As a speaker at a conference...
November 28, 2017
Being a speaker at various conferences, I regularly attend talks of other speakers. Not always it’s fun to listen to them. During the last months, I noticed more conspicuously some (bad) habits of (bad) speakers. This led me to this short digest.
As a speaker at a conference, you not only should be an expert on the topic you’re speaking about (and hopefully have some knowledge besides it) and be kind to the attendees of your talk/session. You should (also):
- be well prepared, in terms of knowing your setup and slides
- be able to deal with failure (like “everthing” fails all time: laptops, presenters, beamers, microphones, light, live demos, etc.)
- have a plan b, in case anything of the above won’t work, no matter what!
- accept other point of views, they’re possibly legitimate, we speakers somewhat tend to have a very polarizing point of view in our topics / aka: don’t be dogmatic!
- don’t bash against other technologies, approaches, languages, companies, see previous bullet
- instead talk about the pros of your solution/product/etc. and why you are excited about (b/c it brings you lots of money is NOT a valid reason!)
- don’ t tell others about your huge company, if it’s just a small one - it’s easy to find out, because we all have internet
- don’t “sell” things, people will very quick get behind this and won’t trust you
- …what else?… - write it to the comments!
Reactions from Twitter:
„Talk about the topic your title and abstract promises".— Stefan (@spfeiffr) 28. November 2017
Add: if you're running out of time, know which parts of your talk to skip without harming the delivery of your message— Alex Krause (@alex0ptr) 28. November 2017
... don‘t take yourself too serious. Use humour, have fun during your talk.— Torsten Bøgh Köster (@tboeghk) 28. November 2017