Presenting at a meetup or conference is an exciting way to share with the community, build notoriety as an expert and make some new friends. It’s also nerve racking as hell, especially if you’re just getting started in your speaking career or are not a natural public speaker. I’ve had the honor of speaking at a number of local and international conference about a number of topics. (Visit my /talks for a detailed breakdown).
Figure out what you want to say, what’s the story you want to tell?
Go easy on the slide deck. Spend time figuring
So you want to speak at a conference?
Preparing your talk
Planning for failure
Technical problems will happen, you can be certain of it. I recommend that you practice for every problem you might encounter. How do you recover from it? What’s your back up plan if you aren’t able to recover?
- Laptop breaks, won’t turn on
- Internet goes down
Talk to attendees in the audience before you go on stage. Find out who your audience is, why they came, what they’re working on, and what they hope to get out of your talk. I’ve found this tip incredibly useful for helping to tame the stage fright.
If there is a microphone talk normally and into the microphone. It’s a microphone, not a magic phone, be sure to speak clearly and loudly enough that your audience can hear you.
Technical failures will happen, it’s ok, audiences have come to expect it and are there to support you. First, be calm, if you freak out you will forget everything you practiced and only make the situation more uncomfortable.