Joshua Paling

What makes a good talk?

After Ruby Conf AU, I came away noticing a few common traits of good talks:

Excellent delivery

On stage, you’re not just speaking, you’re performing. Turn the enthusiasm up a few notches from what you’d use in a face-to-face conversation. Don’t just stand behind the podium and read.

A story

Don’t present points. A blog post can do that. Bring some personal anecdotes in, and weave a story out of the information you’re presenting. Relive the emotions you felt at the time. This comes back to the idea of ‘performing’.

Great Tech talks require great examples

Distill the technical idea to the smallest, most basic possible representation. Come up with a simple, self-contained example domain for all code demonstrated. Most people don’t do this and their talks are much worse for it. (The quote ‘I wrote a long letter because I didn’t have time to write you a short one’ comes to mind)