027: Giving Technical Presentations
As Jerry Seinfeld joked, when it comes to funerals, most people would rather be the one in the casket than the one giving the eulogy. Because, public speaking isn't easy. And, for many, it's a source of great anxiety. A technical presentation takes that anxiety and compounds it by layering on a need to provide complicated information in an engaging way. Part deep-dive, part story telling, a compelling technical presentation has to present enough information on a topic so as to deliver meaningful take-aways while, at the same time, keeping the information light enough so as not to overwhelm the audience. This week, the crew discusses presentations that they've given. And, shares tips and tricks for making your presentation a real winner!
Triumphs & Failures
- Adam's Triumph - Adam was keen to get into testing as a life-style. And, by golly, he's done it! His current project has 100% passing tests with 95% test coverage! He's also been writing blog posts on the topic of testing in order to help keep this momentum going.
- Ben's Triumph - It doesn't necessarily feel like a "triumph" in the moment; but, Ben is excited to be giving his first tech presentation in maybe a decade. He has a lot of social anxiety. But, he wants to feel more connected to the larger programming community and he thinks that giving a presentation will help take him a step in that direction.
- Carol's Triumph - Carol is winning life! She was selected to run in the Peach Tree Road Race and she's super excited to crush her previous race times! Go Carol!
- Tim's Failure - Tim is struggling to bring operational readiness and predictable performance to a legacy system whose architecture and behavior seem to defy reason. He's at the point where a "big bang" rewrite feels like the most viable path forward. This is generally considered a taboo move in the tech industry; but, he's not sure how else he can stabilize the product and provide a good Service Level Agreement (SLA) to his customers.
Notes & Links
- Patrick Winston: How to Speak - this talk, 40-years in the making, is intended to improve your speaking ability in critical situations by teaching you a few heuristic rules.
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