The occasional speaker

The JavaOne has ended and it was both under- and overwhelming. But on a more personal note I was not satisfied with how my talk went. Being an occasional speaker, I naturally am a bit nervous at the beginning, but somewhere along the line that usually goes away. This means I get into ‘the zone’, and feel inspired by the subject I am talking about.

However, this was not the case during my talk at the JavaOne; it kept dragging a bit, never gaining the momentum I’m used to. And I have been wondering about the reason; I’ve done the talk more often, so it is not that I don’t know what to tell on a given slide. It just didn’t… Take off.

So different from yesterday, when I was in Utrecht, giving a talk about automated testing. The setting there was… Cozy. Informal. I wasn’t even really nervous at the beginning, even though it was the first time I did the lecture, and I wasn’t sure if I had enough slides, or too many. Certainly the deck was way less pruned and polished than the JavaOne’s, but it took mere seconds to get into the groove.


So apparently I’m more sensitive to the setting than thought I was. The JavaOne conference rooms were not inspiring (read the previous post), and the speaker had to stand on a small stage, behind a small desk, above the people in the room. Totally disconnected. And people were constantly on their phones (no blame, I did it as well as an attendee).


I’m not comfortable up there. Put me in a room with inconvenient pillars and brightly colored chairs, and off I go. Exactly the reason why I chose the Edwardian Hotel in San Fransisco, instead of one of the larger downtown ones.


Addendum: the rating of my JavaOne session has arrived, I got an 2.8 out of 3.0 (20 voters), which is the equivalent of a 9.3. Apparently people did not mind my uneasiness. Pleasantly surprised.

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