Geek Logbook

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Learn to speak in public

First steps to public speaking

When giving a presentation or starting to speak, it is sometimes common to inform the audience about things they are unaware of, which may cause stress. For example, saying, “Oops, I arrived late. I’m very sorry” or “I missed a few slides, but let’s proceed anyway.” This is your personal ego speaking to the audience, and it is irrelevant.

The audience is not interested in that; they are interested in the content you have come to deliver. That’s why it’s important not to let them know what they don’t know. It is necessary to “dive into the content.”

Never apologize for anything. Which statement is more valuable to say?

  • “Sorry for arriving so late” or “Thank you very much for waiting for me” – I want to give you something, my gratitude, for a mistake I made.
  • There is no need to break the flow if it doesn’t bring anything positive to the audience.
  • Your audience is only interested in the content.
  • Focus on the flow of the talk.

It is necessary to practice with a group of people, not just one person. You have to imagine that you are speaking to the public.

To create empathy, you can try speaking one-on-one.

How to prepare epic conferences

  1. Practice your talk. Respect your audience.
  2. Try not to always give the same talk. Avoid repetition.
  3. Research your audience to serve them better.
  4. Have one great message.
  5. Have a call to action.
  6. Speak. Slow, clear, and loud.
  7. Avoid passive-aggressive messages. Use assertive phrases, bordering on the imperative.
  8. Avoid excessive self-focus. “If you do this, it will work for you. It worked for me.” It’s not good for everything to be about you.
  9. Speak with inclusive language.
  10. Combine anecdotes with data.
  11. Give a short and concise talk. Average of 12 minutes.
  12. Don’t just give orders. Explain why.
  13. Close with an inspiring summary.
  14. Reiterate your call to action. The message must relate to the talk.

You should research your audience so that they can identify with the message and perhaps accept it. Contextual questions:

  • When is your event?
  • In which country and city is the event?
  • Who do you want to attend or what topics should it cover?
  • How many people would be attending the talk in person?
  • Briefly describe the profile of your audience.
  • What is the event’s website?
  • Are they expecting a talk or a technical workshop?
  • Apart from the talk, do they expect any other type of activity with the conference speakers?

Speech Structure

  • The first thing is a hook
    • Subversive.
    • Provocative.
    • Contrary.
  • The second thing is the need:
    • Empathetic.
    • Common.
    • Acceptable.
  • Solution:
    • Anecdotal.
    • Actionable.
    • Factual.
  • Visualization:
    • Path to success.
    • Results.
    • Better world.

Give three options. Good messages come in groups of three

Presentation Design


  • Black background, white text.
  • Indiscriminate use of Times New Roman. Avoid using serif fonts. You can use Helvetica or Open Sans.
  • Small text.
  • Don’t say thank you. The way to conclude is:
    • Deliver the final message.
    • Highlight the most important data.
    • Contact information.
  • Different fonts.
  • Bullet points – One slide per bullet point – ONE MESSAGE PER SLIDE.
  • Don’t use GIFs or memes.

Good ideas:

Fonts / Typefaces

  • Use only one font type in each presentation.
  • Generally, use medium width and sans-serif fonts like Helvetica or Arial.
  • Avoid excessively thin fonts as they are difficult to read, especially on dark backgrounds.
  • When in doubt, opt for simplicity.

Font size

  • Use 24-point font or larger.
  • Stick to a maximum of three font sizes you have chosen.
  • Use larger font size for titles and headings, medium size for main ideas, and smaller size for supporting ideas.

Font background

  • If you want to incorporate text into a photo, make sure to place it where the audience can read it.
  • If a photo contains too many details and you can’t write directly on it, it’s best to add a narrow bar at the bottom and place the text on it.

Font color

  • Use only one font color in the presentation unless you want to express emphasis or surprise.
  • Never use light font color on a light background or dark font color on a dark background.


  • Take a look at your presentation on a computer or, even better, on your TV or projector, and step back between two and six meters. Can you read everything? Do the photographs look good without pixelation? If not, correct the issues.

What not to do

  • Avoid bullet points. Stay away from them at all costs.
  • Rings are for the Olympics, not for heading texts.
  • Avoid underlining and italics as they are difficult to read. No problem with bold.
  • Shadows can be useful to improve readability, especially for font types that appear on photographs, but don’t overuse the effect.
  • Don’t use more than one effect on the same line. The result is dreadful.

Slide preparation

  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Are the slides for presentation or information?
    • Presentation: Simple and supportive of your speech.
    • Information: Full of information and don’t require you to present it.
  • One message per slide.
  • Establish a consistent color palette.
  • 12 minutes.
  • Make sure you know the standard format required for your presentation.
  • Are your slides for presentation or information? A presentation slide is meant to accompany your speech and what you are saying, while an information slide doesn’t require your presence as it speaks for itself.
  • Start with who you are, why you are there, and why it is important.
  • Deliver one message per slide.
  • Use high-quality images, especially when using logos.
  • Have a consistent color palette to create a visual impact in graphic design. Most presentations only need three colors.
  • Your brand is important. Include it in your slides.
  • Try to use only one graphic per slide.
  • Display data on a photo with a gradient overlay.
  • Use sans-serif fonts like Open Sans or Helvetica.
  • End your presentations with the mission or an important message.


  • 16:9 elongated slide (new TVs) – 1024x768p
  • 4:3 square slide (old TVs) – 1920x1080p
  • It is recommended to create the presentation in 16:9 and ensure it is projected in the same format.


  • When the slide is presented to an audience and I am not present, the slide should be more informative.
  • When I am presenting, the slide should be more for presentation.
  • Presentation slide: simple and supportive of my speech.
  • Information slide: full of information and doesn’t need my speech.
  • INTRODUCTION: It should answer who I am, why I am there, and why it is important.
  • When I have a slide that doesn’t accompany the speech, it is an information slide.
  • When there is a discrepancy between what I say and what is on the slide, the audience gets confused. They should be similar.
  • The slide order is also relevant. In the Western world, we read from left to right.
  • Always use high-definition images and logos.
  • Have a consistent color palette throughout the presentation.
  • Graphics should be easy to understand.
  • Maximum of one graphic per slide.
  • Use a legible font with good thickness for any type of projector.
  • Close with my email.


  • Initial question: Understand who your audience is.
    • Provide feedback (don’t shut down abruptly, people want to know and identify themselves in a group).
    • Try to involve everyone (engage those who are lagging behind).
  • Try to create groups (this promotes interaction among all parties).
  • Generate tricky questions; this aids the process of remembering the talk (explain the causes of the mistake with an explanatory purpose).
  • Giving away things encourages interaction:
    • Don’t give away things just for the sake of it.
    • Reward interactivity.
    • Reward knowledge or attention to the topic.
  • Show some positive emotion.

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