Next Week: Evans Data Developer Relations Conference 2018 – Guy Kawasaki, live focus group and more

There’s less than a week until the start of the 14th Annual Evans Data Developer Relations Conference in Palo Alto California (March 25-27). With 6 keynote speakers, break out sessions, workshops, a Sunday boot camp, round table discussions and loads of time for networking, this year’s conference will be a spectacular opportunity to move your developer program to higher levels of success. There are only a few seats left for this one of a kind conference focused on developer relations best practices, developer program excellence and optimal developer outreach.

Reserve one of the final seats!

Here are a few of the “can’t miss” things that are happening during the conference.

Keynote Speakers

Janel GarvinEvans Data Corp – Founder and CEO
Hot Topics in Software Development 2018
Janel will draw on multiple recent Evans Data development surveys to give a broad overview of the current development landscape spanning Cloud, Big Data, AI, Machine Learning, Mobile and IoT.

Paul CutsingerAmazon – Head of Alexa Voice Design Education
Anatomy of an Amazon Alexa Evangelist
Who are they? What makes them tick? What do they accomplish? In this session, you’ll get a behind the scenes look at how the Alexa evangelism team operates and what we strive to achieve.

Jonas JacobiIBM – Head of Developer Advocacy, Worldwide
IBM and The Developer Economy
Jonas will discuss how IBM has, in less than 12 months, changed its developer engagement strategy, changed the senior executive teams perspective of the developer economy, and rallied the entire company behind the mission to become the most trusted and respected technology company in the World.

Guy KawasakiCanva – Chief Evangelist
Developer Relations “Fireside” Chat
David Intersimone (“David I”), Evans Data’s Vice President of Developer Communities, will host a conversation with Guy Kawasaki covering developer relations best practice and experiences. They’ll also take questions from conference attendees. Kawasaki was chief evangelist of Apple and David was chief evangelist for Borland/Embarcadero Technologies’ Developer Tools Group.

Roger ChandlerIntel – Vice President & General Manager, Developer Programs & Initiatives
Co-Designing the Future with the Developer Ecosystem
For decades Intel has partnered with software developers around the world to define, deliver, and improve their products. Learn how Intel co-designs user-focused platforms with the software ecosystem, makes it easier for developers to better harness the capabilities of Intel products, and helps ISVs to better sell their software products. This talk will provide specific examples from IOT, Artificial Intelligence, PC Gaming, and Virtual Reality to make it all fit together so that end-users are delighted and developers can grow their business.

Sam RamjiGoogle – Vice President of Product Management for Google Cloud Platform
Open, cloudy, platform-shaped: developer relations for a new normal
Open source is ascendant. Digital platforms are shaking up the Fortune 500. Cloud is eating the glass house. As stewards of the profession, we share an awesome responsibility to define new best practices for developer relations in a changing world. This presentation shares what we’ve learned at Google on the journey we all are on to the future of Dev Rel.

Expert Panel, Round Table Discussions, Live On-Stage Developer Focus Group

Future Directions for Developer Relations and Developer Technologies
Our panel of experts will discuss the future of developer programs and how new technologies are reshaping the features, conversations and deliverables for every developer community.
Moderator: David Intersimone (“David I”), Evans Data – Vice President of Developer Communities
Panelists:
Michael AgliettiThingWorx – VP of Developer Relations
Mithun DharHERE – General Manager Developer Relations (Evangelism, Marketing, Engineering, and Product Management)
JJ KassDropbox – Head of Developer Programs
Andrew LeeAirbnb – Business Development and Developer Relations
Lothar SchubertGE Digital – Director, Developer Relations

Hot Topic Round Table Discussions

Join your colleagues for in-depth roundtable discussions on topics that matter in Developer Relations, including: Measuring ROI and Metrics, Utilizing Social Media to Attract and Engage Developers, Scaling a DevRel Team, Running Hackathons and Events, Effectively Communicating with Developers, API success factors, Educating and Training Developer Communities, and the Art of Internal Evangelism.

Live Onstage Developer Focus Group – This is your chance to ask developers what you want to know – a panel of developers answer the questions you submit.
Moderator: David Intersimone (“David I”), Evans Data – Vice President of Developer Communities

Workshops

Kristen SchevenAngelHack – Chief Marketing Officer
Sustainable Growth Marketing: Building a Developer Ecosystem that Lasts
People throw around the term growth hacking often, but very rarely does it lead to community growth that lasts. During this workshop, we’ll build a marketing action plan that focuses on creating a sustainable and diverse developer foundation through content marketing, email drip campaigns, developer outreach and complementary innovation programs.

