A quick review of my second ever GopherCon - the first one as a speaker, and my experience talking.
At this year’s GopherCon we had a lot of great talks, some even from international speakers from Google and Cloudflare!
I’m not good at public speaking. I’m aware it is a skill and thus can be learned, and I’m learning.
Anyway, this adventure begins with some friends pushing me to talk about GoReleaser since last year. I promised to do that this year, and I like to keep my promises, so I submited a talk knowing that, if approved, I would be forced to do it.
I thought about the kind of talks I usually like, which are either stories of how a problem was solved or just the screw-ups, so I named it “GoReleaser: Lessons learned so far”.
The talk was approved. I had to keep it up. Since it was my first time talking to that many people, I thought it would be nice to post about my screw-ups in my talk about my other screw-ups.
I hope you enjoy it.
After my talk was approved, I wrote a blog post with the intent of using it as a “template” for the talk itself. I had never done a talk in that way, but I did enjoy doing it that way.
The good thing about it is that you can write as much as you like, ask for feedback and see what people are more interested in, so you can maybe not talk about something people don’t like.
I worked very hard on my slides, trying to have some funny parts so I could get less nervous (spoiler: it didn’t work very well). If you ever seen any of my slides, you’ll know I obviously suck at that, so they were basically 2 colors and some Rick and Morty gifs (because I couldn’t help myself).
I also practiced it a few times, and sometimes would add/remove things. I took around ~50min to go through everything during the practices, and I had 40 minutes to talk on the event, so I assumed I would eat up that 10 extra minutes by speaking too fast and/or forgetting to say some parts, which is common for me. And I was right, although I could probably have even more content and would still have some time left.
Fast forward to the day before my presentation, we had free beer sponsored by Elastic. I didn’t want to speak with a hangover, so I drink just 3 beers or so. That was a bummer, I like beer, but at least I was feeling good in the morning and had a good night of sleep.
On the next day, the keynote was a mind-blowing, existential crisis-inducing talk by Rodolpho Eckhardt. The talk was so good I was embarassed to do mine afterwards. But, yeah, too late to run.
10 minutes I was on stage, and I had a job to do. I was really nervous and forgot some of the good jokes I had planned. It was not a stand-up comedy show so it is a-OK. The jokes were supposed to help me “break the ice” though, and since I forgot them, the ice was still there, which makes things a little harder.
That being said, in the first minutes I was very nervous. It was very noticiable. Even my voice was “shaking”. I also spoke way too fast and forgot to say some important stuff.
To make things worse, my first animated Rick and Morty gif confused me at one point and I got frustated at Keynote, going back and forth trying to make the damn gif play. I was fooled by gifs and Keynote before, so I think I’ll just not use gifs on presentations anymore.
When I realized I had past half my slides in 10 minutes it was already too late, but I was able to go slower on the second half, which was the most important part, so I guess it is kind of OK.
Another thing that I always get wrong is the timing to drink water. I was nervous and spoke too fast, so I was very thirsty, and I can never find the timing to take a sip of water without being weird. How do you folks even do that so smoothly? I also forgot to leave the bottle open, so when I wanted to take a sip, the bottle was closed and I only had one free hand… I tried to open it single-handed, failed miserably and I am pretty sure everyone noticed that. Nobody laughed at me - thanks everyone! 🚀
On the bright side, there were a lot of interesting questions after the talk, and even suggestions to some issues I raised. All the stickers were delivered (which is great), some of which are even going to Italy! Awesome!
On the coffee breaks I’ve got to talk with a lot of people about tons of interesting subjects, and everyone was super nice. The Go community is dope! I hope I can see you all again very soon!
By the way, the talks were recorded, so, when the videos are public, I’ll add the link to mine to my talks pag. The slides are already there in case you are interested.
Before I forget, the organization was dope! Everyone was super nice and everything was very well organized and worked out smoothly! Congratz to everyone involved on that, keep up the good work!
Conclusion: anxiety sucks and I need to practice more. I’m slowly getting better but there is still plenty of room for improvent.