Simon Willison’s Weblog

Items tagged speaking in Nov

Filters: Month: Nov × speaking ×


How do I overcome my fear of public speaking (of people just “switching off”, or simply getting up and leaving the room)?

Look for opportunities to give “lightning talks”—5 minute talks given as part of a series of talks. These are excellent for beginner speakers as they help force you to get to the point as quickly as possible, and you only have to survive for five minutes! They are good for the audience too as if they don’t enjoy our talk they only have to sit politely for a couple of minutes before the next talk comes along.

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What’s your opinion on sharing your presentation slides (online for anyone to access) after speaking at an event where eventgoers paid to hear you (and others) speak?

I think sharing slides is almost always the best thing for everyone:

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How long does it usually take you to prepare a presentation?

Damian Conway (one of the best technical presenters I’ve ever seen, who also runs amazing tutorials on giving great talks) says “to produce really top-class presentations, budget at least ten to twenty hours per hour of speaking”.

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What are some tips for a successful Ignite talk?

Practice. All public speaking can be improved by repetitive practice, but this is especially important for ignite talks. The one-slide-every-15-seconds format is extremely unforgiving—if you haven’t nailed it, in private, speaking out loud at a sensible pace there’s no chance you’ll be able to keep up with the slides when you are on stage.

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How can I practice giving presentations / public speaking?

Look out for opportunities to practice in front of a friendly audience. There are two event formats that are particularly good for this.

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Exploring Python (via) Notes from the introduction to Python presentation I gave today at Stack Overflow DevDays Amsterdam. # 2nd November 2009, 3:35 pm

How to make Ajax work for you. Slides from my three hour Ajax tutorial, presented at Web 2.0 Expo Berlin on Monday. # 7th November 2007, 10:35 am

Notes on public speaking

I’m pretty inexperienced as a public speaker, but somehow I landed two speaking gigs in as many weeks recently and learnt some useful lessons about presenting in the process.

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