Michael RasalanEvans Data – Director of Research
Benchmarking Developer Program Offerings and Quantifying User Satisfaction
To accurately target the developer market for your tools and services, segmentation is vital. This is commonly done by classifying developers by the types of applications they create. This typology is valuable and delivers results focused on developer targets, but sometimes you might want to look at developers by other segments. This interactive workshop looks at how various ways to segment the developer population and provides a jumping off point for examining developers that will allow you to expand your reach.

Yolanda Fintschenko, Ph.D.Fixate IO – Co-Founder and Chris RileyFixate IO – Co-Founder
The A to Z of Practitioner Content Marketing
In this workshop, we will define practitioner content marketing and how it compares to public relations, demand gen, and influencer marketing. We will then build a practitioner content marketing strategy with workshop participants.

Matt SchmidtDZone – President
Building the Ideal Developer Community
A key component of a mature developer relations strategy is the effective use of community. How do devs on your team communicate and collaborate? What is the average amount of time it takes them to get answers? What if you could reduce the amount to time your team spends hunting down resources and resolving issues? A productive and engaged developer community can help your company reach its goals faster and cheaper, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Attend our workshop for a hands-on planning workshop that walks attendees through the process of launching an online developer community that is sure to be a success.

Breakout Sessions

Cliff SimpkinsMicrosoft – Director, Azure Developer Marketing
Virtual Event ROI: Experiments and Learnings 

Larry McDonoughVMware – Director, Product Management
Beyond the Portal: An Innovative Developer Engagement Approach

Desiree MotamediFacebook – Head of Developer Product Marketing
Developers and the Future of Technology

Mike GueretteRed Hat – Global Developer Program Manager
Starting a Developer Program Begins with Data

Lothar SchubertGE Digital – Director, Developer Relations / Product Marketing
Building Sticky Relationships with Developer Experiences

Marie HuweDocuSign – VP, Developer Programs and Evangelism
Developer Market Segmentation: Who are developers and what do they want?

Kris ChantSalesforce – Developer Relations Director
Using Community to Grow your Developer Program

Scott BurnellFord Motor Company – Global Lead, Business Development & Partner Management
WIIFM?

Michelle LittleEvans Data Corp – Analyst
Digging Deeper: Understanding Developer Motivations.

Julie AndersonHP Inc. – Developer Outreach Program Manager
Outreach in the Enterprise: Using Hackathons to Create Culture Change at HP Inc.

Sunday Boot Camp

The Evans Data Corporation’s Developer Relations Boot Camp provides a solid foundation on which you can build or enhance your developer program. Concentrated sessions in this one-day instructional program provide the insight and actionable information you can use to build your brand and establish strong relationships with your developer community.

After each session Boot Camp attendees will break into teams to work on projects related to each topic. Each team will report back to all attendees and discuss their findings and solicit feedback.

Boot Camp Faculty:

David Intersimone “David I” – Evans Data Corp – Vice President of Developer Communities
Michael Rasalan – Evans Data Corp – Director of Research
Scott Burnell – Ford Motor Company – Global Lead, Business Development & Partner Management
Michael Aglietti – ThingWorx – VP Developer Programs

Date: Sunday March 25, 2018
Time: 9am – 5:00pm

https://evansdata.com/drc/2018/bootcamp.php

 

Accelerated Learning Workshops at the Evans Data Developer Relations Conference

In an event unlike any other, developer relations experts from leading companies in the software, telecom and web markets will come together at the 14th Annual Evans Data Developer Relations Conference, March 26-27 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Palo Alto California, to discuss best practices and reveal the techniques behind their success!

New this year: Interactive Workshops

In addition to six keynote presenters and multiple breakout sessions, this year we have also scheduled four interactive workshops during the conference. Each conference attendee will choose to participate in two of the four workshops being held on Tuesday, March 27 at 9am and 10am.

