Last week I spoke at WordCamp, Cape Town (the WordPress conference), and I watched many of the other sessions as well. Here are a few lessons I learned from my and the other sessions:
- Keep the sessions short and sharp. If forces the speakers to be concise in their message, and the delegates can focus on a short message. This is something that TED do very well (max 30 minutes sessions)
- Keep words on the slides large; you simply cannot shot a screenshot of 50 lines of source code (in a technical session) and expect the delegates to be able to read or understand the code. If you need to show source code, only show the important couple of lines. Or course pictures and diagrams are much better, there were some great slide decks (and some bad ones as well).
- Arrive early. I got stuck in a downpour which stopped traffic. Thankfully I still arrived on time.
- Get the AV sorted out before you start. It is disruptive to have to stop halfway through your presentation to sort out your microphone
- Practise, I cannot over-emphasise this too much
- Get your bio in ahead of time. My bio was read exactly as written, which was great. It was easier for the MC, and for me
- Hang around afterwards. Some of the most interesting questions came during the tea break after my speech.