speak for the topics, not for yourself

Speaking of conferences and speakers, it really torques me when I see someone wants to talk at a con (or better yet is already accepted) but then laments that they’ve not yet figured out what to talk about. Chances are, I don’t want to go to your talk if that’s the approach. (There are exceptions, such as friendships, entertainment, etc… Ok, fine, there are *very* few exceptions where I’ll see someone regardless of their message, like Adam Savage, but those people are rare and most of us are not them.)

At a con or talk where I want to learn something, I really appreciate people who have a passion to get something specific out there, whether it be something new, some incite into an industry or process I don’t normally get, or whathaveyou. I’ll even sit through people who don’t have strong speaking skills if they have a compelling expertise on the subject. I’ll leave only if their level of expertise is lower than mine and I’m clearly not getting any value (though others may be).

I’m not the most keen on people who are part of the speaking circuit and speak for the sake of speaking, rather than the sake of the topic. And it eats up a slot for someone who may have neat things to say.

(This isn’t about anyone in particular in recent weeks; it’s a general feeling I’ve had for truly many years.)

One thought on “speak for the topics, not for yourself

  1. Aren’t these the people who’re done 20 minutes into a 1-hour time slot? You get the impression that they’re speaking just so’s they can attend the con.

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