These four workshops will provide accelerated learning for conference attendees to work together to:

  • Build a marketing action plan that creates a sustainable and diverse developer foundation
  • Craft a practitioner content marketing strategy
  • Learn how to segment a developer population that will allow you to expand your reach
  • Plan the launch of an online developer community that is sure to be a success

 

Workshop Sessions, Dates/Times, and Leaders

Here are the four workshop sessions, the date/time when they take place on Tuesday March 27th, and an abstract that describes the workshop in more detail. You can also click on the workshop leader’s name to see their biography.

Workshop: Sustainable Growth Marketing: Building a Developer Ecosystem that Lasts

Date/Time: Tuesday March 27 – Track 1 Room – 9:00am
Workshop Leader: Kristen Scheven, AngelHack – Chief Marketing Officer

Workshop Abstract

People throw around the term growth hacking often, but very rarely does it lead to community growth that lasts. During this workshop, we’ll build a marketing action plan that focuses on creating a sustainable and diverse developer foundation through content marketing, email drip campaigns, developer outreach and complementary innovation programs.

Workshop: The A to Z of Practitioner Content Marketing

Date/Time: Tuesday March 27 – Track 1 Room – 10:00am
Workshop Leaders: Yolanda Fintschenko, Ph.D., Fixate IO – Co-Founder and Chris Riley, Fixate IO – Co-Founder

Workshop Abstract

In this workshop, we will define practitioner content marketing and how it compares to public relations, demand gen, and influencer marketing. We will then build a practitioner content marketing strategy with workshop participants.

Marketing is moving from using a megaphone to creating targeted conversations. Developers do not respond well to traditional marketing, but they also do not want to be the last to know about features, functionality, and techniques. They look for vendors that can impart technical value with each piece of content they put out and ignore obvious product promotion pieces unless they include content that makes tool or technique adoption easier.

Having these targeted technical conversations requires a new strategy — practitioner content marketing. Practitioners who sit outside your organization but are willing to put their name on content for your organization is more credible, results in better quality leads, and increases your company’s share of voice in conversations important for your industry segment. Practitioner content market is a way to let the market, prospects, and customers know that you speak their language and can provide value beyond features and functionality.

Workshop: Benchmarking Developer Program Offerings and Quantifying User Satisfaction

Date/Time: Tuesday March 27 – Track 2 Room – 9:00am
Workshop Leader: Michael Rasalan, Evans Data – Director of Research

Workshop Abstract

To accurately target the developer market for your tools and services, segmentation is vital. This is commonly done by classifying developers by the types of applications they create. This typology is valuable and delivers results focused on developer targets, but sometimes you might want to look at developers by other segments.

This interactive workshop looks at how various ways to segment the developer population and provides a jumping off point for examining developers that will allow you to expand your reach.

Workshop: Building the Ideal Developer Community

Date/Time: Tuesday March 27 – Track 2 Room – 10:00am
Workshop Leader: Matt Schmidt, DZone – President

Workshop Abstract

A key component of a mature developer relations strategy is the effective use of community. How do developers on your team communicate and collaborate? What is the average amount of time it takes them to get answers? What if you could reduce the amount to time your team spends hunting down resources and resolving issues? A productive and engaged developer community can help your company reach its goals faster and cheaper, but it doesn’t happen overnight.

Attend our workshop for a hands-on planning workshop that walks attendees through the process of launching an online developer community that is sure to be a success.

Additional Conference Links

 

Register for the Conference to Reserve your Place!

See you at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Palo Alto for this one of a kind conference that brings together developer ecosystem strategists, developer marketing, and developer relations professionals to meet, exchange ideas, forge partnerships, and share insights on developer ecosystem development.

Developer Relations “Fireside Chat” with Guy Kawasaki and David I. – Tuesday March 27, 2018

At the upcoming 14th Annual Evans Data Developer Relations Conference (DRC2018), Guy Kawasaki will participate in a “Fireside Chat” with David Intersimone “David I”. During the keynote, David I will ask Guy Kawasaki a series of questions covering developer relations best practice and experiences. They’ll also take questions from conference attendees. This keynote session will take place on Tuesday, March 27 at 11:15am at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Palo Alto California.

Guy Kawasaki was chief evangelist of Apple and David was chief evangelist for Borland/Embarcadero Technologies’ Developer Tools Group.

About Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. He is on the board of trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, a brand ambassador for Mercedes Benz USA, and an executive fellow of the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley). He was also the chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of the Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

Guy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GuyKawasaki

Guy on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/guykawasaki/

Guy’s Website: https://guykawasaki.com/

 

About David Intersimone “David I”

David Intersimone, known to many as David I, is a passionate and innovative software industry veteran who extols and educates the world on developer tools, software development and software architectures. David I joined Borland Software in 1985 where he practically invented Developer Relations. During David I’s forty-three years as a developer, development manager, developer community executive and chief evangelist, he has created a thriving global developer community, thousands of articles, videos and blog posts.

Before Embarcadero acquired the developer tools business from Borland Software, David spent more than 20 years with Borland in various evangelism, engineering, and development capacities, including creating the company’s developer relations program.

Today, David I shares his visions and insights as a pioneer in developer relations with program managers and directors through Evans Data’s Developer Program Advisory where he gives workshops, guidance and advice on program creation and enhancement and through the DevRelate Developer Program community website.

David I on Twitter: https://twitter.com/davidi99

David I on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidi99/

David I’s DevRelate blog: https://www.devrelate.com/blog/

 

Join us at the Evans Data 14th Annual Developer Relations Conference

The conference takes place on March 26 and 27, 2018 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Palo Alto California. There is also a Sunday, March 25 Developer Relations Bootcamp strategic workshop that provides a solid foundation on which you can build or enhance your developer program. Concentrated sessions in this one-day instructional program provide the insight and actionable information you can use to build your brand and establish strong relationships with your developer community.

During the two day conference the keynotes, sessions and workshops will cover all aspects of developer relations, ranging from the business side (program ROI, the connection between developer programs and company revenue, budgeting for/costs of developer programs, how to get an organization’s commitment of internal resources, etc.) to the marketing side (techniques for recruitment, awareness tactics, community loyalty building programs, legal/privacy and global privacy considerations, conducting a privacy audit, internationalizing a US-based developer program, etc), and much more.

Whether you are starting a new developer relations program or building on a current one, you deserve all of the help you can get – and this is the place to get it!

In an event unlike any other, developer relations experts from leading companies in the software, telecom and web markets will come together to discuss best practices and reveal the techniques behind their success!

You’ll find additional Developer Relations Conference information, keynote presenters, speakers and conference schedule on the DRC2018 Web Site.

 

David I presenting at API World: Ten Developer API Success Factors for your Developer Marketing and Developer Relations Program

I am a speaker at the API World 2017 conference taking place in San Jose California September 23-28, 2017. The Conference, run by DevNetwork, is the world’s largest vendor-neutral API conference and expo, organizing the API Economy. API World is dedicated to the mission to be independent and facilitate connections, knowledge, trust and business within the developer community of API providers and consumers.

Ten Developer API Success Factors for your Developer Marketing and Developer Relations Program

My talk takes place on Wednesday, September 27 from 11:00am – 11:50am. I am part of the API World API Marketing track during the conference.

Today more than 80% of developers belong to one or more developer programs. Sixty-two percent of developers, in a recent Evans Data Developer Program research survey, say they don’t use APIs that aren’t supported by a Developer Relations program. What motivates a developer to want to adopt a particular technology or tool? What motivates them to buy?

DRPInfographic2017

The answers to these questions are crucial to the success of API marketing efforts. In order to sell a product, companies must be able to first, reach developers, second, provide a clear and unique message that emphasizes the particular value and functionality of their tool or platform, and finally, convince developers that these offerings can benefit them and/or the company they work for. Knowing what the primary influences are in the developer world is critical.

There are many aspects related to a developer’s API adoption and a company’s decision to open their APIs to developers. These aspects can include: API features, Documentation, Developer Support, Reasons for joining and staying in a program, ROI and Developer Program Measurement, Developer Outreach, Training, Spurring Participation, Developer Resources, and App Stores.

In this API World session, you’ll hear about the many aspects of successful API adoption, developer program features and developer marketing best practices that lead to a successful partnership between your company and developers.

Evans Data Tactical Marketing Reports

In creating my API World talk I will be using developer focused research that is included in this year’s Evans Data “Developer Marketing Survey 2017” and “Developer Relations Survey 2017“.

Stop by and Say Hello

During API World, I will also be roaming around the conference and exhibit hall. It will be awesome to see all of the companies that are providing APIs for developers to use. If you have time, stop by my talk and say hello.

