One of the goals I’ve been working on is to try and get out of my comfort zone a bit and start doing some public speaking. Being up in front of people is not overly fun for me, but I do see the good of doing it.
One area where I can see me potentially able to help people is by talking about WordPress. By no means do I know everything about WordPress, but I do have a pretty strong understanding of how it works, and I help people use it as my job as a Happiness Engineer. So far I’ve done two presentations on the topic. One I wrote about before where I did a WordPress.com 101 for a university business class. Last night I did one at a local meetup for Refresh Annapolis Valley. WordPress is a pretty popular topic because there was likely more people out last night than I have seen before.
My idea was to give an intro to WordPress and show people the basics of getting started. While preparing I went through creating so many slides with screenshots and taking people through the process of setting up WordPress and then working with it. Near the end I scrapped most of it and decided to go against a lot of the advice I had received and do a live demo instead. It still feels like the right move to really give people a feel for how to work through the WordPress dashboard but almost immediately backfired on me.
The talk took place on the same university campus and the guest internet connection is pretty locked down so I couldn’t load one of the pages needed to do the demo because it ran on a different port which was blocked on the connection. Thankfully the organizer fired up the hot spot on his phone and I connected to it and went through.
My intention was to record my screen so I could share it after, but once up there nerves took over and I completely forgot to start it.
One of the things I mentioned in my talk was the mission of WordPress which is as follows:
To democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software.
One of people who has given me the motivation to start presenting in public is a team mate Mahangu Weerasinghe. Each year our company gets together and one of the things we do is each person has to do a flash talk while there. It is just a short, up to four minutes, presentation on anything you would like. His inspired me greatly and today an article about his story was published that is both inspiring itself and goes to the mission of WordPress. I encourage you to give it a read. http://heropress.com/essays/breaking-the-silence/
I’m sharing my flash talk below which is certainly less inspirational, but it shows how nervous I am in front of people I think and was my first time up in front of a group of people in a long time.