On Becoming a Public Speaking Mentor for Speak Easy

image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/frenchista/7213719436

Back in 2007 I went to the StarEast conference in Orlando and among other sessions I took part in James Bach's workshop on Exploratory Testing. At that time I was working for a medical device company and I was in search for a better way to do testing. The workshop was enlightening and I thought it would be a good idea to spread the message to other testers here in Switzerland.

I sent in an abstract.

As it turned out, there was a huge interest in the subject and I ended up in front of 300 people at Switzerland's biggest software testing conference Swiss Testing Day in 2008. You can imagine the nerve-wracking experience I suffered through as someone who has never spoken publicly. I was so nervous that I had to remain seated in order to hide my shaking knees and I just hoped nobody would notice my insecure voice. What an experience that was!

There was no mentor to guide me through my first public speaking experience.

Of course I would have loved to have had an experienced person on my side giving me feedback on my slides and somebody who could teach me how to speak and handle my nervousness. Unfortunately, Speak Easy did not yet exist at that time.

In the years since my first gig I have spoken at dozens of conferences and I believe I have learned a thing or two about it. At least I now think I know how to prepare and I find speaking at conferences is a tremendously pleasurable endeavour. A little secret here: I am still nervous right before I go on stage. The difference is that I know exactly how my system is reacting and I also know how to handle it.

Sharing is a great thing and I am proud to be part of the Speak Easy mentor crew. Let's work together and make your session a success. I am looking forward to talking to you.

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