David I Facebook Avatar

David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
davidi@evansdata.com
Blog: https://www.devrelate.com/blog/
Skype: davidi99
Twitter: @davidi99
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidi99/

I just got back from Cisco Live in Las Vegas, Nevada

I spent the past few days in Las Vegas for the Cisco Live 2017 C-Scape industry analysts meetup. I had two days (thankfully in air conditioned rooms and buses) of meetings with executives, leaders of product groups, and customers in general sessions, round table discussions and one on one meetings. I also attended the opening keynote with Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and had the pleasure to witness his sit down conversation with Apple CEO Tim Cook. There is plenty of news about Cisco’s announcements, products, and technologies in the news, so I won’t repeat those sorts of things here. This DevRelate blog post is focused on how Developer Relations outreach can be multiply integrated into a company’s in-person conference.

 

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Best Practices for an Integrated Developer/User Event

At most technology company conferences, you already have most of your executives, product managers, marketing specialists, and technology gurus. Combining partner, analyst, partner, ecosystem and press meetings into the same location makes a lot of sense. Cisco did a great job of bringing us into the middle of their conference including meetings with customers who talked about their success stories. We had plenty of time to ask questions during the meetings as well as during informal conversations during dinners later in the evening.

I got to hear from customers during some of the general sessions and round table discussions. While it is always good to talk with members of the teams, it is a special pleasure to be able to listen to and ask questions of customers and their experiences.

I really enjoyed the discussions with Michael Giresi, CIO of Royal Caribbean about how extended teams work closely together to enhance their customer’s experiences with project teams that include IT, DevOps, Business, Product, and Developer members. From my notes he said “it is about the team being accountable for the complete solution – embedding accountability for the complete experience versus just the application experience. Assign ownership for the performance of the whole solution – assign the right people to the ‘whole team’. The concept of applications and infrastructure being separate is nuts! The old way doesn’t work anymore.”

I also got to talk with Michael Sherwood, Director of the Department of Information Technologies for the City of Las Vegas about the implementation of their Smart City plans to include IoT, Open Data and Developer APIs. Michael even sent me a follow up email yesterday with additional information and links.

It was very clear that software, developers and APIs were front and center in just about every hardware and software product presentation and demonstration. Integrating a very active Cisco DevNet Zone in the convention center with class rooms, hands on workshops, and cool developer solutions also reinforced the theme of developers at the center of everything. While developers often think of APIs for platforms, frameworks and services, Cisco also demonstrated the openness of programming at the ASIC level.

When you are planning  your conference, you can leverage your company and team members investments to the maximum by integrating your whole “extended” ecosystem – technology, marketing, research, partners, analysts, experts, authors, consultants, developers, thought leaders, trainers, educators, and others to orchestrate a complete event. For those technology and software companies that integrate and add value, you can also be a part of the larger story during the event. I am probably already preaching to the choir, but piggy-backing on an event to reach out to a larger developer audience is always a good thing.

 

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Just before I left the Cisco DevNet Zone and the convention center, I stopped by the Cisco DevNet Opportunity Project pod. Cisco DevNet is encouraging developers, companies and others to get involved to “unleash the power of data and technology to expand economic opportunity in communities nationwide. To create solutions that help families, local leaders, and businesses access information about the resources they need to succeed.” Find out more about the US Department of Commerce Opportunity Project at https://opportunity.census.gov/

 

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While it was extremely hot outside in Las Vegas this week (glad to be home in the cool environment of Monterey Bay), it was also extremely beneficial to see the awesome team at Cisco and the wide array of tech companies and developers working together to move our industry forward. I hope that you all have success in your future events whether they be small, medium, large, extra large or XXXXL.

What are your Best Practices for a Completely Integrated Developer Event Experience?

If you have your own best practices where you integrate multiple audiences, partners, press, analysts, users, developers and others in your events, send me an email with what works best for you.

David I Facebook Avatar

David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
davidi@evansdata.com
Blog: https://www.devrelate.com/blog/
Skype: davidi99
Twitter: @davidi99
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidi99/

Most Everything I learned about presenting I learned from Jerry Weissman

We just completed the 13th Annual Evans Data Developer Relations Conference which was held in Palo Alto California on March 27 and 28 (the Boot Camp took place on Sunday March 26th). As I was watching some of the presenters and their presentations, I was thinking back to the early presentation training I received from Jerry Weissman. I love sitting in on other speaker presentations. I know there is always something new I can learn about speaking in front of an audience including tips, techniques, slides and demos. While we were doing our conference retrospective meeting back in the office, I was thinking about what more I can do to help Developer Relations professionals and decided to pull together some of what I learned from Jerry and other presenters over my many years of presentations, panel discussions, webinars, product launches, and meetups.

