Episode 36

The Ruby Freelancers Show 036 – Speaking at Conferences


November 15th, 2012

55 mins 21 secs

Your Hosts

About this Episode


Eric Davis (twitter github blog)
Evan Light (twitter github blog)
Charles Max Wood (twitter github Teach Me To Code Intro to CoffeeScript)

02:02 - Picking topics

Frustration Driven Development: Evan’s WindyCityRails Talk 2012
Listener questions/interest
Lynchpin by Seth Godin
“Doing what you love and sharing with other people”

07:08 - Speaking at User Groups vs Conferences

Practice runs

09:46 - Twitter inquiries

10:16 - Topic proposals



13:28 - Marketing to conference owners/marketing to the audience

Making memorable talks

16:32 - How speakers are chosen

Individual merit/”Hero Worship”
Keynotes by invitation
Past experience

20:56 - Preparing for a talk

Keynote / Keydown

25:04 - Writing a book/writing a presentation

Stream of consciousness writing
Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds

31:37 - Code in slides

Syntax highlighting
Wrapping lines
Screen resolution

35:18 - Practice, practice, practice

Time your presentation
Possibly leave time for Q&A
Skipping slides
Real-time edits

39:29 - Talking about something/convincing people to try something

Avoid library talks
Try to get people to shift perspectives

41:56 - Don’t change topics at the last minute

45:58 - Communication between conference organizers

49:32 - Giving talks, getting leads and referrals, and being recognized as “an expert”

Pilot G2 Retractable Gel Ink Color Rolling Ball Pens (Eric)
Keydown (Evan)
Kensington 33374 Wireless Presenter with Laser Pointer (Chuck)
QR codes (Chuck)

EVAN: Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue. [sniffs]

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[Hosting and bandwidth provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at bluebox.net]

CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to episode 36 of the Ruby Freelancer Show! This week on our panel, we have Eric Davis.

ERIC: Hello!

CHUCK: We also have Evan Light.

EVAN: I'm back!

CHUCK: And I'm Charles Max Wood from devchat.tv. And this week we are going to be talking about “Preparing for and Speaking at Conferences”.

EVAN: Conferences.

CHUCK: And I'm kind of inclined to also talk about speaking at users groups.

EVAN: Yeah you should. We should. Actually we should let you do all the talking about users groups.

CHUCK: Why is that?

EVAN: Because I just said ‘you’ first instead of ‘we’.

CHUCK: [laughs] What did I do to you?

EVAN: [chuckles] Right.

CHUCK: So let’s start talking. So Evan, I think you spoken at more conferences than either Eric or I have.

EVAN: Or just spoken more, as in ‘talk a lot’. Yeah, especially I’ve done quite a bit this year too. So I remember in the user voice, the person who suggested this topic started with “How do you pick your topics”, and I think it’s pretty much how do you pick your topics and how do you present and how you get accepted. Picking my topics for me is one of two things -- or actually no, it was really one thing – at the end of it, it’s always, it’s something important to me that I wanna share. That I feel strongly about and I wanna share.