DDD North 2020
29th Feb 2020 | University of Hull 🏴
Talking about Talking
Speaker: Dylan Hayes
- Speaking can improve your knowledge and make you think outside of your experience.
- You should talk because it is
- Helps build your network of people.
- Lets you have your skills recognised by others.
- A talk should be
- Relevant to the audience and not just a small insider group.
- Relatable and accessible to the audience.
- Well timed, accounting for questions.
- Fun and entertaining to attend.
- You should be the best version of yourself. Find a stage persona and be someone others want to watch.
- Try to be persuasive of what you are speaking about - sell it! Use societal conformance to your advantage.
- Having deep product knowledge is not 100% relevant. Don’t let this stop you doing a talk.
- Clickbait titles grab the attention of attendees.
- Make sure to check your talk is relevant before hand.
- Reduce the text on screen - say it yourself rather than getting the audience to read it as you will be more engaging.
- Check the audio visual equipment.
- Laptop is charged (maybe bring a backup device).
- You have WiFi, and have a backup hotspot.
- You have passwords and logins that work.
- Email a backup of your slides to an organiser in case your equipment fails, then at least you can borrow from someone else.
- If you are doing a live demo
- Keep it short, simple and interesting.
- Remember that using a prerecording of your demo but it might look like cheating. Be careful to use and stay authentic.
- Talk to the audience, not into your laptop.
- Check your demo works a month before, the week before, and the night before. Don’t find out in the talk!
- Consider doing it inside a VM that can be controlled easier than your own machine
- When talking
- Vary your pitch and be expressive.
- Speak at he right pace - not too fast or slow. Go slow enough so your brain can buffer the next sentence.
- Be aware of your body language and find something to do with your hands - i.e. don’t but them in your pockets as you will look bored.
- Be aware of any annoying mannerism / ticks you have and minimise them.
- Separate facts for your own opinion and make it clear which is which.
- Ben funny, but not controversial. If you don’t know how the audience will react about something stay clear. If in doubt use dad jokes!
- Work up to larger talks by doing smaller talks at meet-ups. Use them as stepping stones.
- Be aware of of Imposter Syndrome - you doubt your accomplishments and have an internalised fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.
- Be aware of Dunning–Kruger - you assess your cognitive ability as greater than it is. Sort of the opposite of Imposter Syndrome.
- Slides will take around 2 minutes to talk through. Use this for pacing.
- A talk should have a beginning, middle and end. Tie these together with a coherent theme.
- Your delivery is often more memorable than the message.