Beyond the title of this article, here are see some of my thoughts about what I’ve learned by giving presentations, what I’ve seen in watching other presenters, and the days I spent, years ago, with Jerry Weissman. The only other piece of advice I have is to practice and present as often as you can – if you want to add presenting to your skills inventory.

Power Presentations, Ltd.: Corporate Presentation Training – Jerry Weissman

About Jerry: “Jerry Weissman is the world’s number one corporate presentations coach. His private client list reads like a who’s who of the world’s best companies, including the top brass at Yahoo!, Intel, Intuit, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Dolby Labs and many others.” Read more about Jerry and his company – https://www.powerltd.com/aboutus/

Jerry Weisman

You should definitely Buy and Read his book: Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story, Updated and Expanded Edition

Jerry’s top words of wisdom about your presentation: “The key building block for Audience Advocacy is WIIFY — What’s In It For You. The WIIFY is the audience benefit. In any presentation, before you make any statement about yourself or your company, or the products and services you offer, ask yourself, What’s the WIIFY? What benefit does this offer my listener?”

presentation

Presenting to a Live Audience or Meeting

Here are the three aspects for giving a great presentation that includes slides/visuals. Doing live demonstrations or products and technologies adds several additional levels of training, setup, practice and especially how to handle “exception” cases when the demos don’t go very well.

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1) E.R.A.

  • Eye Contact – keep your eyes on the audience, not on the floor, sky, etc. Look around the audience – front, left, right, middle, back. Move about the stage or front of the room – but don’t make quick moves like some comedians do, and don’t pace. Pretend that you are speaking one on one – in those conversations you usually look in the other person’s eyes when you are speaking with them. Do the same with your audience.
  • Reach Out – engage the audience with your hands, person. This advice comes from the days of the Knights with the handshake. A Knight meeting another Knight, would reach out their hand to show that they didn’t have a weapon. Reaching out to the audience will bring them in, show that you are open to them. If you feel comfortable, you can even go out in to the audience or move about the room. One time I started my talk while sitting in the audience with attendees and then moved around before I got to the front of the room. A couple other bits of advice for reaching out to the audience:
    • Avoid using a podium. While you need something to put your computer on – use a table, or stand for the computer. Speakers hide behind the podium, use it as a crutch, grab on to it. This means that you are putting barriers between you and your audience.
    • Use a remote control to advance your slides. This way you are separated from the computer and engaged more with the audience. Even better would be to have someone advance your slides – this way you don’t have anything in your hands that you might fiddle with. If you don’t have someone to advance your slides you can always combine moving to get some water and hit the spacebar on your computer and then move away.
    • Avoid putting your hands in your pockets – this could alarm the audience that you are going for a weapon, or keep you from reaching out. If you feel compelled to fidget with your hands – do it behind your back for a moment.
  • Animate – be animated but not crazy. It’s okay to nod your head, move your hands/arms around – not waving wildly – shake your head and shoulders. Don’t stand stiff even if you are petrified during a talk. Moving about will help you relax and also support having eye contact with a larger audience/room and also is part of your reaching out to the audience.

 

2) Avoid the Um(s), Ah(s), And(s), So(s), You Know(s), Stutter Starts/Restarts, etc.

 

  • Presenters sometimes feel that they always need to be talking doing a presentation. We feel compelled to be speaking, outputting audio even when moving between thoughts, bullet points, etc. Unconsciously many of us will use the Um(s), Ah(s) and such – often without realizing it. A better approach is to pause and rest your voice for a moment – this also lets the audience take a rest (they need it too). The only real way to fix this (if you have a bad case of them) is to record yourself giving a presentation for about 10-15 minutes at least. Play it back and watch and listen to yourself to count how many times you hear yourself with the Um(s) and Aw(s). As someone who edits presentations and webinars to create replays, I can tell you that I will usually remove 3-5 minutes of them in a 30 minute presentation. I still have this problem, using during Q&A time.
  • Let the audience read a quote – and you read along with them quietly at a “normal” reading pace. Instead of reading a quote that is already on your slide and the screens. The audience will be reading the quote while you are reciting it anyway. Let them. After you and they have read the quote, then you can talk about why you put the quote on the screen. IF your slide has a video with audio – you usually wouldn’t talk over the audio – why talk while everyone is reading?
  • Stutter Starts/Restarts – here I am not talking about stuttering. I’m talking about the starting a thought, stopping, starting the thought again, stopping, changing your starting thought. My advice is to put a slide up or listen to a question being asked and think a bit before you start talking. Again, the audience is still probably taking in the Slide, the question, the image. It’s okay for a few seconds to make sure you have your thoughts together and then talk. This can also happen to some presenters when you are trying to think and speak at the same time. Practicing your presentation, reviewing your slides multiple times before a presentation will help you feel that you can talk without starting, stopping, restarting. Allowing yourself to think on your feet and then speak will also allow the audience to think.

