Star Search It Ain’t

So, you have something to say about the technology you dabble in?  You have a depth of knowledge?  Why keep it to yourself or only discuss it with the 8 people that read your blog?  Put together a Powerpoint presentation, get out to your local user group and SPEAK!

Fear of public speaking is not something that only *you* have to deal with.  When you get in front of a group and present they are rooting for you to succeed.  No one comes to a user group meeting hoping the speaker talent will fail.  You enter with a built in cheering section.  So long as you can get your point across you’re 80% there already.

Think of Powerpoint as a series of tubes a collection of Tweets, with pictures.  Keep the slides to 140 characters; flesh out the rest with notes that you discuss off-the-cuff, and use your local peers as a sounding board.  Even better, work with the leadership of the user group to put on a speaker talent show where only first time speakers present on topics that cover your particular area of interest.  At the end of the night the *winner* receives a glowing piece of swag and all the participants receive recognition and a slightly less glowing piece of swag.

Everyone wins: the participants gain experience, get friendly feedback, and work the sharp edge off their fears.  The audience learns new things.  The leadership does not have to pimp themselves for speaker talent that month.  WIN – WIN – WIN.

Who knows, from there you may get the itch to start speaking at other user groups, regional meetings, or perhaps national conferences. 

It all starts small though, and dents and dings are anticipated in your first attempts.  Heck, ever listen to Stephen Hawking’s early lectures?  Dude was analog.