With this blog post I’d like to share some experiences from my presentation at Netlight’s awesome edge conference.


What I learned 

  • to present a topic from various perspectives forces one to drill down deeper on areas. Ones learns more about the topic and through presenting we acquire teaching and knowledge spreading skills. Preparing for critical questions is an interesting driver 😉
  • what a flashing moment to speak in front of a 200+ audience – all listening to your words and showing a high interest on a topic. It’s motivating and honoring to be invited and get the audience.
  • interesting discussions immediately after the talk and possibilities to build relations
  • stay focussed after the talk too – start sharing the presentation via tweets and best embedded in a post soon after the presentation. This way the rate of retweets is increased and you can help people connecting through your blog. A great opportunity to build new (hopefully) enduring connections.
  • engage via Twitter already the time before the presentation at the conference. This way people get aware of you and maybe even read your content afterwards
  • use the conference twitter hashtags and companies twitter aliases in your tweets. This way you gain fast retweets and a snowball communication (in Germany the conference Twitter usage is still an undiscovered feature … let’s see what will happen). People scan Tweets about the conference on their way home or even later. If you convinced them via your presentation and keep them remembering via your tweets you build even more connections
  • exercising the presentation several times before makes one more confident that it works and possible questions can be foreseen. E.g. I used parts of it already at the Berlin Scrum meetup, in several small presentation for teams when talking about Scrumban.

To consider for the next presentation

Some things I would like to improve based on learnings from this presentation, shared with you to create a common learning (and maybe even get some feedback and more advanced learning opportunities – assuming for you it’s maybe just basics for presentations, isn’t it?). 
  • check coloring in slides properly – overlays are not visible if the difference is not significant (assume that beamers and daylight influences need some better contrast)
  • ensure you consider a reading from the distance (there where around 15m and from that distance some letters where too small)
  • consider buying an own headset as presenting with the microphone juts removes a lot of flexibility (at least for me)
  • I need a remote control for the presentation on the Mac – this way I can just start moving around a lot more easier
  • start learning more advanced joking and improvisation skills to get out of the comfort zone. I was impressed by the awesome presentation by Alf Rehn (more like a theatre), who rocked the stage with his closing keynote about innovation. 

    • physical exercises used to recover from the lunch break coma were working well 
    • this time my presentation software crashed (Keynote) right after the first slide and I felt how even smallest thinking tasks get a dangerous area in stress situations
  • take your time while speaking (I had some moments where thinking was faster than speaking 😉

Learning for arranging a conference

Just some notes from cool features seen at the Egde conference…

  • create individualized track badges – cool feature for orientation
  • highlight ways to presentation rooms (e.g. color codes stickers)
  • use special effects like videos and tampering presentation in the beginning and at the end. The keynotes have to rock the audience
  • Netlight created a video animation of birds (the Boid’s algorithm) and projected it to the keynote room’s ceiling – what an amazing effect (strive for creating some special moments)
Thanks again to Netlight for creating a long term experience. Dear reader, what did you learn with your last presentation? Please share more tweaks and cool topics, so that we can connect learnings and build even better presentations?