User Tools

Site Tools


CR203: Find Your Inner Tech Talk Topic in 60 Minutes - Conference Notes



Increase your visibility in a tech community by giving a tech talk! You might want to educate, attract talent to your organization, or give back to the tech community. Join us in this exploratory workshop and discover what could make a great tech talk for you. Leave the room with a title for your tech talk, an abstract and bags of inspiration!

Session Notes

By: Lizzie Molloy

Katerina Domenikou, Bloomberg @kat_in_gloves Vedika Dalmia, Bloomberg @vedikad

Overview Workshop designed to help first time tech talk speakers to gather what they know, what they are passionate about, and what will be the best talk for them to excel in. This workshops uses a workbook, a deck of cards with questions, and the use of pairing with other participants to use communication and collaboration as resources to find out what their tech talk can be.

About Katerina and Vedika:

  • Both are infrastructure engineers at Bloomberg
  • They asked female work colleagues about what would be a good tech talk for them.
  • Want to make sure everyone can find a tech talk they are passionate about.
  • You need to commit and deliver. And share with friends, family and colleagues. This workshop is the beginning, not the end.

Plan Steps to Plan Your Next Tech Talk:

  1. Goal setting
  2. Brainstorming
  3. Refining
  4. Planning
  5. Commit to delivering it

Goal Some goals you may have for why you want to give your talk:

  • Improve public speaking
  • Recruit people
  • Share passion
  • Influence people
  • Share knowledge
  • Establish expertise
  • Career development
  • Learn new tech

Brainstorming Use the deck of cards given and use the keywords in the Keyword Map in the workbook to brainstorm ideas. Rules: answer quickly, keep it short, and go through more. This helps each pair figure out keywords they initially think are important to them.

Next is to fill out the 6 boxes on the Six Boxes page to extract 6 themes from the keywords you have on your Keyword Map.


Tools: Graphics Use the graphics in the workbook on GitHub.

  • Impact vs. Effort
  • Novelty vs. Effort

Tools: Questions Questions featured on GitHub If there are very few keywords

  • Which keywords are you most excited about?
  • Can you combine any 2-3 random keywords?
  • Can you compare/contrast some keywords?

If there are a lot of keywords

  • What is the theme you care the most about?
  • What theme would be the best for your next talk?
  • Is there something you thought about a lot?

If there are a lot of themes

  • Can you combine any two themes?
  • If you had unlimited resources, what would you pick?
  • What theme could you get a unique angle on?

If there are very few themes

  • What is the most unique thing about this theme?
  • What would you really surprise someone about this theme?
  • What is the most valuable information you have about this theme?

Planning Use the Action Plan page to narrow down and to find grittier details about your talk.

Ideal audience:

  • Big/small
  • External/internal
  • Experts/ beginners
  • Students/professionals
  • Who might have the same problem or challenges?
  • What is the knowledge of your audience?
  • Are they beginners or experts?

Format: What kind of setting? It can be a workshop, panel, at work/school or in a meetup.

Find a Title:

  • Promise benefits: Find your inner tech talk in 60 minutes. How to get others interested to come.
  • Promise a story: how we got five programmers to do their first tech talks. A story to connect your audience and relate to how they can get to where they want to be.
  • UUse the number 3 at the front: Three steps to make you a conference speaker
  • Provoke curiosity: The #1 way to encourage first time speakers
  • Evoke concern: What is going on and what needs to be fixed. For example: The mistakes we make in calls for speakers, and how to fix them.
  • Add contrast: Bring something different to your talk. For example: how to get an introvert to speak at a conference
  • Imply privileged information: the secret to encouraging first time speakers
  • Mix ‘n match from the above

Abstract: Use the resources to write an abstract.


  • Tweet your topic to @mynexttalk
  • Share contacts with people around you
  • Use resources to help you.

Resources: GitHub


By Kaitlyn Bestenheider (aka CryptoKait)

This blog has been featured on my personal blog: here.

wiki/ghc/ghc17/find_your_inner_tech_talk_topic_in_60_minutes.txt · Last modified: 2017/10/04 17:46 by cryptokait