re: Tips For First Time Speakers VIEW POST


1st off... felicitations! Speaking is fun, and so insightful - for both audience and speakers in my books. As someone who came from music, and having seen many many stages, I have a few items that I always keep in mind. Allow me to add a few, random as they may be:

I always do a tech walk through (before the open). which means a few things:

  1. I always check room lighting. This will always impact the visibility of your presentation.
  2. I take a look at the screen - size and position. Ppl tend to also forget to ask if it's going to be 4:3 or 16:9. Good to know
  3. I always like to meet the a/v persons in charge. They have complete say on how you will sound and know the their tech stack in case you have a particular request. I also thank them as much as I can too.

Someone mentioned being comfy - agreed. This also brings me to some dress details

  1. try to wear as little jewelry as needed. Taking off your lanyard will also mean taking off a chain if you have one, or anything dangling. These sounds can be picked up by quality mics. They may not make all the sounds during your talk, but can ruin a recording.
  2. Take a look at the setting background. This is so that you don't blend in too much. Meaning, if your stage bg is white, wearing white might not be best for a video recording.

Re: slides.

  1. I also check them during my tech walk through because: contrast & content. I check the screen to see how the lighting will affect the contrast of my content. I in fact create 2 versions of a slide. and will check to see how either look. At which point, I can decide which one to use and make global changes to colors.

  2. Live coding?. as others mentioned: ⚠️ proceed w/ caution. my only recommendation would be to take this on like a cooking show: everything is already made. Meaning, have your commented code ready to go, pre checked for errors, and simply comment it out when you're ready to run it. I saw Ilya Grigorik do this, and it was perfect.

here are some miscellaneous bits:

Try to create multiple backups of your deck. Locally, cloud, and a USB - just in case things go south.

Maybe invest in a $10 HDMI cable, so you can do some runs in your hotel - by plugging into your hotel flat screen. I have mine with me at all times + it comes in handy for some Netflix and chill later. ;)

Hit the rest room prior to your talk. ;)

someone talked about mentioning other speakers, I try to do this all the time when their content might possibly support mine or vice versa. Great way for audience to connect dots, and also acknowledge other speakers and their work.

Anyhow, hope this all made sense. Best of luck.

PS - sorry about the length. Had a cancelled meeting and wanted to chime in. ;)

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