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3) Mr. Roy G. Biv – Creating your presentation

3a) Colors – know the color spectrum and what colors work well with others. Take a look at the following and be reminded of our dear old friend: Roy G. Biv. Who is Roy? No one but it serves to remind us of what colors to combine in your presentations. Of course there are variations of colors beyond the specific rainbow and spectrum – Red, Light Red, Pink, etc.

ROY G BIV + White, Shades of Grey and Black – the Chinese restaurant menu of choices.

Choose one from column A:

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow

Choose one from column B:

  • Green – works with just about everything

Choose one from column C:

  • Blue
  • Indigo
  • Violet

Have you noticed how well Yellow on a Blue background looks good? Adding drop shadows can also increase the clarity. You can use White, Black and shades of Grey with your choices.

3b) Color challenged attendees – the challenges related to how the eye is constructed and works – think Rods and Cones. The fact that some humans have eye conditions that might steer you to avoid certain colors or color combinations because of color blindness and other color based sight impairments. There are different types or color categories for color blindness:

  • Red Green color blindness – the most common type of color blindness – three conditions: Protanomaly (1 % of males) – Red, Orange and Yellow can appear greener. Protonopia (1 % of males) – red appears black. Shades of orange, yellow and green appear as yellow. Deuteranomaly (5 % of males) – yellow and green can appear redder, can be difficult to distinguish between violet and blue. Deuteranopia (1 % of males) – red looks brownish yellow, green looks beige.
  • Blue Yellow color blindness – rarer than red green – two conditions: Tritanomaly (extremely rare) – Blue appears greener and it can be difficult to tell yellow and red from pink. Tritanopia (extremely rare) – blue appears greener, yellow appears violet or light grey
  • Complete color blindness – most rare. Two forms: Cone Monochromacy – trouble distinguishing colors. Rod Monochromacy or achromatopsia – everything is black, white and grey.

3c) Resources for additional reading in this area

 

Other Presenter and Presentation Aspects to Consider

There are many other aspects for building and giving a great presentation. This blog post could go on for ever. Of course, as a presenter, you should be yourself, smile, exude enthusiasm, be confident, consider making startling statements, and more. For your slide show here are a few bits of advice that I review from time to time.

