It’s possibly the most common nightmare in the public speaker community: speaking without slides. I’ve always regarded it as something of a personal holy grail—something to aspire to. Years ago, I came across The Memory Book by Tony Buzan. This book taught me the ‘memory palace’ technique, which has helped me more than I can say over the years. Thanks to the technique and other tips in the book, I’ve been able to reduce my reliance on slides and notes, which in turn enables me to concentrate better on giving good talks.
When a projector let me down at an industry event last year, I managed to stay (fairly!) calm, put the memory palace technique in use, and give a reasonable 20-minute talk without any aids. I highly recommend that you check out Buzan’s book.















Voxgig podcast






In this episode, I sit down with Debbie Forster, CEO of the Tech Talent Charter. Debbie is an American who has lived in England for over 30 years. Her fascinating career is full of twists and turns, from being a head teacher to her current high-profile role. She tells me about her eventful journey and explains how all her experiences have influenced her public speaking and have helped her create her unique career. Enjoy!




Speaker profile




Greg Young
The art of destroying software

I love this talk. Yes, Greg is sitting on a chair, talking without slides. It’s gutsy, genuine, and he communicates far more clearly using only his voice and presence than he ever would with slides. At the start of the talk, he explains that he has just deleted the forty slides he originally prepared.

This is master-level stuff. Listen to the pacing of his voice. It’s slow, but not monotonous. The intonation rises and falls. This is what people mean when they say you should speak slowly. Listen to how well it works.




Learn from the best




“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears”.
The text
The performance

The most iconic speech in all of Shakespeare is a study in the use of emotional rhetoric (pathos). It is given by Marc Antony, loyal friend of Caesar, in direct response to the rational justification (logos) of Brutus for the assassination of Caesar.







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 You can tweet too: @voxgig.

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







Blog post




A TED speaker coach shares 11 tips for right before you go on stage

“The weekend before a TED conference, each speaker rehearses their talk in the TED theater. It’s a chance for the speakers to get to know the space, for our curators to give last-minute suggestions on talk content, and for our speaker coaches to give advice to help each speaker feel their absolute best on the day of their talk.”




Three conferences




Devopsdays New York City

January 24 & 25, 2019
New York City

Devopsdays is a worldwide community conference series for anyone interested in IT improvement. The first Devopsdays was held in Ghent, Belgium in 2009. Since then, Devopsdays events have multiplied. If there isn’t one in your city, check out the information about organizing one yourself!







Dublin Tech Summit
April 10 & 11, 2019
“Where today‘s leaders meet tomorrow’s technology”. Dubin Tech Summit brings together global leaders in innovation, technology, and business to shape the future of global trends and technologies.







Scala Exchange
December 13 & 14, 2018

Are you involved in a large microservices or big data project and want to learn how the reactive architecture and SMACK stack help address common challenges? Join Scala eXchange London 2018!​




Upcoming CFP deadlines




DevNet Create 2019 Closing November 30, 2018

ServerlessDays Hamburg 2019  Closing December 08, 2018

Europe Appforum 2019 Closing December 31, 2018














A favor…




Can I ask you for a favor? If you enjoy this newsletter and 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 You can tweet too: @voxgig. Thank you so much for reading!

A special thanks and shout out to newsletter curator Cora  for helping to make this newsletter even better!
– Richard




Thank you. Please let me know what you think!