You Should Speak, Because Reasons... These Reasons!

Public speaking is an important skill in the working world and it is often one of the most feared skills to get started working on. We reached out to our team for some encouragement and advice on how getting out there and speaking at an event can help you.

What are some of the biggest benefits of speaking at a conference or workshop?

Steve Hicks

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The biggest benefit of speaking for me is that I feel like I am giving back to the development community. I am not much of a contributor to open source, and I don’t spend time answering StackOverflow questions, but I love to tell stories to a room of people. I love seeing their heads nod and their eyes light up as I discuss a technology in a way they can understand. Speaking makes me feel like I am creating value, not just consuming.

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Tyler Evert

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Do you know how to write a git command that will undo the top 3 commits? Nobody knows off the top of their head, except people that are about to give a talk on git. Speaking on something will force me to go through all the rigors of pre-emptively answering questions that I know will come up. This sends me down rabbit holes that I know I could’ve done at any time, but am now being required to go down. Sometimes, I find surprises and end up learning even more about my topic. This is fine! You don’t have to be an expert on something to give a talk about it – in fact, a newbie’s perspective is probably the most beneficial to other newbies. So not only is speaking beneficial to your audience, it helps you grow your knowledge on a topic.

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Chris Hayes

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Public speaking can be intimidating and invigorating. Whether you are speaking solo, on a panel, or facilitating a panel, you will have to focus. Topics can be broad and frightening. Even something as simple “Developing a Product Roadmap” can lead you down hours of prep and reading of complementary and contradicting articles. Don’t try to talk through every option or alternate approach. Pick one or two key areas you are comfortable sharing with the audience. Dive deep into them and practice with a close group before going live. Be prepared for kind advice from your alpha group, actually demand it. Be prepared for off topic audience questions; some you will have come across in your research others will be new to you. Audience questions are a great sign of engagement. Be confident in what you have to share. If you approach public speaking as a conversation that you get to guide and a chance to help others walk away with a single new idea, sharing your knowledge and experience will be natural.

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Jeff Bubolz

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Public speaking is a learned skill that anyone can master with enough practice and coaching. The only way to keep skills, if you have them is to use them. Why not hit two birds with one stone and do public speaking about something career related. People retain 90% of what they have learned when they teach someone else to use that skill. Why not help others learn while helping yourself?

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What benefits have you felt from your public speaking efforts?

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