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It will be more fun than you imagine it to be now, so relax
The important thing is to be knowledgeable about what you are speaking of; that, you are. If there's a little bastard continuously interrupting you with questions, tell him (or her) to save the question or write it down.
None of them comes to judge you, all of them come to learn from you. Be patient and prepared to explain stuff multiple times. If you don't know something, simply admit it and tell them you'll look it up and come back to them - don't try to bluff.
It also helps to prepare a bit; divide it into three sections of half an hour each with the first covering introduction and background. You can "plunder" 15 minutes of the last section for questions from the audience.
Sander Rossel wrote:
I'm sure it'll be fine and I'll do a good job, but right now I'm wondering why I ever agreed to do this
We are always doing what we cannot do, to learn how to do it
Will there be someone recording the presentation? It may be something that more of us would like to see and hear
Bastard Programmer from Hell
If you can't read my code, try converting it here[^]
"If you just follow the bacon Eddy, wherever it leads you, then you won't have to think about politics." -- Some Bell.
standing in front of a crowd makes me feel like I'm having a heart attack?
That's part of the fun and actually necessary. It's a mechanism that helps to focus and sharpen senses Actually, I've understood that even long time actors are nervous when standing in front of people in live situations and on the other hand it tells that you're taking the situation seriously.
Based on your contributions on this site I'm confident that you'll do just fine!
It's a mechanism that helps to focus and sharpen senses
Actually it makes me forget pretty much everything, including how to do words
I've got some (legal) adrenaline, heart rate and blood pressure reducing drugs just for this occasion.
It's also used by people with fear of failure, for example for exams and presentations.
I'm not afraid of failure, but I have all the symptoms, so I'm using it anyway
There's a reason I write, it doesn't include talking
And then there are those annoying people who actually like presentations
A tip, if you are using some kind of presentation equipment like a beamer, test it beforehand.
I remember a Powerpoint presentation long ago where the beamer would not display the embedded movies in my Powerpoint presentation !
Mate, you wrote the book on it. Literally. You know your subject matter so just talk about what you know.
Just pretend you're showing a friend something cool and talk through it. Don't worry if you forget to cover something, or you get it out of order - no one, literally no one, will know. Relax, take it slow, make sure you can be heard, and stare at those in the back row if the eye contact makes you nervous.
I've done this several times. I did this once to a large room full of people from across the business, including external suppliers. I was nervous, but once I got started the nerves soon dissipated.
- Have bullet points and use these to give your talk direction and flow (but don't just read from them, they are only bullet points)
- Use pauses to allow you to give eye contact and allow your points to sink into the audience
- Use Powerpoint, code samples etc to make your points clearer and provide clarification
The only person who knows you are nervous is you, no one else in the room knows that. Use that knowedge to your advantage.
"There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult." - C.A.R. Hoare
Don't talk to the crowd, buddy, talk to specific people in the crowd.
Pan the audience while you're speaking and let your focus settle on individuals while you speak. It's a lot like talking in a group of friends at the bar. Just don't settle on one person for too long, let your "conversation" be with as many people in the room as you can!
"Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity."
- Hanlon's Razor