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
If you’ve ever done any theater work, you’ll know there’s a thing called “blocking”. Blocking is the arrangement and movement of the actors on the stage. It gets pretty complex. It’s also a big thing in film. (One of this week’s contributors, Olivia Mitchell, mentions blocking in her piece ‘Nine ways to use space during your presentation’ - see below).
There’s a psychological phenomenon (that’s a word not to be used lightly when speaking in public—avoid words that are hard to pronounce!) called “being in the zone”. Athletes often speak about it in reverential tones. It means being so fully focused on your present activity that time and space melt away, and you perform at your best.
If you learn the art of public speaking, and become one of the people in your company who speaks at conferences, then you’ll find that you have a great excuse not to network. Networking, which is the main purpose of a conference, is a very different skill, and one that many speakers find challenging. Some may assume that because you have no shame in getting up in front of a room full of people that you will also have great networking skills, but I find the opposite is true. When you give a talk, you’re focusing on your words and delivery. When you network, you’re focusing on the other person, and reacting to their internal state.
(metsitaba is also a startup. Read my weekly diary in the Irish Independent newspaper to follow our story. Warning: radical openness!)