Blog: Speaking in Public

Wherein we prepare for our next talk about Rust, of course!


Adding to the tips:

  • In addition to having a "pause" between loosely connected elelements, I always try to have a "beat panel" between topic changes.
    A big empty slide, which just one (massive) word in the centre, to announce: "It's OK if you got lost before, this is the reset button where we start a new topic"
    For people who say this is "a waste of slides" or "but I'm only allowed X pages": title slides don't count (IMHO), and they usually only take 5-10 seconds. Losing your audience is far worse.
  • Have a supporting image on (almost) every slide.
    Either just a visual pun (I used the matrix "guns, lots of guns" picture recently when describing lots of wifi interference from smartphones), or an actual diagram that explains nesting, structure, packet layout or whatever.
    Even just a logo of the program/software/institute you are discussing works wonders.
    This works because different people have different preferred input channels. Some prefer reading words, others prefer listening, others yet again prefer pictures. Using both pictures and words means image-learners have something to attach the text too, and text learners have illustration of what their interpretation should end us as.
  • My personal Golden rule: every slide has, at most, ONE take-home message, and that message should be summarised in one sentence.
    This principle guides my decisions on when to split my slides up, so I don't overwhelm the crowd with info-bombs.
    It is also a very good way to ensure your talk has observable structure.