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Every so often in this newsletter, we feature a guest piece from one of our voxgig people about a topic that means a lot to them. This week I’m delighted to introduce voxgig newsletter curator and marketing guru Cora Kearney.

Cora has been with voxgig since day one. She shares with us how a medical diagnosis affected her life and career, and how she didn’t let it defeat her. She is proud of her achievements in the face of disability. I am proud of her, and incredibly grateful that she’s chosen to make her home at voxgig.

– Richard

Fear used to get in the way of me living my life

When I returned to college at 38 years old it was to replace skills I had lost due to Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) After 4 years In college, and an honors degree in marketing from WIT,  I had to go out into the work force but I couldn’t imagine anyone employing me because of my brain damage. I was afraid to apply for jobs, since the thought of being found out frightened me. I was scared, thinking I wasn’t good enough anymore; fearful that my broken brain made me less of who I used to be. I felt like I was less than perfect, and terrified of the bleak future ahead of me.

This now feels like a lifetime ago. I am very grateful that such thoughts didn’t persist. Otherwise I wouldn’t be where I am today, which is a very positive place.

Being positive is my natural state, but having IIH—and the subsequent damage in my brain—was something I had never dealt with before. Somewhat ironically, prior to my illness I had spent many years working with people with disabilities. I only ever noticed who they were, how impressed I was when they completed tasks, and how proud I was of their accomplishments. I needed to apply the same mindset when looking at my own life.

But first I had to face my biggest fear: people finding out that I was less than perfect, that I had a disability. And so I began to talk openly about it. In fact, I did it so often that it became very natural for me, just another part of normal conversations. The more I spoke, the more I realized that my broken brain didn’t make me less than I used to be. Quite the contrary: it made me more, much more. Looking back at all that I have accomplished since IIH disrupted my life, I am very proud of my achievements.

There have been many times throughout my life when I have had to look fear in the eye. Thankfully, I have never backed down.

It was one of those times that brought me to the door of Toastmasters. The idea of public speaking terrified me, since as a result of the illness I sometimes struggle to find the right words to express myself. However, I had to re-develop this skill if I were to successfully get back working again. I never thought for a second that I would come to love public speaking and that Toastmasters was just the beginning.

I won’t lie: fear is still there. But I have learned that I can use it as a way to harness adrenaline when speaking. A clear example of this was my latest pitch on stage for a competition at Inspirefest. It was a fantastic experience which proves that amazing things can be achieved when you conquer your fears. (You can read more about my experiences at Inspirefest here).

It took me four months, a dedicated job coach from EmployAbility Services, lots of CVs and some voluntary work to find a job that I love with a company that has an inclusive, diverse culture, and appreciates hard work, creativity and determination. Since then, things have only gotten better.

Now I am part of voxgig and I have learned plenty more than just how to do public speaking. I have discovered a lot about myself and my capabilities; I have developed leadership and negotiating skills, and best of all, I have become more confident. I have found my place within a great team where my contribution is respected and valued. My job with voxgig suits me perfectly, and my love of public speaking helps me build relationships with newsletter readers such as yourself and Twitter followers around the world.

I am a public speaker, blogger, marketing executive, newsletter editor/contributor and content curator. I volunteer with charities that are important to me and I am living the life of my dreams.

I do all of this because, although I still have fears, I know I will always overcome them.

– Cora
Come say hi on Twitter 




Voxgig Podcast

Coming Soon… 

I am delighted to announce that  voxgig is starting a podcast series! The title of the series is ‘Fireside with voxgig.’ In each podcast, I’ll be interviewing leading experts from the events industry. The aim is to deliver high quality insights, valuable public speaking tips and enjoyable personal success stories, all in a relaxed, informal and chatty style. Keep an eye out here for the first podcast in the series, coming soon. 

Speaker Profile

Don Dodge Profile shot, Speaker, Don Dodge, Developer Advocate at Google, Text on the image

Don’t fear failure, unlock your inner creativity, and say yes
Don Dodge

“The number one thing that gets in the way of doing great things is fear of failure. Fear prevents us from doing the things we want to do, that we know that we should do. But we’re afraid of failing.”

When we take this perspective and apply it to public speaking, we see how much our fear holds us back. If you didn’t fear it, would you submit your talk to that conference you consider out of reach?

Don Dodge discusses getting around our fear of failure, unlocking our inner creativity, and saying “yes” to life. It’s time to overcome fear!

Learn from the Best

Teri Hart on a stage setting that's laid out like a living room in a house with no children to make marks on the lovely white furniture.

7 tips to overcome your fear of public speaking

Teri Hart

Entertainment reporter Teri Hart uses the acronym BRIEF for every public appearance:

B – Belief: you must believe in what you’re saying.

R – Rehearse: practice makes perfect.

I – Interesting: trust that you are interesting.

E – Edit: keep it precise and relevant for the listener.

F – Fun: you’ve got to have fun, enjoy the experience.

Very useful advice from an industry expert to boost your confidence on stage.

Tell me…

What is your biggest challenge as an event speaker?

This newsletter is for you. I want it to resonate with you.

So go ahead, hit reply and tell me what you want to read about. Or email me at richard@voxgig.com. You can tweet too: @voxgig.

I’ll address the most pressing issues in each edition.

Book of the Week

Book Cover image, with speaker and crowd graphics characters

No Sweat Public Speaking

Fred E. Miller

The best way to remove your fear of public speaking is to build your skill set, develop and embrace your own style, and enjoy the experience.

Miller gives you exactly the right tools to perfect your performance and conquer your fears.

Blog Post

How to Conquer the Fear of Public Speaking
Theo Tsaousides Ph.D.

While fear teaches you to protect yourself in risky situations, letting that fear stand between you and your audience could prevent you from sharing inspiring ideas, speaking about important work, and presenting interesting solutions to problems that affect many people. It’s time to overcome fear. Here is where to start.




Three Conferences




Are you part of the Julia community? Join in for two days of cutting-edge technical talks, hands-on workshops and the opportunity to meet Julia’s creators. This year talk content includes an introduction to Julia, machine learning with Julia, natural language processing and more. In its fifth edition, JuliaCon 2018 will be held in London. What plans will you make while you’re there?

We welcome developers and enthusiasts of all skill levels to come join us while we discuss the latest trends and technologies in our industry.




What’s not to like about a 3-night code retreat in the wilderness of Australia’s Gold Coast? CampJS will host a unique blend of structured talks, hacking, demos, and workshops, with some opportunities for self-directed, unstructured learning. Networking is an important part of the weekend, so the event is planned to allow everyone enough time to learn new things, relax and most importantly: create real friendships and connections. Take a look at the website to learn more about the cool activities planned for the weekend in the wilderness. They include bushwalking, drone flying and even knitting!




Data scientists, business analysts, researchers, educators, developers and core project contributors come together in New York City for four days of talks, tutorials and workshops exploring the Project Jupyter platform. If you’re interested in the full range of Jupyter languages and platforms, you don’t want to miss this event. The focus will be on best practices within the Jupyter ecosystem. However, there are also some networking and entertainment activities planned for the evenings. And you’re in New York…it’s a win/win!





CFP Calendar

These are the CFP deadline dates and submission pages.

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, Ireland and London, U.K. over the coming months.

There is a 10% OFF early bird discount.

To find out more follow the links below.

Public speaking with Debbie Forster

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

Giving great talks with Russ Miles

London, UK – Thursday November 8, 2018 | More Details




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!