Tips from a grizzled speaker


Published on

Tips from a grizzled speaker

  1. 1. Tips from a Grizzled Speaker Josh Holmes et all @joshholmes
  2. 2. About I blogged this entire presentation with all of my speaking tips at: • @joshholmes •
  3. 3. Why do you want to Present?
  4. 4. Passion • Be passionate about the subject or change it. @joshholmes - Adam Tuliper
  5. 5. No, seriously, passion. Be passionate about your talk or your audience will see that and doubt your credibility. - Carey Payette @joshholmes •
  6. 6. Believe what you are saying Really believe in what you are saying: Don't try to spoof/chance your way through something you really don't know, really don't believe or really don't care about. The audience will always see through this and not enjoy the experience. - David C @joshholmes •
  7. 7. Present less Present less. Only present when • (a) you really have something to say that is relevant/anticipated by your audience and • (b) a presentation is the best/only way of imparting that something. Far too many self-indulgent presos out there, which could have been circulated by email, phone, or by sitting around a table with a document. - Rowan Manahan @joshholmes •
  8. 8. Start local Be realistic about your speaking and where you should be speaking. • Start at local user groups, build up to conferences. - Corey Haines @joshholmes •
  9. 9. How do I write the talk?
  10. 10. Tie back to a single idea "What do you want them talking about over lunch?" Everything you do needs to tie back to this single idea. - David Leslie @joshholmes •
  11. 11. Write it down • Pick one objective and write it down. Tie everything back to it. @joshholmes - Mike Levy
  12. 12. Understand your talk before writing Understand your talk before you open Keynote/PowerPoint/Impress. Mindmaps /outlines on paper or in text editors work wonders for the clarity of the points you are making when you actually come to deliver the talk. - Rob Allen @joshholmes •
  13. 13. Map it Do a concept map, not a hierarchical map because that’s an outline • Free association works really well • Plot a course through the map the you want to hit - Jim Weirich @joshholmes •
  14. 14. Slides are for the audience If you are using slides they must be 100% for the audience's benefit and 0% for yours. Anyone using slides as a crutch or a roadmap for their talk should be mercilessly eviscerated on Twitter. - Rowan Manahan @joshholmes •
  15. 15. Font size matters • You can only get 10 or so lines of code onto a slide. @joshholmes - Rob Allen
  16. 16. Contrast is a good thing Projectors have less contrast than monitors; nobody can see pastel colours on a projector. - Rob Allen @joshholmes •
  17. 17. Kill your darlings Block out way more time than you think is reasonable for your authoring. "What is written without effort is read without pleasure." Write 2x what you need and then start killing your darlings. - Rowan Manahan @joshholmes •
  18. 18. Speak your mind • Don’t say what you think the audience wants to hear. @joshholmes - Leon Gersing
  19. 19. Rule of 3 For any talk less than an hour or so, the audience will remember three things. i.e. don't try to cover too much. - Rob Allen @joshholmes •
  20. 20. Don’t divide the audiences attention The audience cannot listen to you and read the words on your slides at the same time. Limit the number of words on the slides. - Rob Allen @joshholmes •
  21. 21. Listen to standups Listen to standup comedy and listen to how standups think about how they do what they do. It's oddly close to the same thing. - Benjamin Day @joshholmes •
  22. 22. Come to the darkside Blank the screen when you want to make a point to make sure that your point land. - Scott Fuller @joshholmes •
  23. 23. Content is king I once thought entertainment is the most important. • Then I went to a talk by a speaker that everyone was telling me was horrible. Monotone, quiet, slow. • The content was good but everything else was abysmal • But after the talk, a large number of people came up to her and told her it was the best talk of the conference! • Content is the most important thing. • To have both content and entertainment is the best of both worlds. - Jim Weirich @joshholmes •
  24. 24. Tell them… Tell the what you’re going to tell them • Tell them • Tell them what you told them - Josh Holmes (and the Toastmasters) @joshholmes •
  25. 25. So how do I get noticed?
