Monday Coffee 2016-12-12

Speaking and presenting

One of my biggest fears is public speaking and judging by this article, I’m not alone.

However it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do and as such this year I’ve done a few lightening talk sessions at various events. For those that don’t know, a lightening talk is a short (5 to 15 min) session on any subject that you are free to pick and they’re bundled up together so you’ll get 4/5 speakers within an hour.

They’re a great way to get into public speaking, the time goes incredibly fast and there’s no time for Q&A afterwards (usually). I would advise anyone looking to get into presenting to do a couple of these sessions first, just to get a feel for it. I’d also say that, as the session is so short, you should memorise your entire presentation. Practice it over and over so that you can do it in your sleep!

I’d also say that even though I’ve just said you need to memorise your presentation, don’t have a script that you need to stick to. If you plan what you’re going to say word for word and lose your way, you’ll get lost and find it difficult to recover. Instead have a general guide in your head that allows for things to be moved around a bit.

Now demos, if you’re going to do a demo, it needs to be flawless. There’s no time for you to be fixing things. There’s also no time for typing so have everything prepared to be run immediately. Time is short but I’ve seen a few great demos done in lightening talks!

Hopefully that’s a bit of advice that will help you out if you’re thinking of doing one of these talks.

I’m going to move onto some longer talks in 2017, I’ll post up any that I do and let you know how they go! Thanks for reading.

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