I'd love to see more tech conferences that focus on truly advanced topics. Instead, we typically see:

* Speakers who obviously have not practiced. They proudly tweet "I'm just getting started on my slides!" the evening before the event.
* Re-hashes of beginner-level material that's already covered well by online tutorials.
* Material that fails to reflect real world experience.
* Speakers who spend the first 15 minutes explaining what they are about to talk about.

My advice to tech conference speakers:

1. Serve your audience. They paid to see you and you should strive for excellence.
2. Practice! I never used to practice until I started working at Square. This has (I think) dramatically improved the quality of my presentations. Note that practicing does not mean you are memorizing the exact words to recite. If you do that, you've failed.
3. Dive right in. Don't waste time on introductions and outlines. We'll figure it out as you go. READ THIS: http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2006/10/better_beginnin.html
4. Read books like Slide:ology (and others). Learn all the basics like avoiding bullets, etc.
5. Challenge the audience with hard material. They should learn something!
6. Don't explain everything in microscopic detail. You have limited time - probably 45 minutes. Be thought provoking and point people in the right direction.
7. Plan to finish early. People will appreciate time to ask questions.
8. Have fun.
9. Be transparent. People want to know the behind-the-scenes war stories. It's OK to admit mistakes.
10. This is now a top-ten list!
Shared publiclyView activity