Thoughts On Speaking At CocoaSlopes

I was in Ogden, Utah, last weekend to present at the second CocoaSlopes conference. (Access my slides here.) I had a lot of fun doing it. I haven’t given a speech in a long time and thought I’d share a few random thoughts:

  1. Wow, did putting the presentation together take a ton of work! I had some starter notes and then wrote a full outline then started putting the slides together. It took me four days, which pretty much killed last week. While my ticket and travel was taken care of, the cost of putting the deck together is expensive. I didn’t anticipate that.
  2. I was nervous before I started to speak. I hadn’t given a presentation in a long while. This took me by surprise. I never am nervous before a presentation. I think because I presented in the middle of the day plus not sleeping much the night before all kind of did me in. Plus I didn’t feel like I got enough practice in  because I spent all week just creating the presentation.
  3. Given that, the minute I started to speak the nervousness disappeared and I felt like I was back in familiar territory. I do love public speaking!
  4. With the amount of work it takes to put this together it really makes sense if you can use the presentation more than once. Justin Williams, also speaking there, told me he puts together one presentation a year and then gives it five or six times. That makes a ton of sense.
  5. The people at CocoaSlopes were just awesome. Dave Klein, who runs CocoaConf, Joel Grasmeyer and the others were fantastic and made me feel right at home. Thanks, Joel, for the invite! Dave, if this is what CocoaConf is like except on steroids, I’m going to have to attend.
  6. The participants were really into it. They cared deeply about what was being presented and participated as much as possible.
  7. The CocoaSlopes folks did a great job creating opportunities to talk and get to know people there.
  8. I was so burned out that by 3pm I needed a break. A few of us went out to grab a beer and eat some snacks and decompress.

Probably the best part for me personally, though, was getting to meet some of my fellow speakers. The guys accepted me right away and made me feel at home. It was nice to hang out with and get to know Justin Williams, Collin Donnell, Charles Perry and Jonathan Penn, in particular. I hope we get the chance again soon.