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Speaking can help you Level Up

Dear Reader,

Level Up

Speaking is a great way to get your name out there among your peers. The marketing term is “Thought Leadership” but in gaming it’s called Leveling Up. Regardless of what you call it, getting up in front of a group – especially a group of your peers – and presenting on a topic will help elevate you in the eyes of the audience, and also the community in general. Talk enough on a single topic and you will level up and become known as the “X person.

  • The Unit Testing person
  • The Security person
  • The DevOps person

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Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=

Read this before you submit to another CFP

Dear Reader,

This is an excerpt from a project I am working on titled “Spin a Good Yarn”. Details available soon.

Crafting a great proposal, writing a good talk, learning to present it; all of these things are very important if you want to be a good speaker. However, there is something else you need to do, you need to get yourself organized and you need to do this before you submit your first proposal.

Most conferences will want you to submit not only your talk, but also your personal information when you submit to a CfP. The two most important pieces of information you can give them outside of your talk is your picture and your bio. You can prepare these ahead of time, or you can wing it when it comes time to submit. Trust me, being prepared ahead of time is much easier.

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Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=

A Speaker’s Bag Breakdown

Dear Reader,

I do a lot of speaking at conferences. because of that, I’ve learned to carry everything I need and then some. This post describes everything I carry and why.

Haven’t We Been here Before?

Back in 2009 – as I was preparing for one of the most interesting conferences I ever took part in, “Marco Tabini’s Traveling PHP Road Show ” (aka CodeWorks ’09) – I posted a picture of what I pack in my bag for traveling as part of a post about CW09. Recently, when going through my blog, I ran across it and thought it might be fun to contrast what I carried then with what I carry now.

Here is everything I carry on every trip. When traveling domestically with the Lovely and Talented Kathy, I also now carry my podcasting gear. That is not pictured in this breakdown, however, if anyone is interested, I’m happy to do a breakdown of that as well.

Before I start, it should be noted that I thought I carried a lot of stuff back in the day. I actually switched to OSX in part because the Macbook Air was lighter than any other laptop on the market at that time. Of course, that didn’t take into account all the Apple crap you have to carry WITH it. :) Overall, though, even though it looks like a lot, my pack is still about 10lb lighter now than the previous picture.

My Current Bag:

a breakdown of what I carry in my bag when speaking at conferences.
Click for a larger image

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Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=

When it comes to speaking, Primum non nocere. (First, do no harm)

Dear Reader,

This is an excerpt from a project I am working on titled “Spin a Good Yarn”. Details available soon.

Advice to anyone looking to be get better at public speaking.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.

Be Honest

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 |<
=C=

Photo Credit: dutchmasterdutchie
Used under a Creative Commons License.

When preparing a talk, don’t get lost in translation

Dear Reader,

15637063327_7edaeaeb5c_mA word of warning. When developing technical presentations for conferences, there are a lot of things that you as the presenter will have to worry about. There is one however, that a lot of presenters skip over, cultural relevance. If you plan on giving your talk in a country outside of your own, you need to think carefully about your opening, any jokes you tell, and any anecdotes you share. More than one speaker has presented a talk to their home crowd in their native language and nailed it perfectly, only to find that in a different culture, it falls flat. You don’t want your talk to get lost in translation on it’s way to your audience. 

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Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=

 

Photo Credit: Carlos ZGZ
Used under a Creative Commons License.