  26. 26. Tailor your abstract Building your abstract is much more then just writing a description, tailor it to the conference, make sure is expresses the values that the conference is interested in and it describes the talk to the correct audience. - Rafael Dohms @joshholmes •
  27. 27. Avoid the trendy titles “Getting X in the backdoor” • “Blackbelt” • “New and improved” - Scott Fuller @joshholmes •
  28. 28. Proof it • Proof read your slides because your audience will @joshholmes - Eric Burke
  29. 29. Who? • Tell me who you are. Match your bio expertise to the topic. @joshholmes - Jason Gilmore
  30. 30. Suggest something • Don’t ask me what you should to speak about. @joshholmes - Jason Gilmore
  31. 31. Watch Your !@**!@#$ Language! • Do not use profanity in your abstract @joshholmes - Jason Gilmore
  32. 32. Grok the conference Review previous conference sessions to understand what appeals to that conference’s panel - Jason Gilmore @joshholmes •
  33. 33. Spek Anglosh • Proof read your abstract. Spelling and grammar matter. @joshholmes - Jason Gilmore
  34. 34. The title might be all you wrote Come up with an appealing but too cute title. Needs to describe what the talk is about. The panel, and the audience, might only see the title. Going through 700+ abstracts means that poor titles dramatically lower their chances. Also, good chance only titles are printed on the show bill. - Jason Gilmore @joshholmes •
  35. 35. Are you prepared?
  36. 36. Go deep whether or not your talk does Dig deep during prep into the inner details 'why does this work this way' as someone will inevitably ask. Close with something really cool. Remember right after the cool part to ask people to fill out evals :) - Adam Tuliper @joshholmes •
  37. 37. Join Toastmasters Toastmasters clubs offer a great venue to practice your presentation and to get supportive feedback and tips. Joining Toastmasters also helped make me a ruthless editor as every speech is timed. - David Leslie @joshholmes •
  38. 38. Identify difficult sections out loud Deliver your entire talk in advance, speaking aloud, and standing or sitting as you will when you deliver it live. This will identify the points you have trouble articulating. If possible, record this practice presentation and view it after to see how it flows. - David Giard @joshholmes •
  39. 39. Rehearsal brings tranquility Rehearse at the very least once before the talk, even if you have done it hundreds of times, it gives you a lot more tranquility, every talk is unique every time you present it. - Rafael Dohms @joshholmes •
  40. 40. • Block out way way more time than you think is reasonable for rehearsal. And before anyone says, "I don't like being over-rehearsed, it makes me sound stale" I would just point out that an average stage production run of 6-8 weeks will only happen after 8-10 weeks of rehearsal. If you want to make this thing worth coming to, if you want to change or open people's minds, get over yourself and rehearse. Standing up. Out loud. - Rowan Manahan @joshholmes Block time for rehearsal
  41. 41. Record yourself and watch Record yourself and watch yourself. People try to self assess their talks, but it goes very different from an outside perspective. If you are bored watching you so is the rest of audience. also, that cringe you feel while watching, that is the suck leaving your presentation. - Llewellyn Falco @joshholmes •
  42. 42. Prepare and Practice Prepare, prepare, prepare and practice, practice, practice: The more you prepare, the less nervous you will be, the more authentic you will sound and the more chance you will have of engaging the audience. - David C @joshholmes •
  43. 43. Should not be the first time for a presentation Practice. This is especially important if you are speaking at a big conference. You should not be doing a 1st time presentation there. Practice at your local code camps & user groups. I have found that an audience of 2 is just as good as an audience of 200 for delivering and refining my talks - Llewellyn Falco @joshholmes •
  44. 44. Practice out loud Practice your talk out loud. Can't stress this one enough. It's the only way to know where the talk doesn't flow quite right and give you an idea of its length. - Rob Allen @joshholmes •
  45. 45. Time it Some people think it’s 15 minutes and it’s really 2 hours. • Use Camtasia to time it!!! - Betsy Weber @joshholmes •
  46. 46. Practice in front of people • Practicing in front of people changes how you deliver. @joshholmes - Adam Ryder
  47. 47. Practice just enough Don’t over practice until it’s stale. You have to find your own point here. Some people do better thinking on their feet, others need to practice until it’s as close to perfect as they can get it. - Jim Weirich @joshholmes •
  48. 48. Are you ready?
