If you’re in Information Security and you’ve not heard of Troy Hunt, you need to get on the Internet more. Troy started as a developer, got some fame as a Microsoft MVP helping people out in forums, and then stumbled upon security.
He started helping people out with securing their Microsoft websites, and suddenly realized there was a serious lack of people who could both understand and explain these issues to people. So he started doing it more and more, and now he makes videos, gives talks, etc. And he’s really good at presenting. So, following the style that has helped him get to where he’s at, he then started writing about how to get good at presenting.
Here’s his first blog on it, and here’s the latest.
So because his posts are long and quite detailed, I’m going to capture his key points in a simple list, and point out my favorites.
Things to avoid
Don’t just read your slide notes
Don’t make your text too small to read
Don’t hide behind the podium for the whole talk
Don’t apologize when things go wrong
Don’t focus on being funny without giving something of value
Don’t kill them with bullets
Don’t let time mismanagement kill your talk
Don’t look at your watch or clock constantly
Don’t be monotone
Make sure you don’t have notifications popping during the talk
Things to do
Have something for people to see/hear while they arrive
Have a strong opening (funny / amusing is often good)
Skip the personal intro
Give something out at the end
Consider using auto-tweets during the talk to encourage engagement
Use live demos, even if you have demo videos
Keep the momentum, especially during multi-step demos
Alternate between humor and seriousness
Engage the audience with questions
Use hooks and story to sell people on the point
Have some go-to ideas that you can use to fill time if necessary
Give people takeaway actions and lessons
Use zoom tools to focus on key parts of a demo
Use embedded videos, but still have a live demo as well
Know your audience before using profanity
Have a story and use demos/humor to hide boring bits
Be fluid when you mess up, and don’t apologize
Use things like Norse to show points rather than tell
Use audience interaction towards the middle of a talk
Talk to the audience after the talk
Make sure you reinforce your key lesson multiple times
Here are the ones I thought were particularly good:
Don’t apologize when things go wrong. Just drive on
Avoid the monotone! You must vary your energy!
Have something playing when people are coming in
Try to have a handout
Live-tweet during your talk (automated)
Illustrate or show examples of points, instead of stating them
Give them actionable lessons and takeaways, i.e. something they can do tomorrow that will make their lives easier
Use videos in your preso, but don’t substitute them for a live demo
Don’t be afraid to use eye-candy like Norse to illustrate a point
Put audience interaction at the beginning and middle of a talk
Great stuff here from Troy. Definitely check out his blog if you aren’t already following it.