Speaking at conferences can be daunting, especially if you are first starting out. Public speaking can be hard enough without going through the conference talk process. Both Will and BJ have gone through the process of creating and submitting a CFP (Call for Papers), putting together a conference talk, and making it memorable and engaging.
Open Space Technology is a method of organizing meetings and conference. It is a participation driven meeting where the agenda is created by those in attendance. Topics do not have to be around technology. At DevSpace there were Open Space session about martial arts, foster parenting, and of course beer. They are also a great way to meet other developers with similar interests.