How To Rock Your First
Tech Talk

Earlier this month I gave my first tech talk.

It was scary and exciting, and satisfying, and worth getting out of my comfort zone.

Project Aurora

My talk was on a database migration project I’ve been working on for the last year. I agreed to speak because I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, get used to speaking in front of more people than just my team, and help other teams who may want to move to AWS.

I learnt a lot about how I should and shouldn’t prep for a tech talk along the way. Here are my 10 tips on how to rock your first tech talk if you are thinking of giving it a go.

The recording from the NZ Data Science & Analytics Forum

Know your topic
Know your audience
Write it up first
Slide Design
Practice Practice Practice
Avoid AV Issues
Introductions are Everything
Question Time
After the Event

1 – Know your topic

2 – Know your audience

3 – Write it up first

The classic advice goes:

“Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you’ve told them.”

4 – Slide Design

5 – Practice Practice Practice

Practice with yourself

Practice with a colleague

Practice with a non-technical person

6 – Avoid AV Issues

7 – Introductions are Everything

I got some great advice from a colleague on making a good start:

“I personally always find if I can do a good introduction, I’ll be OK. In the times where I’ve done a bad one, I get too nervous”

8 – Pause

When it comes to the actual speaking I got some great advice from my manager:

“At every fullstop, count to three, then start talking again.

9 – Question Time

10 – After the Event

If you take nothing else from this post, remember that people are there to see you succeed. You have something to offer and should give it a try even if it seems scary.




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April 23, 2019