Adjust the message to the audience

A couple of weeks ago had my first public speaking chance. Two 12 minute sessions TED style, in front of an audience between 20-70 years old and non technical. Each sitting had 100 people. The session was about crypto/virtual currencies, real money and everything between them. 12 minutes, non technical, make the message count. Go! TL;DR It was a success and K.I.S.S

Version 1

The first version, presented to the other lecturers of the evening for feedback, was rejected by the second slide. The words Bitcoin Mining were present in the slide. Shot down in flames? Yes. Discouraged? No. Slightly depressed. Yes.

Version 2

Imagine... A world without bank accounts.

Yes this is more or less how it started. as a story... with the song Imagine playing in my head. I took my super technical slide deck and turn it into a story. How did I do it? Well I was given a tip. Tell a story. 

Disclaimer: The "tips" here work for me. They are part of my experience. I suggest searching the internet for more tips and strategies and find out what works for you.

The blog post that was never published 

What am I having fun doing, except coding, to express myself? Blog! 
So I wrote the whole session as a blog post, as such:
  • Made a note of the main concepts I wanted to convey as headers
  • I wrote the contents of each header and had the flow as I would flow a blog post
  • I compared the outcome to the existing slides, erased all slides but the last one. It was as I wanted it to be from the beginning.
  • I added each header and its contents as notes in empty slides.
  • I made the slides. 

Practice makes... well different every time

I started practicing and taking time to see if I am making less than the 12 allotted minutes. Why less? Because while telling a story some new details may creep in. So here I am on my 10 minute comfort zone when I realized... Every time I go through the same slides, what runs through my brain is the same ideas but what comes out of my mouth is completely different. And this is the moment I knew that I am on the right track for the specific task and audience.

And so I realized that the key to a successful session is to know how to adjust your slide deck and message to your audience and the occasion this audience has gathered for.

Run it for feedback.. and breath

I practiced, run it for feedback...Success!!! I got thumbs up from all the lecturers...
Now you might (or not) ask how it went? Well... You will have to wait for the video but *spoilers*... It was a great success! In the mean time...

Here is a video with subtitles of that speech


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