Community Tips For Public Speaking

Mark Winteringham
Bruce Bruce

By the Testing Community

Recently on Twitter, Bruce (The Legend) @BruceOnlyBruce shared this question to get advice from the testing community on public speaking at conferences:

The result was some fantastic advice around a range of topics when it comes to creating, practising and delivering a talk. So let’s take a look at some of the excellent ideas that were suggested:

Preparing a talk

One of the hardest parts of putting a talk together can be putting it all together. We might know the main goals of our talk, but how should we structure it? How should we arrange our slides? Fortunately, @mattwynne had some great advice for getting started:

@Simon_tomes shared a great way to frame a talk and kick start it with a bang:

@A11y_Ady also shared this point about ensuring your slides don’t get too cluttered:

He also raised a point that a @heather_reiduff and @the_qa_guy also recommend about promoting yourself through your slides, making your talk more accessible and how to deal with those nervous sweats 😬

Practising a talk

Practising a talk before delivering it not only helps to familiarise ourselves with what we want to talk about. It can also help our confidence when we deliver it, or as @HannesLindblom shares:

So how do we go about practising our talks? @CAkehurstRyan and @Simon_tomes share two alternative approaches we can take:

@Simon_tomes also shared another benefit of practising around working out the best way to deliver our talks:

Getting ready to speak

So the talk is ready and rehearsed, the time is come to speak and the nerves are starting to kick in. Here are some great tips to handle the nerves, from @EskoLuontola:

@FionaCCharles shares a very practical, and important, piece of advice before getting ready:

And finally, @Simon_tomes suggests an idea that embraces the energy and nerves…

Delivering the talk

Talking in front of a group of people, regardless of size, can be overwhelming. So it’s important to remember that it’s ok to make mistakes and that the audience is there to support you and learn. Which is exactly @m3tomlins and @FriendlyTester suggest:

There are also some practical tips to keep in mind that @Gem_Hill and @Tazee_k share:

What to do after speaking

Finally, @villabone has a great piece of advice to keep in mind wants the talk is over to let the dust settle and to take some time for yourself.

Resources

All of the tips and tricks shared are incredibly useful when speaking, but there were also a lot of additional resources shared which can be found below:

About the authors

This article is a co-curation effort based on ideas shared by:

@BruceOnlyBruce

@mattwynne

@simon_tomes

@A11y_Ady

@heather_reiduff

@the_qa_guy

@HannesLindblom

@CAkehurstRyan

@TheTestDoctor

@EskoLuontola

@FionaCCharles

@m3tomlins

@FriendlyTester

@Gem_Hill

@Tazee_k

@villabone

This article was curated by Mark Winteringham.

Mark Winteringham

OpsBoss

Mark Winteringham is a tester, toolsmith and the Ministry of Testing OpsBoss with over 10 years experience providing testing expertise on award-winning projects across a wide range of technology sectors including BBC, Barclays, UK Government and Thomson Reuters. He is an advocate for modern risk-based testing practices and trains teams in Automation in Testing, Behaviour Driven Development and Exploratory testing techniques. He is also the co-founder of Ministry of Testing Essentials a community raising awareness of careers in testing and improving testing education. You can find him on Twitter @2bittester or at mwtestconsultancy.co.uk / automationintesting.com

Bruce Bruce