Having analysed a lot of conference talks lately, I found a few things that don’t work when it comes to keeping to the time you have as a speakers. I then analysed what the issues were and what you can do to avoid them and put together a new chapter for the Developer Evangelism Handbook called “Keeping time in presentations“.
In this pretty extensive chapter, I cover a few topics:
- How will I fit all of this in X minutes? – how to deal with the stress of time limits and how to own the fact that you always will be faster than you think you’ll be
- Less is more – how to avoid padding your talk with more and more information as there is time
- Your talk is only extremely important to you – how to understand that your talk fits into a whole day of other talks and how to stand out
- Map out more information – how to delegate information instead of trying to tell people everything
- Live coding? – the pros, but mostly the cons of live coding on stage
- Avoid questions – how to avoid questions and answers to interfere with your talk
- Things to cut – what to remove from your talks to win some time
- Talk fillers – what to add to talks to give some more value
All this information is applicable to conference talks. As this is a handbook, all of it is YMMV, too. But following these guidelines, I always managed to keep on time and feel OK watching some of my old videos without thinking I should have done a less rushed job.
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