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Having to do a last-minute talk or presentation is always daunting, no matter how much experience you have.

Believe it or not, there are advantages to being short on preparation time. For one thing, you are forced to focus and pare things down to the essentials. This will very likely enhance the quality of your talk; you simply don’t have time for ‘padding’ or wandering off-topic. Also, the time pressure will get your fight-or-flight response going. This will give your performance and mental acuity a temporary boost.

On the pragmatic side, I’ve learned that when time is short, you need to focus on just a single message. Identify the one thing in your talk that you want your audience to remember, and make it all about that one message. Reduce the number of slides you use, or even eliminate them altogether. Use the time you save on slides for preparing and rehearsing your talk.

And whatever you do, remember to tell a story! Audiences love stories. The less time you have to prepare, the more important it is to use stories. They lend structure and focus to your talk, and they have the added benefit of being easier for you to remember, a godsend when time is short.

– Richard




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

image of tim Urban on stage with doodle drawings on the screen behind him

Inside the mind of a master procrastinator

Tim Urban

Sometimes, you will be invited at the last minute to give a presentation. Sometimes, you will have to do a last-minute presentation thanks to the procrastination monkey. I love Tim’s procrastination explanation video. It will help you understand why you sometimes leave presentation preparation until the last minute.  Enjoy!

Learn from the Best

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How To Give a Killer Presentation – With No Notes

Charisma on Command

Here we have some very practical tips on giving a presentation or speech without notes. A last-minute presentation will sometimes mean you don’t have time to do a PowerPoint. These tips will get you through (tips taken from the video):

  • Draft a memory-friendly outline.

  • Write out the entire speech to nail the details, then edit it.

  • Subvocalize the entire speech without referencing visual cues.

  • Memorize, word for word, the first and last sentences.

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.

Blog Post


This is your ‘back up against the wall’ advice. With very little time to prepare, you can still do it.  You can deliver your presentation and rock it!


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.

Speaker workshops are £150

There is an early bird price of £100 if booked a month in advance.
To find out more follow the links below

Giving great talks with Russ Miles

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

Three Conferences

RubyConf Australia

If you want to share all things Ruby, book your tickets for RubyConf Australia. It’s guaranteed to be a thoroughly enjoyable conference to share knowledge about the Ruby programming language, and to celebrate the Australian and broader Ruby community.

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“Massive shifts in digital media and technology are changing our world. To succeed tomorrow, you need to adapt today”.

A great conference for networking, building business relationships and keeping an eye on what’s coming down the line.

AWS re:Invent Logo 2018

What are the best reasons ever to attend an event?

  • Boost proficiency in core AWS services like Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Amazon RDS, Amazon Redshift, and Amazon Aurora.

  • Get educated on technical best practices at over 2,000 breakout sessions on topics such as cloud architecture, continuous deployment, security and identity, large-scale migrations, machine learning, and more.

  • Gain valuable hands-on experience in day-long technical bootcamps, self-paced labs, two-hour workshops, and hackathons.

Those are the reasons the organizers suggest you give your boss. The real reason?  It’s awesome!

Upcoming CFP Deadlines

October 31, Connected Data, London, England

November 1 2018, Py Tennessee, Nashville, Tennessee

December 10 2018, Hack In Paris, Paris, France




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 Tammy and Cora,  for helping to make this newsletter even better!


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Send me an email!