AMA: Any more talks planned?

Anonymous asks..

I learned who you were by watching your Google automation talk last year in 2015. Your presentations are really nice. Are you planning on giving any other presentations this year or next year?

My response…

My short answer is no.

My long answer is also no because I actually don’t actually enjoy giving presentations at all. I wrote about my battles with anxiety last year and whilst I am 90% better than I was, last year I committed to present three talks in less than two months which resulted in me having panic attacks about giving these talks. This wasn’t fair on my wife or children who I need to support on a day-to-day basis.

Each talk requires a huge amount of preparation and since my personality leans towards perfectionism I wanted to make sure each talk was as good as it could be, so I wrote every word of each talk and (unsuccessfully) tried to memorise these. This resulted in me delivering the talks partly reading what I’d prepared, which I wasn’t happy about as I was comparing myself to others who delivered their talks without notes.

The reason people give talks is that speech is an amazingly effective communications tool – probably the most so – yet it’s a drastically inefficient communications tool – each minute of a talk requires at least an hour of preparation. I much prefer written communication as I find confidence in writing, and I hope with frequent, thoughtful updates to my blog I can reach a wide audience and still be effective in spreading new ideas.

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is a Software Quality Engineer for Automattic.

2 thoughts on “AMA: Any more talks planned?”

  1. Hi Alister, I feel very privileged then to have seen you speak last year at CukeUp in Sydney. Your talk was great and one of my highlights of the conference. :).


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