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Welcome to the voxgig newsletter for tech speakers, 13 Apr 2018

Today’s post is from Dr. Michelle Mazur, the ‘Communication Rebel’. With a Ph.D. in Communication, and over 10,000 speaking hours, there are few better qualified to help you not just make a speech, but make an impact.

This great article below by Dr. Michelle Mazur  appeared originally on the Communication Rebel website on Thursday March 1  2018, here.


You blew it. Your presentation sucked. During a dark night of the soul, you are wondering “Now what?”

So, you did what any normal human being would do: you Googled it, which landed you here.

First of all, welcome! Second, I want to tell you right off the bat – it’s okay. Take a deep breath. Know that it is okay.

Bad presentations happen. Not closing the sale happens. Bombing your speech happens.

Bad speeches happen to good people (more often than you think).

Now, it’s all about how you recover from this incident. It’s about what you can learn, and how to move on.

Here’s my best advice for how to recover if your presentation sucked: go easy on yourself

Have you ever seen that sign on a car door mirror that says “Objects in this mirror are closer than they appear?”

Presentation screws-ups are bigger in YOUR mind than anyone else’s. How do I know that? I know because you landed on this page.

Right now, you’re beating yourself up. You’re comparing yourself to other speakers. Your inner critic is raging at you, saying, “How could you? I told you that you didn’t prepare enough. That the message wasn’t clear enough. Did you see how you spit on that person in the front row?”
Tell that voice to shut its pie hole. NOW!

You are at a critical juncture and you have a choice. You can choose to further traumatize yourself or you can choose to go easy on yourself and move to my next piece of advice.

Do a presentation autopsy

That sounds gruesome, right? It’s not. In fact, you should think about the following questions after every presentation you give, whether awesome or sucky.
The first question to ask yourself is this: “What did I do WELL?”

I know you’re thinking, “Nothing, Michelle. That’s why I’ve read this far.”

Let’s be honest. You probably did at least one small thing right. Maybe you smiled at the audience. Got a laugh at a joke. Made it to the end even though you felt like you were sucking wind.

There’s always something to celebrate, so find it and focus on it.

Once you’ve identified what you did well (or maybe a couple of things you did well), ask yourself this: “What’s ONE thing I would do differently next time?”

ONE THING, not twenty things. Becoming a better speaker is something that happens incrementally. Trust me. When I first started speaking, I was BAD. But I kept at it and kept improving and over time I mastered it.

You can too. So what’s your one thing?

Maybe it’s spending more time developing your message, practicing it more so you vanquish those ‘um’s, or maybe it’s not drinking a bottle of wine the night before.

Pick one thing to improve then DO IT!

And finally…

Speak again ASAP

Remember when you fell off your bike and scraped your knee as a kid? What did your parents tell you to do?

Did they tell you to see the bike as an evil demon so you never ride it again? Or did they tell you to get back on the bike and start pedaling?
You need to get back on the speaking bike as soon as possible.

The more you speak, the more skilled you will get. The sooner you stand up in front of a room and speak your mind, the sooner you will get over the fact that you think this presentation sucked.

Speak again as soon as possible and you’ll most likely find that this one time was a fluke.

You’ve made it to the end. I hope you are feeling a bit relieved. Go easy on yourself. Do your presentation autopsy. Celebrate what went well. Identify the one change you want to make. Get out there and speak again!
You’ve got this. I know you do.

You can find the original post in full here.

Speaker Training

Do you speak at conferences? Want to learn how to give the very best talks? Or are you just starting out and want to overcome the fear of speaking on stage?

We are running speaker training workshops in Dublin and London, in Ireland and the U.K. over the coming months.

There is a 10% OFF early bird discount if you book before May 22nd.

To find out more follow the links below.

Public speaking with Lauren Currie

London, UK – Friday June 22, 2018 | More Details

Giving great talks with Russ Miles

Dublin, Ireland – Tuesday July 17, 2018 | More Details

Public speaking with Debbie Forster

London, UK – Thursday October 18, 2018 | More Details

Giving great talks with Russ Miles

Dublin, Ireland – Tuesday September 25, 2018 | More Details




Speaker Profile

Burying the Fallen [V]
Paul Hayes

Have you heard of the Startup Wake? It was built from the idea that failure is a part of the startup journey. Paul Hayes chats about how and why he created the Startup Wake event and the benefits that come from it.

These same thoughts apply to everything we do. “It’s through the failure stories that we really come to life.” This is so true! When you think about this in terms of speaking, it is the failures that we will learn from the most and that help us to grow in our speaking abilities. Take a listen as Paul tells a few stories and ends his talk in a most unique way.

Learn from the Best

Motivation with Jay Shetty [V]
Jay Shetty

“Failure is just a sign we need to widen our scope.”

Jay Shetty gives us just the courage we need to keep going, to persevere until we are successful.

Tell me…

 What is your biggest challenge as a tech speaker?

This newsletter is for you. I want it to include hints, tips and strategies that resonate with you.

So go ahead, hit reply and tell me what you find challenging as a speaker. 

Email me at richard@voxgig.com. You can tweet too: @voxgig I will address the most pressing issues in each edition.

Book of the Week

Picture of the cover of the book Rule The Room in red with White Bold text

Rule the Room!
Jason Teteak

I love a book that gives practical, actionable advice. This one is full of advice and suggestions on how to communicate with your audience, engage them with your presentation, and ‘rule the room’.

Blog Post

Teaching the art of public speaking
Andrew Thurston

“When I’m speaking in front of people,” he says, “I don’t worry about being perfect, because I don’t think I need to be perfect.”




Three Conferences


Industry conference logo

Industry, Dublin, Ireland

Join over 300 attendees for this two-day conference focused on building world-class software products. Learn about new methods, frameworks, and tools while developing new skills and meeting others in the industry. The conference is held in beautiful Dublin Castle, which is a short walk away from the hustle and bustle of the city, so you’ll have plenty to do before and after the conference too.


Ruby Elixir conference logo

RubyElixir, Taiwan

RubyConf Taiwan joins forces this year with Elixir Taiwan to bring together developers from around the world to share their experiences and research. Both English and Chinese are used at this year’s conference. It is sure to be a converging of international attendees in Taiwan’s capital city. Great shopping, delicious food, and the famous Shilin market are waiting to be explored!


Red Hat Summit, San Francisco, USA

The premier open source technology conference is back again in San Francisco. It showcases the latest in cloud computing, platform, virtualization, middleware, storage and systems management technologies. And if that’s not enough to entice you, the Grammy Award-winning band Weezer will be making an appearance on the final night of the conference, so get packing and register already!




CFP Calendar

These are the CFP deadline dates and submission pages.

A favour…

Can I ask you for a favour? If you enjoy this newsletter, and if you find it useful, please consider recommending it to a friend who is learning to give technical talks, or who aspires to do so. I meet so many cool programmers who have brilliant things to share with the world—that’s you!

Please help me to improve this newsletter – I’d love to hear your suggestions! You can email me directly at richard@voxgig.com. You can tweet too: @voxgig. Thank you so much for reading!

A special thanks and shout out to TammyCora, and David for helping to make this newsletter even better!


Thank you! Please let me know what you think!