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Welcome to the voxgig newsletter for tech speakers, 20 Apr 2018

Welcome back! This week, we focus on audiences who speak English as a second language (ESL). Speaking to an ESL audience brings out issues like language, culture and business ethics differences. Let’s look at some tips from seasoned speakers and authors.

1. Understand cultural assumptions—yours and theirs.
by Olivia Mitchell

“Being human and all that, most of us automatically assume that our cultural norms are universally upheld and are often left confused when people don’t share our axioms. A simple overview of basic cultural assumptions would be enough to give you the knowledge you need to avoid most serious miscommunications”. –  Source

2. Choose your language carefully
by Donella Meadows

“Although English is spoken widely around the world, you should nonetheless take extra care to use simple, neutral language. Avoid complexities or “insider” language or buzz words that are more familiar to Americans. American presenters, for example, like to use sports terms. There are more than 400 baseball expressions in everyday language. Britons have some 250 expressions that derive from their own popular sports. These may work with American and British audiences, respectively, but almost never in another culture.” – Source

3. Be Yourself
by Pitman, 1988, Business Communication

“Even in a formal speech, allow your personality to come through. When you’re nervous, it’s easy to tense up and become a little awkward or wooden, but make an effort to stay natural. Smile and make eye contact. You will establish better rapport and credibility if you are being yourself, and your audience will listen more if they can see you as genuine, even if it means being a little less technically perfect.” – Source

4. Customize

by Krista Neher

“Adding local customization to your presentation makes it even more interesting and shows that you are interested in the local culture. I try to add some local customization to my examples and content to show the audience that I am interested in their culture.” – Source

5. My final advice to you: When in Rome, ‘speak’ like the Romans!

by Ramez Naguib

“Know the background of your audiences and their cultural norms. Do they say “one thousand-five hundred kilometers” or “fifteen hundred miles?” Be respectful of their language, currency, beliefs and traditions. Know that there is no one correct way to do things. Each country has its norms and heritage that you should try to accommodate. And always remember: “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be broken!” – Source

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

London, UK – Tuesday September 25, 2018 | More Details

Speaker Profile

Photo of Poet Ali giving a speeds

The Most Important Language You Will EVER Learn

Poet Ali 

What is our definition of language? The dictionary defines it as the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way. Poet Ali shows us that languages come in many different forms and he highlights one particular language that we are all fluent in—the most important language you will EVER learn.

Learn from the Best

Picture of JFK
“Ich bin ein Berliner” speech
John F. Kennedy

“All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’.”

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

Tips of the Tongue book cover
The Non-Native English Speaker’s Guide to Mastering Public Speaking
Deborah Grayson Riegel and Ellen Dowling
Tips of the Tongue is one of the few books that deals with non-native public speaking. The book gives  lots of practical tips on controlling your voice, calming your nerves and building your confidence.
Blog Post
Mark Zuckerberg Speaking Chinese: Brave, Foolish, or Both?
James Fallows
About ten days ago, Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a video of himself giving a speech and handling a Q&A with students at Tsinghua University in Beijing — and doing it in Chinese.
Three Conferences

GopherCon Singapore 2018
GopherCon Singapore
Join the largest Go programming language conference in Southeast Asia for two days of workshops, followed by a full conference day. If it’s happening in Go, from the fundamentals to the advanced, you can be sure it’ll be covered. Singapore plays host to this event and at only one degree (that’s 137 kilometres or 85 miles) north of the equator, be sure to pack accordingly for the tropical climate. Are you ready to Go?

Pycon Cleveland
PyCon Cleveland
Python enthAttentionusiasts! Most likely, you’re already aware of this conference, but in case you missed it, the 2018 conference is being held in Cleveland, Ohio this year. PyCon is THE largest annual gathering for the Python programming language, bringing the community together to further learn and discuss all things Python related. This year, PyCon Charlas will also take place during the conference, offering a completely Spanish speaking agenda, so take a look at the website to learn more!

Strata Data Conference
Strata Data Conference
O’Reilly is at it again with the Strata Data Conference in London. Join expert speakers from around the world as they share insights on data case studies, proven best practices and approaches, and so much more. The agenda includes a full schedule of workshops and talks over four days as they “turn algorithms into advantage.” And don’t forget the amazing networking opportunities with thousands of data scientists, engineers, analysts and business managers.
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!