I gave my first conference talk over the weekend at DDD Sydney. I co-presented with my colleague Anjali Wadhwa one of the QAs at nib. It was a great experience, made all the better by the fact that the talk was well attended and received, based on post talk questions and twitter reactions.
Moving from giving talks at the Newcastle Coders Group to even a small conference forced me to change the way I think about and practice a talk. At the suggestion of Anjali we broke the talk down into small chunks that could be timed and practised independently. This made practising the talk much easier and allowed us to have time based running notes for the talk. Which meant that we could adjust the talk dynamically if we spoke too fast or got held up on a section.
The fact that breaking a talk up into smaller atomic chunks sounds very much like what we do with code was not lost on me. The software craftsmanship principle of keeping everything small and focused on doing one thing well keeps creeping its way into other aspects of life.