I can still remember the first time I agreed to talk at a testing conference. I’d already written a couple of articles for magazines and I was contacted asking me if I wanted to speak. I hesitated for a few days, and then eventually said yes. I’d been to conferences before and saw the speakers up on stage, seemingly brimming in confidence and giving their presentations with style. I wasn’t sure if that was me. I had to take a leap of faith to convince myself that it was possible and I spent days working on the presentation and practicing it, first to myself and then in front of others. It was pretty terrifying, and I hadn’t even encountered the real audience yet! But, to cut a potentially long story short, it all went fine, and the feeling when you step off stage after your first presentation is one I will never forget. Up on cloud nine doesn’t even come close.
The thing is, the more presentations that you do, the easier it becomes. I don’t think you ever lose that initial fear and adrenaline rush; it’s part of what keeps people presenting, but getting over that initial hurdle of your first few presentations is the hard bit. I had to figure out that bit by myself and that’s why I’m supporting Speak Easy. I hope that I can pass on some useful experience to you and help get you started. It’s never as scary as you think it’s going to be and the testing community needs more people speaking and sharing their experiences. Plus it’s great fun, even if right now you are thinking that it’s not going to be!