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Preparation For My First Conference Talk


My personal professional aim for 2016 was to perform as testing conference speaker. I did some presentations in my 20s as I worked in life-long education and co-run courses for adults, but in testing I fellt the best in the background: planing, improving, building teams and motivating others. I decided to leave my comfort zone!

My first steps to achieve my aim was to apply for SpeakEasy mentorship and to join English class. I got great mentor and she helped me to find my subject, to polish it and to submit my very first conference abstract(have you seen those submission forms? HUGE!). Following with second right after it. One of those got accepted and currently I work on my first conference presentation.

No matter that internet is full of information how to be a speaker and to make a presentation, I did not know where to start. I tried few things, but my thoughts did not want to stick to the paper. I put my first slides together but I was ashamed to share it even to my mentor. It did not look even close to presentations what I saw and liked.

Than I found a 15 minute guide: how to create a conference presentation and thought – this is doable! Very practical and easy to follow suggestions. It even cover topic how to glue it together. From that point I was on the horse again.

There was two another things which I did. I ask for advice on Twitter:

and got amazing feedback with many useful tips. Thank you everyone!

I also shared my slides with other testers in order to test – is my message clear enough? I learned it as I wrote my third conference abstract and my mentor was shortly not available. I had this new idea and wanted to have a feedback, to know should I continue or not, is this something for conference or better for local meet-up. I asked several testers if they would like to review my draft. Believe me or not – no one said “no”. People are nice and like to help. Only thing – you should ask!

Talking about feedback – may be it is only coincidence but my observation is that ladies are more supportive and less specific and critical. My suggestion would be, if you want to test your message, send it to ladies and gentlemen and to testers with different background and knowledge level.

After collecting feedback and putting that into my presentation, the next step will be to practise presentation itself. My current plan includes recording and watching it and presenting for small groups.

Release date is in exactly one month!

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3 thoughts on “Preparation For My First Conference Talk

  1. Pingback: How To Create A Workshop – Activate The Testing

  2. Kristine on said:

    Hi Perze! The problem with mistakes is that it kills the rhythm and that exposes the mistake to everyone. But than I saw Karen’s talk and she is so simply cool! Need to remember her before stepping on stage.

  3. Here’s an advice that I got from Richard Bradshaw during my first conference talk (which I think he got from Jerry Weinberg).

    “If you ever make a mistake during your talk, don’t worry about it. Chances are, you are the only one who knows that you made a mistake.”

    I look forward to hearing about your talk.