Flash Preparation

In a few weeks, Automattic will be having its 2015 Grand Meetup, my first. Part of the Grand Meetup everyday are tracks of “Flash Talks.” Everyone in the company gives a four-minute (maximum) talk on any topic they want. It could be WordPress- or Automattic-related, a funny story, something you love, something you hate… anything you want to share with your now-and-future colleagues.

It took me a while to get started but this weekend I finally settled on my flash talk topic and outlining the story. To neatly confine my material to four minutes without speed-talking, I’ve started practicing the flash talk once a day and focusing on cutting things out. When I started, my talk had almost a minute of introduction. It’s pretty much all gone now and I think the talk is better for it.

practicing-in-mirror
Practicing in the mirror.

This approach is different for me. I’ve never been scared of public speaking but I usually take the method of writing an essay first, then translating from ‘writing Alex’ to ‘speaking Alex.’ With only four minutes, I don’t trust myself to do this well. I got inspired to practice this much after watching this video of Scott Berkun (a former automattician) regarding Ignite talks.

Scott points out with a five minute talk you can practice 10 times in an hour, so do it! With a four minute talk you can practice even more, but I’m just going to do it once a day instead of cramming all that into an hour. It’s different for me, but totally a fitting approach that I’m enjoying.

This week I’ll need to start on slides!

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