Category Archives: Preparation

Starting Talks with Questions and Stories

It’s 4pm. I have the last slot in a parallel session at a major international conference. The mulling crowds that packed the room for the first speaker in the session have long since wandered off to find something else to … Continue reading

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Building Modular Talks

Last week, I told the story of how I discovered the power of building modular talks when I had two talks to do in one crazy week. This week, I want to go a bit deeper into how to recognise … Continue reading

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Surviving Crazy Weeks

For the past couple of months, it has been very tricky to get Rock Your Talk posts written. This is mostly because I have been experiencing some of the busiest periods of my professional and academic life. Oddly enough, in … Continue reading

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Guest Post: What Makes a Good Presenter

This post is by Ellen Spaeth (@ellenspaeth), a PhD student researching music listening in the treatment of anxiety, and a technology trainer. You can hear more from Ellen on her blog. In this post Ellen wonders whether ‘professional’ has to … Continue reading

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Tools, Rules, and Learning Without Losing Yourself

A couple of weeks ago, I was privileged to attend the best academic talk I have ever heard anywhere. The fact that it was given by a second year PhD student was impressive. The fact that the student speaking was … Continue reading

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Talks Need Time

A few years back, I delivered a sermon that was pretty well received. After the service, someone came up to me and asked how long it took to prepare it. “About a month, on and off,” I replied. “Really? A … Continue reading

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The Talk that No one Hears

This post is about one of the most valuable but most hidden tools a speaker possesses: the mock talk. The mock talk is the talk you would give if you have unlimited time, had to tell everything you knew and … Continue reading

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