Public Speaking? No, Thanks!
Fred Harper spent a few years showing the Openness of Microsoft talking about Open Source, Web standards, and Interoperability. Now, as a Senior Technical Evangelist at Mozilla, Fred shares his passion about the Open Web, and helps developers be successful with Firefox OS. Experienced speaker, t-shirt wearer, long-time blogger, passionate hugger, and HTML5 lover, Fred lives in Montréal, and speaks Frenglish. Always conscious about the importance of unicorns and gnomes, you can read about these topics, and other thoughts at outofcomfortzone.net.
Those in attendance at the #SMBMTL held this past October 23, 2013 were in for a treat as 2nd time presenter Frederic Harper lead an awakened session on public speaking, referencing challenges he’d overcome and personal experiences and opportunities afforded to him as a result of pushing outside his comfort zone some 3 or 4 years ago.
Fred has graciously shared his slide deck and posted the audio recorded version of the presentation portion to his blog. Hopefully some of the 20ish people that had committed to attending but who didn’t show up (yet were perfectly capable of snapping up free tickets to the event sponsored by ING DIRECT) can make use of them as might some of those not fortunate enough to be there.
SIDENOTE: Thankfully the lack of people contributed to a more intimate session, but the damage is done. Future sponsored events will no longer be free, and instead we’ll be contributing their sponsorships to charity. For those who can’t appreciate why we have to do this, think of the promise of a sold out venue to a sponsor (thanks in part to their $ contribution), or the commitment to La Bistrote to pay for and have them prepare a breakfast for 50. Basically it’s not fair. A few people did cancel their registration via Eventbrite but even those were done at the very last minute. This is the last time you’ll hear me gripe about this, but it had to be said.
Moving on, to wrap up in a nutshell one of our biggest takeaways, and that one of some people in attendance who have since provided feedback; public speaking is in fact something every person in every business can benefit from. Whether among peers, in front of large audiences or colleagues or bosses, it is a skill that can not only instill confidence in yourself and help establish you as an expert in your niche, but lead to opportunities and adventures (and cash even?) you may have never known existed until you tried.
Another topic Fred and we see eye to eye on is the need to educate youth on the opportunities that exist in the digital world, whether as a programmer/developer, a designer, a consultant, etc.. In a related blog post, Fred tells of his recent experience addressing youths at two Montreal-area high schools and like we’re doing now, invites you in whatever capacity that best suits your expertise, to reach out to the groups spearheading these efforts and offer a hand. Like Fred mentions in his post, if a visit and talk of this nature changes the life path for the better of just one person, than the effort will have been worth it. And if nothing else, maybe you’ll have the opportunity to test your public speaking out on a large group whom you know half of which will be dozing and/or listening to their iPod anyway…