required to agree with the following code of conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event.

The Short Version
Full Version

Be respectful of other people; respectfully ask people to stop if you are bothered; and if you can’t resolve an issue contact the organizers. If you are being a problem, it will be apparent and you’ll be asked to leave.