Welcome to the voxgig newsletter for tech speakers, 27 Apr 2018

Welcome to the voxgig newsletter for tech speakers, 27 Apr 2018

Conferences are hard work, but the reward, the adrenaline rush you get from speaking in front of an interested audience makes the hard work worth it. We want to ensure that you get as much from speaking at conferences as you possibly can.

The expression “what can go wrong will go wrong” doesn’t have to be true. Here are some tips that you can use to ensure that both you and your audience get the most value from the experience.

Below are a few tips from experts on preventing and dealing with AV problems when they occur.

1. Gremlins in the machine: stage tech will fail
by Christian Heilmann

“If your talk depends on a lot of things going right, be adamant about this in your talk proposal. Outline in very easy-to-understand words what you need, as in:

  • I will present from my own computer, a X machine, which means I will need a connector of type Y dongle and a resolution of at least Z (pixels by pixels).

  • My slides are in the format of X aspect ratio (4:3 or 16:9, you don’t want black bars).

  • I will need audio available as my talk contains videos with audio and audio examples. Please provide the necessary cables.”


2. How to make a presentation when the equipment fails
by The Newman Group, Inc.

“If possible, schedule a visit to the venue. Meet with the A/V specialist, if any, in advance so that s/he clearly understands your needs. Is it possible to darken the room with shades or by dimming the lights? Where are the power outlets? Is there a thermostat in the room so that you can control the room temperature?”


3. Presenter's guide to preventing A/V problems
by Tim Kerbavaz

“The biggest mistake you can make is to assume that everything will work just the way you expect it to. Computers are fickle. Our number one tip is to test all the technology you’ll be using in the venue in the exact configuration you’ll be using it at the event. This ‘dress rehearsal’ will help you find any technical bugs, and will help you feel confident that your event will go as planned. After rehearsing, you can focus on giving a killer presentation and feel confident that all your technology will work as planned.”


4. When technology fails: 5 tips to save your presentation
by Ubiq

“If possible, share your slides or any necessary documentation with participants before the presentation. This could be in the form of a hard copy, handout or electronic files. If there is a technical issue that prevents you from moving forward with the presentation, at least your team members will have information readily available.” 


5. The most common A/V fails and how to handle them like a pro
by Aria AV

Dealing with audio feedback

“The problem with audio feedback is people’s natural reaction to it. It’s loud and painful, so their natural tendency is to pull away from it and hold the microphone further away from their mouths. This actually increases the likelihood of feedback, as the sound person must raise the volume of their microphone to compensate. Whether in the audience or on the stage, anyone speaking into a microphone should hold it as close to their mouth as possible.”


Speaker Training

Do you speak at conferences? Want to learn how to give the very best talks? Or are you just starting out and want to overcome the fear of speaking on stage?

We are running speaker training workshops in Dublin and London, in Ireland and the U.K. over the coming months.

There is a 10% OFF early bird discount if you book before May 22nd.

To find out more follow the links below.

Public speaking with Lauren Currie

London, UK - Friday June 22, 2018 | More Details

Giving great talks with Russ Miles

Dublin, Ireland - Tuesday July 17, 2018 | More Details

Public speaking with Debbie Forster

London, UK - Thursday October 18, 2018 | More Details

Giving great talks with Russ Miles

London, UK - Tuesday September 25, 2018 | More Details

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Speaker Profile

How conference MC Andrew Klein handles a technical problem at a conference
Andrew Klein

What do you do when the microphone stops working? You get another one, right? What if that one doesn’t work? You do what Andrew Klein does and speak very loudly, adding a bit of humour in to lighten the mood and get the audience laughing. “I can do this. I am a professional!” Have a look to see how smoothly he handles the situation and looks at a few different options, all without appearing to break a sweat.


Learn from the Best

Steve Jobs iPhone 2007 presentation

When it comes to presentations, here is one that made history.  I don’t know how Steve Jobs managed to contain his excitement enough to give the presentation when he knew he was making history, but that’s what professionals do.


Tell me...

 What is your biggest challenge as a tech speaker?

This newsletter is for you. I want it to include hints, tips and strategies that resonate with you.

So go ahead, hit reply and tell me what you find challenging as a speaker. 

Email me at richard@voxgig.com. You can tweet too: @voxgig I will address the most pressing issues in each edition.


Book of the Week

Terri L Sjodin

From the title, this may look like a sales book. It is exactly that. Every time we stand in front of people to give a talk, we are selling: we are selling our stories, we are selling our ideas and we are selling new ways of doing things. This is a great book to help you to get the communication with the audience right from the beginning.


Blog Post

When technology fails during a presentation
Ryan Estis

“I walked onto the stage last Saturday afternoon in Austin, TX and immediately realized something was wrong. As I advanced my slide deck, the presentation staring back at me was something entirely unexpected.”

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Three Conferences


flatMap(Oslo) feels there should always be something to learn for programmers at all levels. This approach shows in the event they put on. It’s about sharing knowledge with the community, so you’ll also find the recordings freely available. If you’re ready to be intrigued, awed, and enlightened, hop on over to Oslo for two days of functional programming content focusing on Scala and the Java Virtual Machine. If you’ve not been to Oslo before, check out one of the many museums and take in the Viking history.



The Evolve conference, presented by Trace3, showcases the latest thought leadership and emerging technologies in IT. The Mirage Resort in Las Vegas is the backdrop for three days of game-changing technology solutions, so if you’re looking for an IT conference, you may want to take a peek at their website and start packing.


RubyKaigi 2018

In its 12th edition, RubyKaigi has become the event for Ruby developers and users to gather to deepen technical and personal exchanges in Japan. With keynote speakers like Yukihiro ‘Matz’ Matsumoto, the chief designer of the Ruby programming language, you’ll want to be present to get familiar with the latest and greatest in the Ruby community. This year’s conference takes place in Sendai, situated on Honshu Island, home to the remains of the 17th-century Sendai Castle.

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CFP Calendar

These are the CFP deadline dates and submission pages.


A favour...

Can I ask you for a favour? If you enjoy this newsletter, and if you find it useful, please consider recommending it to a friend who is learning to give technical talks, or who aspires to do so. I meet so many cool programmers who have brilliant things to share with the world—that’s you!

Please help me to improve this newsletter - I'd love to hear your suggestions! You can email me directly at richard@voxgig.com. You can tweet too: @voxgig. Thank you so much for reading!

A special thanks and shout out to TammyCora, and David for helping to make this newsletter even better!