Monday, January 19, 2015

How to prepare your first Technical Presentation

Delivering a technical presentation regardless of the subject matter can be a real challenge. Even if you’re a 'seasoned' speaker there’s several steps that lead you to completing a successful presentation.
In a series of posts I’ll cover the following steps:
  1. How To Pick A Topic
  2. Coming Up With A Catchy Title
  3. Writing An Abstract
  4. Building The Slides
  5. Building The Demos
  6. Delivering The Presentation

How To Pick A Topic

When you submit to a major conference, deciding the topic to focus on is your first step to getting started. This step is critical because the idea that you come up with will impact the rest of your preparation. If you’re in need of a topic and have the equivalent to “writer’s block” then here are some tips to help you out:

Be Passionate

Have you ever been assigned a presentation topic that you’re not really passionate about? This may happen when you’re given a topic that just has to be covered with co-workers and often shows in your delivery.
If you are passionate about something it's more likely you'll write a more compelling abstract, be more proactive about content development and even deliver content in a way that connects better with the audience.

Present On What You Know

This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many speakers pick topics that are completely out of their comfort zones. A certified doom scenario...! If you’re a new presenter, either pick something you know well or prepare to study all ins and outs. And get someone to ask you some questions to see if you are fit for showcasing on a podium.

Use Things You’ve Done At Your Job

I'm betting you’ve come up with some pretty inventive ways of solving problems while at work.
Why can’t you take your solutions and generalize the details, including the data? These items are the most popular because they’re based on real world problem solving.

Is Anyone Interested?

If you’re debating whether topics would be of interest, why not ask your colleagues which topics they like best. Not only are you getting valuable information back but you’re also doing a little early promoting for your session ;).

Keep A Journal

Ideas will come at any moment. If you’re not prepared you could have a sudden stroke of brilliance and before you know you’ve forgotten it. Always keep a pen and paper handy, or use apps like OneNote and log your ideas in a journal.

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