This is an excerpt from a project I am working on titled “Spin a Good Yarn”. Details available soon.
Before you learn to be a good speaker, make sure you know how not to be a bad speaker. First and foremost, do not publicly criticize the conference, the organizers, the venue, the other speakers, or the audience.
Let’s keep this between us
If you have a problem, find an organizer and work it out with them in private. If you can’t get the resolution to your problem, letting your little social media echo chamber know that you didn’t get a satisfactory resolution to your problem will not help things, ever. It will, however, irritate the organizers and possibly the other speakers. This will harm your reputation and because we are all humans and have personal biases, it will hurt your chances of returning to that conference. Because most tech conference organizers talk to other organizers, it will most likely get around that you are a bad actor and hurt your chances at other conferences as well.
The easiest way to not get a bad reputation is to simply to not complain. After all, regardless of how bad things might get, you are there not as an attendee but as part of the conference. In most cases, your travel costs were fully or partially covered. Be gracious, even when things are not going right.
None of this means that you should lie about the conference or sugar coat a bad situation. The point is to simply force you to think about your actions, how they will be perceived by both the conference organizers and others. The rule that many of us were taught as youngsters applies in this situation.
“If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.”
Until next time,
I <3 |<
Photo Credit: dutchmasterdutchie
Used under a Creative Commons License.