Episode 094

094: Speaking at conferences

If speaking at a conference is on your career goals list, this episode is for you. In it we discuss the public speaking opportunities we’ve had, and share advice for not only securing your own spot at an event but also how to plan and present your talk with confidence.

“The audience wants you to succeed. No one is waiting for you to mess up or fail, they want you to give a great talk. So just go out there and own it”

— Femke

Key takeaways

1 | In order to be invited to speak at conferences, you’ll need to be networking and putting yourself out there online to build your reputation for your chosen topic. Writing blog posts, making videos and sharing your knowledge on your area of interest is a good way to make people aware you have something to say. However, you don’t have to wait to be asked! You shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to conferences you’d like to speak at with a brief synopsis of your talk, and a link to a video of you speaking to show your abilities.

2 | It might be a good idea to speak at a meetup first before tackling a big conference. The audience will be smaller and you can treat it like a focus group for your talk. You’ll be able to get feedback from the meetup attendees and you can make changes to your talk accordingly.

3 | Stage fright eases over time. The more prepared you are the less you will have to be nervous about on the day, and you should do whatever you need to calm yourself down; whether that’s some quiet meditation or giving yourself a pep talk in the mirror! It’s good to put yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new, and the more you speak in public the less nerves you’ll have.

Show timestamps

00:00 Intro and recap of how Femke’s conference talk went the day before
05:10 How do you get yourself out there for speaking gigs?
08:20 How to reach out to conferences
15:30 Coming up with a talk topic
22:20 Memorising your talk or reading from notes?
27:25 Being confident on stage
36:00 Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone
38:00 Filming your talk
39:50 Should you have slides?
42:00 Last words of advice

Show links

Show credits

Follow us on Twitter – @DesignLifeFM

Subscribe to Design Life on Apple Podcasts

Our theme tune was created by Camiel van Schoonhoven