Tag Archives: conference speaking

A Good Orator Makes Us See With Her Ears

So says Winston Churchill who was himself a superb orator. His wit and turn of phrase make him, in my opinion, one of the great orators of the 20th century. He was a product of his time, a leader the world needed in those difficult years.

As many of you might remember I am a Toastmaster and one of the things I do to pay the bills is train people. Who am I kidding…I love training. I have loved it less and began to love it more when I found my voice.

One of the things I  do in the Agile community in South Africa is giving back to it, by helping develop conference speakers. Up until now I’ve helped people with their conference presentations, from the slides to the story to the delivery. I’m branching out this year by starting a couple of steps before speakers get selected for conferences – at the call for papers stage – helping budding speakers craft their proposal.

I go to many conferences, and I vicariously live through many others via live tweeting. The names on the programme lines ups tend to be the same year after year and quite frankly, I’m feeling bored. I want to learn new things from new people.

There are so many wonderful members of this vibrant community that have so much to share, and perhaps they think they are not experts…but I don’t want to learn from experts all the time. I want to learn from people who are in the trenches, day to day.

So I’ve decided to do something about this. On Saturday I’m hosting a workshop to help prospective speakers refine their ideas, and help them with their proposals for the regional Scrum Gathering South Africa 2018 which this year is going to be held in Durban. In this way, I hope to play a part in helping to grow the Agile community of speakers and the Agile community in general.

The half-day workshop programme will flow in the following manner:

  • 8:00 – 9:00: Refreshments
  • 9:00 – 9:15: Connections
  • 9:15 – 10:00: Talk: What makes a great conference submission
  • 10:00 – 10.30: Go through the proposal submission format
  • 10:30 – 10:50: Tea, muffins, coffee, and fruit
  • 10:50 – 11:30: Group ideation
  • 11:30 – 13:00: Draft proposal preparation, and pitching to the panel

Conference talks of all types need to be interesting and engage the audience. It starts with a tenuous idea and ends with an audience that has seen with their ears. And a satisfied and courageous presenter that has cared enough and taken the time to share her or his knowledge and experience. 


Weekend Coffee Share: Stuff

I don’t remember when the last time was that I shared coffee with you. It’s was sometime last year, that much I remember. If we were having coffee we’d talk about the fact that blogging has taken a back seat in the last couple of months.

Aren’t you loving the hot weather? I’m loving it, especially since this past week I was in Tel Aviv, where it is winter. It rained for the time I was at the conference. Thursday was my own day and I walked a bit of Tel Aviv and the weather was clear and lovely. Cold but lovely with clear blue skies.

My raison-d'etre for being in Tel Aviv
My raison-d’etre for being in Tel Aviv

If we were having coffee we’d talk about the reason I was in Tel Aviv this past week. I was a speaker at the Agile Practitioner’s Conference with my 90-minute leadership workshop The Spiderman antidote to the anti-patterns of Agile leaders.

If we were having coffee I’d talk about how vibrant Tel Aviv is. It’s a 24-hour city. On Wednesday a group of us had dinner at the Sarona food market. I posted some photos of this market for the WordPress weekly photo post this week.

When I travel I don’t bring back souvenirs – I’m not a souvenir person. I prefer the experiences and the photos I take. The only exception is coffee. Wherever I go I bring back some of the coffee sold there.

This is it for this week.

This is part of the weekly blogging linkup hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster. Click this link to see more coffee shares.