How to Give Talks as a Software Developer: A Closer Look


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How to Give Talks as a Software Developer

If you work as a software developer, you have heard many times that giving a technical lecture is a great way to establish your credibility, form lasting relationships, and advance your career. Since your career is your top priority, everything sounds great, reasonable, and realistic.

But it's not as easy as it seems. Giving your first speech in front of a group of people or at a conference may be challenging. It may take weeks or even months of rigorous study and preparation before you feel confident enough to speak on the topic you wish to discuss — the subject matter could be as straightforward as how much software development costs.

To attract an audience, you need to make the topic more entertaining and useful.

Why Give a Talk at All?

The first step is to make an effort to persuade oneself and offer strong reasons for giving speeches. Let's examine some of the most pertinent arguments for why delivering lectures as a software engineer can be highly advantageous for your career advancement.

To Get a Better Grip on the Topics You’re Speaking About

Discussing themes linked to your line of work will strengthen your understanding of them; the more you study for your speeches, the more knowledgeable you will become. In the case of software development costs, you will eventually become far more knowledgeable about the specifics of the subject.

Have it, Flaunt it

Giving a public speech is one of the finest methods to show off your expertise on a subject. Showcase your skills to the world and hope that they take something away from your speech, all the while continuing to learn for yourself. You will also successfully build a stronger portfolio for yourself by doing this.

Building Connections

Attending conferences and giving talks is a great way to meet like-minded individuals and eventually form a community with others who have similar interests.

Giving a talk also has the benefit that most conferences allow speakers to attend for free and occasionally even provide travel funding. This also makes attending conferences financially easier.

Which Topics to Choose, How to Choose Them?

This is the next challenging stage of the planning stage that we have been discussing. We will reduce the list as much as we can so you can make an informed choice, even if selecting topics may fill an entire page.

In this case, it's important to choose a topic that interests you. It should give you enough knowledge and allow you to talk about it for an hour or two.

Keep in mind that you don't have to be an authority on your chosen topic, nor should you back up your words with a ton of technical details. You might be inspired to learn more about a topic you are not particularly informed about, like software development costs, just by deciding to talk about it.

You should not stress about how your first presentations will go. Recall Ralph Waldo Emerson's famous quote, "All great speakers were bad speakers at first." 

There are always popular subjects to pick from in the field of software development, no matter what area you work in. Here are a few ideas for potential conversation topics:

  • Quantum Computing - including latest developments, potential impact on software development, and ways to write algorithms for quantum computers

  • Decentralized Finance (DeFi) - including an intro, smart contracts, and blockchain-based financial applications

  • Artificial Intelligence Ethics and Bias

  • Web Assembly (Wasm) - including uses, benefits, and Wasm integration with existing projects

  • Edge Computing - including edge computing architecture, devices, and the role they play in the improvement of latency and performance

  • How much it costs to create software - including software development costs, the stakeholders involved, and the process 

Finally, to get a sense of what topics might interest your audience, it is worth looking at the papers accepted at the previous year's conferences. Most organizations have their own websites where you can find out about previous events, speakers, and their topics. In addition, take note of these venues.

Some Tips to Help You Deliver Better Talks

Now that you have selected a topic and done your research, it is time for you to present the work that you have created. When you're ready to take the stage, keep in mind these quick techniques to boost your confidence. Make sure your audience loves you and that your lecture has the desired impact.

Tip#1 - Keep Your Presentation Precise and Light

Instead of continuing to read the prepared slides, you would like your audience to pay attention to what you have to say. You will be unable to avoid this once your slides include too much information. Keep your presentation brief and concentrate on outlining the main ideas you have presented.

Tip #2 - Understand the Pulse of Your Audience

Ensure that your speech is tailored to the audience. The entire purpose of the discussion is lost if the people listening to you cannot relate to or comprehend your level of understanding. This is less about you and more about your audience. Speak to the appropriate audience when discussing anything, such as the costs associated with software development.

Tip#3 - Tell Stories

Stories can hold the attention of listeners, and your speech will benefit from this as well. Engage the audience, maintain their interest, and persuade them to pay more attention to you by telling a story about yourself, your friends, and other people.

Tip#4 - Managing the Time

It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the time restriction. Ensure that your discussion doesn't go over it, whether you have been allocated 45 minutes or an hour. Don't forget to reserve five minutes at the conclusion for questions from the audience.

You'll be able to give outstanding lectures anywhere you go with the help of all these pointers and techniques, as well as your natural intelligence and self-assurance. Once you have mastered the fundamentals, you will find yourself giving some of the best talks at the conferences you attend and seeing your career take off.

Disclaimer: this article includes a paid product promotion.

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