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Room/Environmental Advice

  1. Room temperature – depending on the room size, you may have to deal with cold or hot rooms. What should you do? Remember first that the audience will also feel the same effects of the room temperature and humidity. If you have control over the environment, have the hotel, convention center or team set the room temperature as if it has bodies in it. If you can’t control the environmental aspects – then you (and your audience) can follow the same advice we give each other about wearing layers that you can take off and put on throughout the presentation.
  2. Sound System, Speakers noise, buzzing, hum – get to the room early (if you can) and check out the audio system (do a sound check) if there is one. If there is a nasty background noise in the audio system – have the AV team fix the problem before you start. No one likes to hear buzzing, static or hum while you are presenting. It is a major distraction. If your presentation has audio in it – make sure you have the right connectors and sound levels. Alert the A/V team as far in advance that you have special requirements for your computer, audio, power, device, etc. setup. Again, get into your room early to make sure you have all that you need. Don’t assume connectors or adapters. If you are going to be presenting a lot, bring what you need.
  3. Video Connectors – depending on your computer, notebook, and device – bring connectors, adapters and cables to connect to the projector or large monitor. My MacBook Pro has HDMI output. This is the norm today for most “modern” projectors and monitors. But, just in case, I also bring adapters for VGA and DVI just in case.
  4. Internet Connection – Most places have Internet access. But sometimes the quality of the Internet signal or speed is less than what you need. Sometimes you will need some ports opened that are blocked in the location you are presenting. I have a second mobile phone that I can set up as a Hot Spot to give me a better quality and open ports. For example, I use Airplay to display the screen of my iPhone on my Mac connected to a projector/monitor. Airplay requires some ports that are often blocked. The only ways around this are to ask that an Airplay set of ports be opened (good luck) or to use an alternate Internet connection – hot spot to the rescue. The second benefit of using a phone as a Hot Spot is to avoid being caught up in bad internet speed in a hotel or convention center, or too many other devices connected to the same Wi-Fi or wired network.
  5. Your Cell Phone – set it to “Do Not Disturb” or completely off. Put it away from the sound system to avoid interference, buzzing and other distractions. Do not have it in your pocket or attached to your belt. Unless it is part of your demo, tell anyone who might message or call that you are giving a presentation during a specific date/time and won’t be monitoring your phone.
  6. Fluids – If you are going to keep hydrated, drink still water that is room temperature. No Ice Water – constricts the vocal cords? Avoid too much coffee, never drink alcohol before, during or after a presentation (unless it is in the evening after all of your sessions are completed), Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, chocolate/sugar, etc. Be naturally amped up for your audience. Get a good night’s sleep the night before and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate (ok, watch your total fluid intake so that you won’t need to take an unplanned break in the middle of your presentation).
  7. Floor monitors for video and audio – For a larger room/convention center – have a floor monitor (or 2 or 3 if it is a large stage and large audience) between you, stage and the audience. If there isn’t room or separate monitor available, it’s okay to turn look at a slide and refer to it. It’s also good to have audio monitor speakers between you and the audience (if possible) – then you won’t have to ask the audience if they can hear you. You can hear what the audience is hearing.
  8. Audio Feedback and Projector Blindness – avoid getting near the PA system speakers. The audience doesn’t want to hear a 60’s Jimi Hendrix guitar/amp feedback. If the projector is not behind the screen or raised above your head, now where the beam is and avoid standing between the projector and the screen. Don’t go near the light “Carol Anne” – you’ll have spots in your eyes for a while.
  9. Lighting – Don’t have bright lights shine on the screen that your presentation is being projected on. The lights will wash out your slides. While you don’t want to have complete dark in the room, you can usually play with the room pre-sets to get lights off the screen. If you can’t control the lights yourself, you can ask the hotel or convention center to set up a preset for your room. One other option would be to move your screen and projector to another part of the room where the ceiling lights won’t affect the quality of your slides.

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Practice, Practice, Practice

  1. Practice in the mirror and on camera. I know that it is hard to watch yourself on video, but it is important to take an honest look at yourself. Count the number of um(s), ah(s), bobbles, times not looking into the camera, etc. Think about what you see in regards to what you have read above and also what you are trying to accomplish in your presentation. How does it look and sound to you?
  2. If you’re the kind of person that can’t practice to a camera, to an empty room or in front of a mirror, practice in front of your family, office mates, or a picture of a group of people.
  3. Rinse and Repeat – make any changes/adjustments. Record yourself again. Do you see improvements? Do you have less um(s), ah(s), not look at and reaching out to the camera and animating? Repeat as often as necessary.

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Give lots of Presentations of Different Types/Kinds

Variety is the Spice of Life! Once you are ready, give lots of presentations or all types, topics and lengths. Solicit and read (if there are speaker evaluation forms) all of comments after your presentations. Take all of the comments and suggestions to heart. Remember also, that there might always be one or a few outlier evaluators in your audience that don’t like you, don’t like your presentation, and don’t like anything. It is okay to try and learn a nugget from these attendees, but don’t let that color all of the other feedback.

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Good Luck (So Long) and Thanks for All the Fish!

I wish you all good luck in all of your future presentations. I hope that all of your presentations will be warmly received. While you might have a less than stellar presentation from time to time, you can always learn from missteps and get more comfortable and professional as a presenter every time you get in front of an audience.

Do You have your own Presentation Tips and Experiences?

Send me an email if you have your own presentation best practices or links to your favorite presenter advice articles.

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David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
davidi@evansdata.com
Blog: https://www.devrelate.com/blog/
Skype: davidi99
Twitter: @davidi99
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidi99/