Many people have difficulty speaking in front of groups. I was fortunate to learn early on that there is really very little difference between talking to one person and talking to a group, and approach my presentations as I would an informal discussion with another individual.
I’ve never been an outgoing person, yet I’ve been able to be a university professor for a number of years, and a conference speaker and occasional program chair for 15 years. I like to think that I bring a relaxed and conversational style to presenting that fosters community and lively interaction.
But presenting is more than simply standing up and talking. You need a compelling topic, and the ability to communicate that topic clearly to a wide variety of audiences. I’ve had a good acceptance rate on presentations and have ideas of what makes a topic compelling.
I think the exchanges of ideas is at the heart of building and expanding the testing community, and the more people we can get to stand up and present their ideas, the strong the community will become. And I’m at the stage in my career where I want to start giving back to that community.