  49. 49. Prep in advance Prepare your slides in advance. Make a copy on a flash drive and on the Internet before you even leave for the conference. - Anna Filina @joshholmes •
  50. 50. Backup ALWAYS have a backup adapter (if needed) and/or second system to do presentation from. - Adam Tuliper @joshholmes •
  51. 51. COFFEE!!! Careful about the amount of coffee, red bull, … that your consume before you speak. Remember you’ll be on stage for a long time. - Josh Holmes @joshholmes •
  52. 52. Agua • Bring a bottle of water because you will get very dehydrated from talking nonstop and might lose your voice. @joshholmes - Anna Filina
  53. 53. Own the room Get into the room in advance of your preso and know the space. Learn how the lights work, the AC, the seating, where you can be seen and where you can't. Project your slides while sitting at the back and see what works and what doesn't. If they can't see it, they can't be persuaded by it ... Own the room. - Rowan Manahan @joshholmes •
  54. 54. Batteries Be sure to check batteries on everything and carry extra. I always have at least 4 AA in my bag. - Mike Wood @joshholmes •
  55. 55. Power is a good thing • Bring a power cord/adapter for the target region and plug in your laptop before you start speaking. @joshholmes - Anna Filina
  56. 56. A little music Play some kind of music into the room before you talk. It's like having a warm-up act and it makes it easier to win over the audience. - Benjamin Day @joshholmes •
  57. 57. Talk to your audience before hand I usually make subtle adjustments tailored to each audience. My "trick" is to arrive early and talk to potential attendees (the night before is ideal). These conversations help me adjust my pace, tone, content, and language for the individuals in my audience. - Alan Seiden @joshholmes •
  58. 58. No bling • Remove distractions - Michael Eaton @joshholmes  Badges  Watches  Phones
  59. 59. XYZ Examine you zipper. It’s a simple thing but many speakers miss that and it’s just a touch embarrassing. - PJ Hagerty @joshholmes •
  60. 60. No naked gun moments • Check that your mic is off before going to the restroom. @joshholmes - Mike Levy
  61. 61. Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers Warm up your mouth before you start • Red Leather, Yellow Leather • The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick. • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. • She sells seashells by the sea shore. • Freshly-fried flying fish. • I slid a sheet, a sheet I slid. Upon the sliden sheet I sit. - Josh Holmes @joshholmes •
  62. 62. Let’s Get Physical
  63. 63. Use a remote clicker Get a remote clicker, preferably not infra-red, it gives you a lot more freedom and fluidity, allowing you to move. - Rafael Dohms @joshholmes •
  64. 64. Be excited Trying to hide your nervousness just makes it worse. Instead switch "I'm nervous" with "I'm excited" and tell your audience. - David Leslie @joshholmes •
  65. 65. Breathe from your diaphragm • Nervous people breathe from the shoulders @joshholmes - Leon Gersing
  66. 66. Be yourself Be yourself and say it your way: • The actual words you speak are only part of the communication with the audience. The real connection is with what comes from inside you. - David C @joshholmes •
  67. 67. Be happy • Let your inner humor come out. Be quirky in a funny way :) Smile. @joshholmes - Adam Tuliper
  68. 68. Barriers between you and the audience That's called a lectern ;-) and you shouldn't hide behind it, since it only creates a barrier between you and your audience. Two barriers, actually, if you count your laptop screen. - Dirk Haun @joshholmes •
  69. 69. Move on purpose I always talk to speakers about their movement on stage. Most people either don't move frozen behind the podium or they wander like lost puppies on stage. Speakers should move with purpose on stage. When you are moving, make sure that it's to emphasis the point you are making or at least it's not detracting from what you are saying. - Josh Holmes @joshholmes •
  70. 70. Face your audience • Face your audience. @joshholmes - Rob Allen
