Giving my first tech talk

  • Career

January 30, 2022

By Maru

On January 26th I gave my first tech talk (ever) at the Sanity.io virtual meetup and it was an awesome experience! I spent a lot of time getting ready for the presentation, choosing my talking points and also had to deal with the nerves of doing something for the first time and speaking in public.

The topic for my talk was “My first time building a blog with Sanity and Next.js” (this blog!) and here I’ll share the things I learned while getting ready and what I would do differently.

Preparing the content

My slot for the talk was 20 minutes. When I first heard this I got a little scared because I thought it was a lot, “what am I going to say for 20 minutes?!?”

I knew that I was going to talk about my experience using Sanity and Next.js, therefore, when I started preparing the presentation I wrote down everything that came to mind hoping that I would have enough information to fill the time. This allowed me to have several content ideas which was great, however, at one point I ended up with too much content.

When I first practiced with a timer it was more than 20 minutes and I wasn’t even sure that it was relevant information, it didn’t feel like the topics were connected. I realized that I had forgotten about the purpose of the talk and the message I wanted to convey, so I had to go back to the basics and identify my goal for the presentation.

Once I identified the purpose of the talk it was easy to pick my talking points.

Next time, I believe that a better approach would be:

  • Identify my main topic and goal for the presentation
  • Brainstorm talking points and information based on that
  • Using a draft, test the time so I know how much I can elaborate my main points
  • Depending on the time, see what other extra things I can add

Preparing content for a presentation is a big learning experience. I learned about organizing information, prioritizing ideas and it allowed me to understand a lot of coding concepts better.

Dealing with the nerves

I was very nervous. As a first-time speaker, talking about coding concepts and sharing my experience, felt very intimidating and I’m sure that happens to everyone (even people that have a lot of experience speaking in public!).

I practiced a lot every day before the presentation, some of my friends were really nice and heard me several times. I practiced alone in a Google Meet call to test sharing my screen and make sure that my windows looked good 🙉.

Practicing was extremely helpful, I gained some confidence while speaking and actually, the day of the presentation, I tried to pretend that it was just one of my practice sessions.

Last but not least, I’m extremely grateful that Kap, Lo, and everyone from the Sanity team and community were so supportive and awesome. Instead of being nervous, I was able to have a lot of fun!

Watch the full talk here: