A newsletter for
tech conference speakers
A weekly invitation to learn about great conferences, learn from great speakers, and improve your public speaking skills. Learn how to deliver conference talks that people will remember.
Here are some recent newsletters
This week I’d like to talk about the tools that you can use to give better presentations. You might think this means reviewing a list of gadgets. No. Socrates did not need gadgets, and neither do you. Finding the best slide clicker to move backwards and forwards in your presentation is not going to save your sorry ass if your talk sucks.
I love listening to and reading about the great speeches of history. These are not only inspirational in their own right, but also provide a great opportunity to learn. This learning is not of the analytical and theoretical kind (although that is there too). Rather it is of the perceptual kind. Your brain is a powerful neural network that can learn without your help. By continually exposing yourself to great speakers and speeches, you become subconsciously better at giving talks yourself. This is not voodoo magic or hippie nonsense. It’s a real neuro-physiological effect.
When you start giving public talks on technology as a software developer, you quickly run into the problem of what to talk about. If you’re lucky, your company will allow you to discuss internal technical architecture—many companies do this as it helps with recruitment. Or you pick up a new platform and introduce it to people (this is what I did with Node.js back in 2011/12).
Both of those wells soon run dry. You can only discuss your company systems to a certain depth, and eventually, most people learn about new tech as it becomes mainstream. Where do you find a sustainable source of talk topics?
(metsitaba is also a startup. Read my weekly diary in the Irish Independent newspaper to follow our story. Warning: radical openness!)