Disclaimer: This post is in english but it links to external resources in french.
Early January 2019, I skipped out of my comfort zone to give a 20 mins talk + Q&A about my experience around ReactXP. This has been a truly wonderful experience because -somehow- I managed to be very relaxed.
Anyway, before I dive into the details of how I prepared, the talk- in french- is online here:
I had more than 3 months to prepare. It’s a lot of time.
I started working on the slides. And I think I made the mistake that everyone faces somehow: Too many slides, too many information. Because the talk involved work with one of my client, I shared my draft with them very early in the process.
And it has been a blessing. They said to me that the attendees should listen to me and not read the slides. So I ended up trashing half of the slides to finish with only 13 slides.
I red books on public speaking and self awareness. I posted links to them in case you’re interested:
I worked on a couple of daily/weekly routines in order to be ready the d-day:
- Review the slides every week for 2 months before the event, allowing changes. The event manager asked me for the presentation a week before I go live, and I send the slides right away, because I was very happy with the final result.
- Record the talk with a timer in order to:
- Stay in the allotted time.
- Listen back to it to acknowledge my voice tone and volume.
- Find the perfect balance between improvised and prepared sentences.
- Make sure I’m telling an interesting story.
I’ve done the rehearsal 12 times, 1 time a day starting 15 days before the talk. This way I’ve put no pressure on myself a couple of days before the event.
Be honest about myself
I also took some time to talk about me, because I’ve come a long way to achieving this.
I used to be very shy and introverted when I was young. I was also terrified about being rejected because I was not perfect. I mean, this is far beyond imposter syndrome, it is shame. I’m in therapy for almost 3 years and honestly it helped a lot.
Interestingly I unintentionally did not include this part during the rehearsals. I has been 100% improvised and it worked very well at that particular time.
I hope to give some more talks in the future because I love sharing what I’ve learned for so many years in the software industry.
Stay tuned for more.