Speaker Tips

There will be a meeting on October 4th at 8pm for all the XDC Speakers in room 1. We’ll cover useful tips to keep in mind (some are below), room layout and other important information. Don’t miss it!

[h]Speaker Tips[/h]

  • Speak clearly.
  • Stand.
  • Use the microphone. Avoid turning your head away from the microphone. It won’t pick up well if you turn your head, making it harder for people to hear some of what you are saying.
  • Avoid turning to face the screen. Always face the audience. Remember, you can see your screen on your laptop which will be in front of you.
  • Repeat any questions that are asked before you answer them. Feel free to paraphrase if necessary.
  • If you know someone’s name, feel free to use it. “So, Kem has asked …”
  • Do not allow your session to get sidetracked with questions that would better be handled offline. Instead, repeat a short version of the question and say something like “That is a bit involved to discuss now, but I’ll talk with you about it after.”
  • Minimize unnecessary movement. Don’t click a pen or fidget with your hands. Walking all over the front is distracting.
  • Visit the room you are presenting in before you present so you can get comfortable with its setup.
  • Start the presentation on time. Ask someone in back to close the door or do it yourself.
  • End the presentation on time, which is about 5 minutes before the next session, at the latest! Do not go over your allotted time as I’m pretty sure we have tasers this year. Keynote presenter mode has a Timer you can refer to.
  • Let people know if you prefer they ask questions during the session or to save them for the end. Personally, I prefer to allow questions during the session as their context can be clearer.
  • Avoid the “ums”. Instead, simply don’t say anything. It’s not a problem to have silence while you are thinking.
  • Wear your Xojo shirt the day you are presenting.
  • In the Xojo IDE, you may want to increase your Code Editor font.
  • In Keynote (Preferences->Slideshow) and PowerPoint (Slideshow->Presenter View) you can turn on Presenter Display to make it easier to see what is coming up in your slides.

[quote=288020:@Paul Lefebvre]If you know someone’s name, feel free to use it. “So, Kem has asked …”

Or just call anyone who asks a question “Kem”. The camera won’t see them and I’ll take on a god-like quality. “That dude is everywhere… at once!”

Some more:

  • Brain-freeze is not uncommon. If it happens to you, don’t be afraid to say so and move on. “I can’t think of it right now, but ask me later,” or “hmm, I don’t recall what I was thinking there, I’ll circle back later if I do.”
  • The audience is on your side and want you to succeed. Remember that.

As a Toastmaster graduate I can’t emphasize practicing your presentation, out loud, in front of another person enough. Get feedback, make adjustments, and do it (at least) two more times.

Don’t read your slides verbatim. We can read - summarize.

If you are going to give a code demo, know exactly what you are going to do. Practice that a few times too. More importantly, do it on the computer you’ll have at the conference to make sure it has all the files you need. Turn your network connection off just in case files are on your network. Don’t deviate from your ‘script’ during the demo because that’s a recipe for bad things happening.

Do a quick test at XDC when you get in to make sure your compute works with the projector (shouldn’t be an issue but you never know!).

This is an excellent suggestion (among a few), and @Alyssa Foley and @Dana Brown are very accommodating.


  • Turn off notifications. On a Mac, you can option-click on the Notification Manager icon in the upper, right of the menubar to do this quickly.
  • Create checklists both for the presentation demos and before the presentation itself. Add things like, “Turn off notifications.” :slight_smile: