Public Speaking is Still Scary and Enjoyable

Published Date: May 30 2018

Last year I wanted to push myself in many directions. I wanted to write more, learn more coding languages, design more, and speak at one conference. I’ve kind of lagged behind with 3 out of 4 but I did get accepted for a speaking role.

I applied and got accepted to speak at Codeland in NYC. I was quite nervous but super stoked at the prospect of a large forum for my talk. My talk which I’m pretty passionate about is automation in emails. For an event based on coding newbies and learning something I thought this topic was a great option. I’d already had a talk before and thought I had prepared for what was to come but I was not.

By comparison, I felt unprepared and overwhelmed. The amount of time I put into this talk was pretty big. From formatting of the slides, which I did like 6–7 times, to making an overview and then condensing it to 15 mins. I researched, hunted down old tutorials and found any articles or videos I could remember that I’d used.

I did get put through my paces working with the organizer, Saron Yitbarek. I realized how much I didn’t know about what went into making an informative and interesting talk. She told me tips and tricks. Like how to structure my slides, about pacing, purposeful placement and general organization of ideas. I’m a quick study so I absorbed it all though it was a bit overwhelming at times. I wasn’t in the greatest place of my life when all the deadlines seemed to be popping up, so this was difficult.

My friends kept telling me I was spending a lot of time on this talk. They didn’t expect so much effort to go into it. It did make me break down my process and look at my experience from a different angle. The steps I took, how I felt while going through this entire process, and how far I’ve come were all revealed as I did more thinking and writing about my experience.

All in all this experience was great. I was extremely worried about talking in front of a group of people this large. Though the reaction received from people who connected with the talk were worth it. I hope I opened some people’s eyes to being able to make emails, a usually arduous task, a little easier.