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Some advice, if you are going to speak at a geek conference.

I worked out these rules from speaking at MySQLcon, and attending OScon this year.

  • Speaking at geek conferences is fun.
  • Don't put your talk on your slides!
  • Don't put everything on the slides, don't put the outline on your slides, don't put a lot of stuff on the slides.
  • Put questions on the slides, instead. Each question is the one you answer while that slide is up.
  • You can occasionally have an answer, a good quote, or a graphic.
  • If someone can't QUICKLY write down what is on the slide, it's too complex.
  • Do write speaker notes. Make them as complete as possible. Try to memorize them, but don't just recite them. You can refer to them if you have to during your talk.
  • Practice your talk at least once. Check time. You may feel silly talking to yourself in front of the wall, but you will feel dumb instead if you run way …
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