Speaking at a conference with no time to prepare

1 minute read

I was surprised to know that i am presenting a product this week at the oracle user conference HROUG.hr

A colleague and me were supposed to hold a talk about creating our latest web app, a nursery management app created using Ruby on Rails and Oracle XE. As we thought, the talk was canceled and we were free of all obligation. But no, this saturday, 5 days before the talk, i was reviewing the agenda and found out the talk is on. So what can i do?

I will walk you through the steps, though they shouldn’t be used unless you are in a crunch, and it is not longer than an hour, luckily my talk is only half an hour.

  1. Gather as much irrelevant info about the company and the client (our somewhat of a manager sorted that out)
  2. If you are the developer, try to talk as much as you can about the technology and its integration (I love Rails so that is no problem)
  3. Scrape out the basic workflow of the application you are presenting, user experience and why is something done in that way.
  4. Take as much screenshots as it takes
  5. Talk about details in the application, and finally leave at least 5 minutes for the audience to ask questions.

I managed to cramp all that into 30 minutes, i will update this post after i’m done thursday morning, to write how the talk went.

Lesson for everyone: Know your talking schedule at least one month before you are doing a talk, this way you can prepare and practice.

Update: The talk went surprisingly well, the hall was almost full, with 24 people listening. I haven’t got my reviews yet, but i feel they will be great for my first conference talk.