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Discussion on: How Do I Start Giving Talks on Coding?

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Cameron Lepper

I've done a bit of public speaking on coding regularly over the last year. If there's one single bit of advice I can give, it's consider your demographic before you plan your presentation. It's often overlooked, but is a crucial component.

I've presented coding and knowledge sharing in schools, universities and professional environments; by understanding your audience, the rest will follow.

Engaging your audience is so much easier when the content is appropriately accessible and digestible for the audience. I've found this out, ashamedly, the hard way!

I don't really use notes, although I know some are more comfortable with an aide of some sort. However, what I do have is one small bit of card with 'Speak Slower' written in capitals. This is a visual prompt that catches my eye throughout the presentation, that the audience cannot see, but will usually let me go "ah, yeah, I'm speaking to quick". It's so easy to lose track of your verbal pace when presenting code - I find this particularly as I get towards the crux of my topic or conclusion that I've been excitedly building up to.

Anecdotes are useful, but don't overuse them. Whilst anecdotes are a good way of maintaining engagement and justifying an opinion, they're not explicitly objective and therefore should be used sparingly - or at least appropriately.

Also, when presenting something that requires some digestion, it's OK to pause briefly. Incorporate it into your presentation, and it'll be more natural.

awwsmm profile image
Andrew (he/him) Author

"Speak Slower" -- that's a great tip!

Reminds me of