DEV Community

loading...

I'm running my first tech workshop next week. Any general advice?

joey_laguna profile image Joey Laguna ・1 min read

I'm running my very first workshop/tech talk next week on React! I will be teaching the basics of React and building a simple To Do list application.

I intend for the workshop to be mostly live coding with a few slides here and there.

As someone who has never done this before, I'm looking for any advice on giving a talk/workshop, live coding, handling slides, calming nerves, etc. Thanks in advance!

Discussion

pic
Editor guide
Collapse
kaydacode profile image
Kim Arnett 

My advice is don't live code..

I've tried this multiple occasions and it's just a point of failure. A trick of the trade is to have all your code in another file and copy, paste it as you need it. Huge spaces/comments make it easier to separate it out.

You'll always fumble in front of a crowd- even the most brilliant people I know don't live code.

As for calming nerves/speaking - I can say once you get started it just starts flowing out of your mouth like lava and your nerves will disappear. :) Have a structure/outline next to you so if you blank you have a reference point.

Good luck! Sounds like a great workshop!

Collapse
d4vecarter profile image
Dave Carter™

My first workshop was a year ago and it was a great experience. Don't panic, you'll do it great.

I created yet another ToDoMVC example, here's the repo, you might find it useful if you're looking for ideas..

Some slides to talk about the core principles behind react might help you too:
aprendiendofrontend.github.io/reac...

Everything is in spanish, if you need some help understanding don't hesitate contact me.
Good luck!

Collapse
andy profile image
Andy Zhao (he/him)

I think working off previous and simple examples is great. It gives me a sense a familiarity that's much welcomed when presenting.

The few times I have done a workshop/presentation, I've always had issues with time, whether it's overestimating or underestimating. Any tips for that?

Collapse
d4vecarter profile image
Dave Carter™

Have you ever tried to use your cell phone to keep track of time?

My advice is:

  • Introduction using slides - 10 / 15 min:
  • Avoid comprehensive introductions about yourself. Something like: My name is Andy, I'm a developer X currently working in company Foo and I want to share my experience with React.
  • Talk about what to expect in your workshop so everybody will be aligned.
  • Explain key React concepts: Declarative, Virtual DOM, Components composition...

  • Hands on: 1h / 2h:

  • Show a fully working example of the final project first and then begin from scratch.

  • Try to split the project in git branches so it will be easier to follow along.

  • Provide a link to the project repo. So everybody will be able to clone it.

And finally:
If something breaks: Keep calm! - Ask for help to atendees. It might just be a typo. Whatever it is, remember we all make mistakes. No one expect you to be a super-hero coder :)

Thread Thread
andy profile image
Andy Zhao (he/him)

Great advice! Thanks a lot for the response. I've never used my phone, although I think it would be more applicable for workshops as opposed to previous presentations I've done (mostly college presentations, about 10-20 minutes). I'm thinking of doing a workshop soon and I'm definitely going to read over this before the next time I present.

Collapse
rapidnerd profile image
George Marr

Add a little bit of entertainment here and there, it makes the presentation a bit more lively. In addition try and create something that shows off the power, the features etc but something that is cool and things people will like to see when working on it.

Collapse
joey_laguna profile image
Joey Laguna Author

Great idea! I always like it when I'm watching/listening to a talk that has humor/fun in it.

Collapse
alvarocavalcanti profile image
Alvaro Cavalcanti

Be mindful, tho. Remember it's supposed to be a hands-on workshop, not a standup performance. :)

Even though I know it's hard to do so, the best advice I can give is: rehearse! Only by doing so you'll find out if the planned activities fit the time, if the jokes are funny, etc

Thread Thread
rapidnerd profile image
George Marr

Forgot about rehearsing! Remember a workshop I did they could hear my knees knocking louder than I was talking.