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Discussion on: I'm delivering a tech talk. Any suggestions? 🤷‍♀️💡

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Lars Richter

Hi Rachel.
That is awesome news. Congratulations.
I have a few tips to share with you.

A lot of people say "Don't do live coding. Something will go wrong for sure". I don't agree. I am a big fan of live coding. The secret is: know exactly what you have to do. Practice your demo over and over. Again and again. Also, write a little cheat sheet that will tell you what to do in every step. You can take a quick look at it during the live coding. And then practice more. If you have done the same demo 10 - 20 times, your live coding will be fine. :-) Sure, there is always a chance that something breaks unexpectedly. But you reduce the risk of those things a lot. by practicing.

The same with the talk itself. Practice. It will give you a lot of confidence.

As you can see, a good conference talk takes a lot of preparation. I easily spend 20 hours creating a 45-minute talk.

Last tip: don't put a lot of text on your slides. I like using one big image/picture per slide and almost no text. It's great for keeping the attention of the attendees. They won't read the slide and will instead listen to you. The only downside of this: Nobody can "use"/read your slide deck afterward to reread the main points of your talk.

Good luck. I hope you can enjoy it.

stereoplegic profile image
Mike Bybee

My very first talk was on about 2 hours of sleep. Instead of standing and delivering a dry, probably absent-minded presentation, I switched gears, sat down, and went with a live demo (on Vagrant - before Docker really came into its own - as a tool not only for local dev but for DevOps and provisioning). It was one of the most talked-about presos of the conference.

rachelagnihotri profile image
Rachel Author

I really loved the last tip. Your whole advice was super-useful too. Thank youuuu!