  71. 71. Don’t point at the screen (or screens) While onstage, don't turn and gesture at the screen, to emphasis a idea or to try to point out a line in the slide. This is a bad idea in general, but is especially useless for bigger audiences where your computer screen is projected on multiple big screens and monitors around the room. Whatever screen you point at, there is a substantial portion of the audience looking at another screen. - Walt Ritscher @joshholmes •
  72. 72. Your audience can read too • "Do not read from the slides" - Best advice ever given to me ! @joshholmes - Erik Hougaard
  73. 73. Posing Power Great TED talk on the power of power poses. Take a strong powerful pose for 2 minutes and it will make you more confident. • Hands on hips with chest up and chin up. • Arms up in celebration • Hold for 10 seconds to 2 minutes! • Search “Ted talk power pose” - Abby Fichtner @joshholmes •
  74. 74. Do you demo?
  75. 75. Be concise • Be concise and specific in your demos. @joshholmes - Eric Burke
  76. 76. Cheat • Don’t sit and write code, use snippets @joshholmes - Eric Burke
  77. 77. Always backup • Have a ready to use final version. @joshholmes - Carey Payette
  78. 78. Julia Childs • Have a before and after demo version ready. @joshholmes - Eric Burke
  79. 79. Show it, don’t tell it • Run it and show what it does @joshholmes - Eric Burke
  80. 80. Simple steps • If you need to do a lot of things, do one at a time and run in between @joshholmes - Eric Burke
  81. 81. Right zoom • Zoom the font. There’s a lot of great tools such as ZoomIt out there @joshholmes - Eric Burke
  82. 82. Put the demo online • Put it on github and let me pull it so I can play with it myself. @joshholmes - Eric Burke
  83. 83. Avoid live demos Don’t do live demos unless you can’t avoid them. If you have to do a live demo, increase your practice 3x. Make it so that you’re not dependent on any third party such as networks or anything that runs in the background. - Jim Weirich @joshholmes •
  84. 84. Prop me • Bring a robot… (only he can get away with this in every presentation…) @joshholmes - Scott Preston
  85. 85. Can you say it?
  86. 86. Set expectations Set the audience's expectation of what level your talk is aimed at in the abstract and at the beginning of the talk. - Rob Allen @joshholmes •
  87. 87. Open Strong You’ve got 30 seconds to sell your pitch or it’ll be the Charley Brown teacher… Wa wa wa wa - Carey Payette @joshholmes •
  88. 88. Don’t put yourself down Don’t undermine your own credibility as you are speaking because if you don’t believe in yourself, why will your audience? - Carey Payette @joshholmes •
  89. 89. Enunciate • Be clear with your diction and enunciate your words @joshholmes - Eric Burke
  90. 90. Eye contact Connect with your @joshholmes •
  91. 91. Interact Ask questions of the audience for feedback and give stuff away for answering questions - Eric Burke @joshholmes •
  92. 92. Your audience wants you to succeed Start strong with energy and confidence. Whether they realize it or not, the audience wants to feel like you've got this presentation nailed. If you're nervous, then they're nervous. - Benjamin Day @joshholmes •
  93. 93. Audience can’t download you You can put your slides online for download. You can put your notes online, and your sample code. • What you can't put online is your audience, so make them and their questions your priority. Don't let them derail you to a different topic entirely; but the live experience is a unique opportunity for them to let you know if your message is getting across, and to change course on the fly if it's not. - Martin Shoemaker @joshholmes •
  94. 94. You are the tailor If you are going to do the talk as it is and no variation, you might as well send a video. The reason you are in the room is to tailor it to your audience. - Josh Holmes @joshholmes •
  95. 95. Tell a story OMG...for the love of gawd...know what you want to say and say it EARLY. Get your story figured out and then hang the rest of your talk off of that story. If you don't have a story, at least create a Top 10 list. • Top 'n' lists are instant story. What's easier to understand than 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc? - Benjamin Day @joshholmes •
