Demystifying Public Speaking


  • I’d prepared a deeply technical talk on web performance, heavy on the “how” of image and markup optimizations. I’d designed and timed my slides, gathered feedback from cowork-ers, and practiced over and over. I was nervous about going onstage and having a spotlight shining on me, but I was con-fident my information was accurate and helpful to a technical audience.
  • Days before the conference, I took a look at the schedule and realized I was slotted into the opening talk—the keynote, a spot intended to inspire a much more general audience than the one I’d planned on. Whoops. I tried to revamp my slides to be more approachable and to end with a bigger kick.
  • But that was just the first red flag. On the day of the con-ference, I stood by the side of the stage and braced myself for that spotlight. As the emcee introduced me to the crowd of 400, I heard a bio that wasn’t…mine. As the career highlights of not-me sank in, I realized the organizers thought I was someone else. I’m still not sure who they had meant to invite, or who they thought I was, but there was definitely a mistake

What you will learn:

  • What you bring to public speaking: your expertise, your style, your fears, your strengths.
  • Get comfortable with the idea of giving a talk.
  • How to choose topic for the talk.
  • Pracicing and and gathering feedback.

Who should read this book:

People who want to improve theire presentation skills.