Friday, April 17, 2015

Blitz Talk Preparation Notes

Blitz Talk Preparation Notes

I have spoken about my talk at NSNorth previously here (NSNorth 2015: Stretching Myself) and here (Blitz Talk: Microsoft Band).

After giving two talks recently, here are some tips and things I plan to do for my next talks:
  • Practice speaking with a mic in my hand (I happen to have one for recording).
    • Reason: Get used to holding the mic at a steady distance to reduce volume changes.
  • Write slides a couple weeks before time and tune leading up to the event.
    • I copy my presenter notes into OneNote and then reread them and tune them over time.
  • If using autoplay (when the slides automatically advance every 15 seconds) then practice with that.
    • I practiced at first by manually progressing the slides to work on transition text between slides.
    • I figured out I could say about 3-5 sentences (a short paragraph) during the 15 seconds a slide was up.
    • Once I had the transitions worked out I started to practice with autoplay on.
    • Once I had the presenter text down, I started to practice with no presenter notes.
  • Practice speaking in front of the mirror.
    • Once I started this I felt I found a lot of flaws and was able to really improve the rhythm of the talk.
  • Stay calm
  • Make sure you use White on Black or Black on White fonts/background.
    • Some of the presenters had Grey on White, etc which bled together when the lighting was not ideal.
  • Place your twitter or email or webpage on each slide (if appropriate).
    • I put my twitter handle in the bottom left of each slide that had space available.
One complaint I received was that some slides had too much text and that since I was adding so much information it was a lot to take in. That was part of my goal to share as much information as possible and to let the slides stand alone for those that come across the slides after the talk.

Good luck on your next talk.

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