  96. 96. • Stories and Examples over bullet points and abstract concepts. If you really want to connect with people you are going to need a story or an example to stick with them. No one is going to remember your bullet points. Give a talk called top 10 ****** and then ask someone to name 3 of the 10 things 1/2 hour later, much less when they need your talk a month or two later. But tell an interesting and engaging story and people can remember it years later. - Llewellyn Falco @joshholmes Stories and Examples
  97. 97. But have a POINT Make sure that the story has a point rather than just talking about the fish that you caught last summer. - Carey Payette @joshholmes •
  98. 98. • I usually pick a few faces in the crowd to try and measure how I'm going, pick like 5 and watch them, if most of them look bored I try to switch up, or slow down, basically I adapt my style to the reactions I get. But also, be sure to understand audiences. For example, in the US the audience is more reactive, they will nod, comment, even make public remarks if the ambient allows for it (woots and amen and such), where as the Dutch audience will look like your talk is boring, only to tell you afterwards "it was the best talk i ever saw". - Rafael Dohms @joshholmes Watch your crowd
  99. 99. Read the room Don’t barrel through, stop and look at your audience and make sure that they are still with you. - Scott Fuller @joshholmes •
  100. 100. Be impactful without slides Write your talk so that it is impactful without slides. Stories and anecdotes. Slides should be an optional impact multiplier. - Josh Walsh @joshholmes •
  101. 101. Slides follow you The best presenters talk and their slides change seamlessly behind them average and crappy speakers change the slide, look at what's up there and start talking. Slides follow you - not the other way around. - Rowan Manahan @joshholmes •
  102. 102. Avoid reading the big screen You should not need to ever look at the big screen, unless you are deliberately turning your back on the audience to make them look there for a vid or similar. - Rowan Manahan @joshholmes •
  103. 103. Look at your screen the right number of times You should not need to look at your comfort screen, except the occasional peripheral vision glance - that's what rehearsal is all about. - Rowan Manahan @joshholmes •
  104. 104. Laugh it off When something goes wrong, be sure to laugh it off. Even acknowledge it to the audience and get them on your side with humor rather than just muscling through it and loosing your passion. • Abby told a great story about how she went on auto-pilot while trying to fix an issue rather than stopping, laughing and fixing. - Abby Fitchner @joshholmes •
  105. 105. Now what?
  106. 106. Close strong Close with something really cool. Remember right after the cool part to ask people to fill out evals :) - Adam Tuliper @joshholmes •
  107. 107. Don’t dine and dash Do not swoop in and do your talk and run away. The conference organizers and attendees want the speakers to hang out and mingle. If your schedule doesn’t allow that, maybe reconsider submitting. - Jason Gilmore @joshholmes •
  108. 108. Relax To many speakers obsess. Don’t rush to get the evals and go looking through because you’ll find one that’s negative and it’ll piss you off. • Don’t do that. You just got off stage, enjoy that moment. Relax. - Josh Holmes @joshholmes •
  109. 109. Revise Revise your talk while it’s fresh. Once you get a couple weeks out, the parts that didn’t flow or felt off topic or were a little awkward for some reason will be forgotten and the next time you’re giving the talk you’ll trip over that same section again… - Josh Holmes @joshholmes •
  110. 110. Books on presenting • Dirk Haun  Presenting for Geeks  Simon Guest  File -> New -> Presentation  and enter the code: 9DU2GFJP for a 15% discount • Scott Berkun  Confessions of a Public Speaker  • Cliff Atkinson  Beyond Bullet Points  @joshholmes •
  1. A particular slide catching your eye?

    Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.