On Public Speaking šŸ“ #2

by Pauline on December 4th 2017

“Content is Queen”

At the end of November, I did my second speaking gig after being approached by Andy Tattersall on Twitter who organises seminars around research in the 21st Century. I agreed as I’ve been keen on improving my public speaking skills over the year.

Thankfully, I was given the opportunity to throughout my placement and a few months ago at Sheffield User Ruby Group. I still feel like there are areas for improvement and as the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

A Bite-Size Guide to Research in the 21st Century Part IV – Communication for Impact

Summary:
Academics are increasingly taking to traditional and social media to communicate their research. Talking about your research to specialist and lay audiences is a great way to develop your communication skills and can help increase the impact of your research. This symposium will hear from esteemed academics who actively share their work with wide audiences. We also explore what it is like to blog as a student and the benefits and challenges of doing so. The opportunities for science communication are ripe; this session will help you get out and pick them.

More information can be found here.

I got increasingly nervous while listening to the talks before mine. Compared to speakers who went on before me who were much more experienced and delivered so well (with years of built up confidence), I felt out of place and “not good enough”. But after some positive self-talk and reminders along with sending streams of “I am freaking out” texts to Matt, I managed to find calm. I reminded myself how proud I am of myself for:

  1. facing my fear
  2. taking on a challenge for self-improvement

Above the noise: Building an online voice

You can watch/listen to my talk below and access the slides here.

Unfortunately, my slides didn’t show up well on the computer, so story-telling using emojis wasn’t great šŸ˜­ But it’s a lesson for next time – to always plug in my laptop šŸ˜†

Feedback

Reflection

Things I will improve:

  • šŸƒšŸ»ā€ā™€ļø Speed and time – I felt like I spoke a little too fast at some points because of time. I want to get to a point where I don’t run over time or feel rushed to finish because I end up messing up the next parts.
  • šŸŽ¤ Delivery – I want to be comfortable enough to walk around, to be a bit more dynamic than standing still. I’ve improved a lot already though – I don’t hide behind a computer anymore!
  • šŸ’»Presentation itself – Instead of me just talking and going through slides; I want to make it more interactive somehow. šŸ¤”

Things I did well, and I am so proud of:

  • šŸŒŸ I turned up on the day. I got up from the chair when I was next up and just did it even though it was the scariest thing ever and was one of my biggest fears.
  • āœļø I talked about a topic (this blog) to an audience of 50~ people. I used to keep my blog a secret with the fear of judgement, but I took the opportunity to share to help others.
  • šŸ¤— I handled the Q&A section well (usually the worse part for me.) I was surprised by the number of questions directed to me; it made me feel good because to me it means that people were listening!

Overall, it was such a great experience. I’m glad that I said yes to the opportunity rather than hide away and stay in my comfort zone. šŸ˜Š I’m now looking forward to my future talk! I didn’t think I’d ever say this but I am currently on the šŸ‘€ out for any more local speaking opportunities! If you’re looking for a speaker for an event or meetups, let me know šŸŒŸ

I hope this post inspires you to push your boundaries, the first step is scary but after that, it’s a lot of fun and incredibly rewarding. You can do it!šŸ’ŖšŸ¼


Posted under: Public Speaking, Work


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6 comments

  1. Kim says:

    Omg how cool that you got to speak to people about your blog! Interactive presentations were always the more memorable ones in school. I’m excited to see how you improve in the future!

    simplylovebirds.com

  2. Cat says:

    Great job on doing another speaking gig and improving something that is out of your comfort zone! That’s so exciting to see people tweet about your talk. I think that’s a good list of things to work on. I feel like even experienced speakers still have to practice all of those things, especially when it comes to timing. It’s always a bit different when you do it for real in front of the audience!

    I’m glad you had a good experience! Keep at it!

  3. Michelle says:

    I know you can improve because I’ve done it too! I don’t stutter anymore and I calm myself by talking at normal speed when the conversation lands on me. I used to stutter badly or give misinformation but I am doing better.

    Great job on your public speaking!

  4. Kya says:

    Congratulations on doing the talk! šŸ˜€ I am so glad that you did it and could share your experience with owning and running a blog. It would have been scary with others in different fields, but you were sharing your experience, not theirs. What you have to say is valid and important, and interesting to listen too. šŸ˜€

  5. Jane says:

    I watched half of this earlier and will finish watching it later! šŸ™‚ (Had to take a break because ugh, life.)

    I like the idea of blogging about research, because one of the topics (how humans and animals affect the environment) I’m most interested in is not as open as it could be—it seems easy if you just do a few searches, but when it comes to finding research for sources and more information, it’s scarce.

    Of the first half I did see, I found you entertaining. šŸ™‚ It kind of…made me realize a bit more something I want to do within the future (which is scary, ugh). It also made me realize, “Oh, I could totally give presentations in my area about blogging, etc.,” which I sort of wanted, but am not like, “I really want that”? (But then, I don’t, because OMG I’m autistic. How would that even work? LOL.)

  6. Conquering a public speaking fear is SUCH a huge accomplishment! I have no problem teaching in front of all my 6 year olds all day, but but me in front of a whole room of adults?! No thanks haha (that’s definitely Ben’s domain!).
    So KUDOS to you for tackling this! It’s always helpful to be speaking about something you’re passionate about. I love that you’re also able to reflect on the experience and decide what you’d do differently next time. You ROCK lady!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com