The road to Scotland JS

Awesome news: I am going to talk at Scotland JS!

When Peter invited me, I started panicking. Someone wanted me to speak at a conference?

I don't speak at conferences. I'm 100% not a speaker. One of the last times I tried to speak on stage it was at my own event and I blanked out whilst trying to give my conclusion. What would I speak about? How do you even prepare a talk? Make slides? Get confidence? No, I think I'd rather not.

But then I imagined myself doing it. I looked pretty cool on the stage of my imagination. It wasn't the most polished talk, but it worked.

So I said yes, knowing that the event was in 6 months and I had time to prepare. I have a lot of preparing to do.

Like in everything I do, I have to have a plan.

✏ 💭 Planning @yourfirstpr talks and related things.

A photo posted by Charlotte Spencer (@charlotteiss) on

As someone with little experience, I need to find a series of other events to talk at to practice. I want to do shorter talks (5-10 minutes) leading up to the longer Scotland JS talk. Which means that unfortunately, I need to prepare 2 talks, a shorter and longer one.

I'm going to write everything as a series of blog posts first so I can play with ideas and have input from others. I don't want the things I say to be exclusive to those who can afford the time/energy/money to go to a conference. Some people don't enjoy conferences. Some folk are not physically able to attend. A blog post is free, you can read it in your own time, and it is more accessible.

I'm going to reduce my blog posts into as few points as possible, where each could make it's own slide heading. Then, using these headings as sort of flash cards, work out what I can say for each point. Committing them to memory reduces the chance of me forgetting my 'lines'.

Then, I'm going to practice practice practice. I bought a clicker and a stopwatch so I can practice my talk each day and make sure I am keeping time.

I've started proposing the short talk to a couple of places. I'll be speaking at LRUG on the 8th of Feb and potentially another event in March!

If you would like me to give a ten minute talk on Your First PR and how to make your Open Source projects more accessible; see my proposal below! If you know of an event in the London-ish area that are looking for speakers, please let me know!


Lastly, here are a few resources I'm going to study!